Swedish Citizenship and Dual Citizenship

Citizenship is a legally binding undertaking between a state and an individual (citizen) that commences either automatically at birth or through an application or notification process.

Swedish Citizenship

Only Swedish citizens are allowed to carry Swedish passports. A Swedish citizen has the unconditional right to live and stay in Sweden.

You can become a Swedish citizen through:

  • birth
  • adoption 
  • legitimization (marriage of parents)
  • application (naturalization)
  • notification (children, young adults aged 18-20, and Nordic citizens)

Dual Citizenship

One of the basic principles of Swedish civil law has been the avoidance of dual citizenship. This principle was abandoned when the law changed on July 1, 2001 to allow dual citizenship. 

As of July 1, 2001, a Swedish citizen can apply for citizenship in another country and also keep the Swedish citizenship if the other country permits it. By the same token, if a person becomes a Swedish citizen he/she can keep his/her foreign citizenship if the law of that country permits it.

Citizenship lost before 1 July 2001

Previous rules sought to avoid dual citizenship.  As of 1 April 2015, it is possible to regain Swedish citizenship through notification if you:

  • lost your Swedish citizenship if you applied for or agreed to become a citizen of another country, or
  • lost your Swedish citizenship as a result of going into public service in another country, or
  • as a child, under the age of 18, automatically became a citizen of another country as a result of your parents becoming citizens of that country.  

Automatic Loss of Swedish Citizenship

If you were born abroad to a Swedish parent, loss of Swedish citizenship will occur on the 22nd birthday, if you  

(1) was born outside of Sweden

(2) has never lived in Sweden and

(3) has not stayed in Sweden under circumstances indicating an attachment to the country.

To avoid losing your Swedish citizenship if you were born and are still living abroad, you can apply to keep it. You must do so before the age of 22 but after your 18th birthday.

You do not need to file an application if you have lived in Sweden during any period of your life or if you visit Sweden regularly.

The application can be downloaded here and should be submitted to the nearest Swedish embassy or consulate. Please note, incomplete applications will not be processed.

For information on what documents to submit, contact the embassy or a consulate in Canada.  If you are visiting Sweden, you can send your application directly to the Migration Agency in Norrköping.

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Swedish citizenship for children

If your child is born after 1 April 2015, he or she will automatically become a Swedish citizen if one of the parents is a Swedish citizen at the time of the child's birth.

Children born before 1 April 2015 become Swedish citizens at birth if their mother is a Swedish citizen. The same applies if the father is a Swedish citizen and the child is born in Sweden. If the child is born abroad the child will become a Swedish citizen if the father is Swedish and married to the child's mother.  

For a child born abroad before April 1, 2015, whose Swedish father is not married to the child’s foreign mother, a notification for Swedish citizenship can be filed with the Swedish Migration Agency. Only the father of the child may submit a notification

For comprehensive information on Swedish citizenship please click here.