General Schengen visa information

In order to visit Sweden you may need an entry visa. A visa is a permit to travel to and stay in a country for a limited period. Citizens of a non-EU country may need a visa to visit Sweden.

The Schengen Cooperation

Sweden is member of the Schengen Cooperation. The Schengen Cooperation allows those who have a visa to travel to Sweden also to travel to the other member countries. The countries that form part of the Schengen Cooperation are often referred to as Schengen countries.

Citizens from the following countries/territories require a visa when entering Sweden, check the list.

Reasons to apply for an entry visa

A visa may be granted for:

  • visiting relatives or friends
  • business or conference visits, seminars or similar arrangements
  • participation in cultural and sports events
  • tourism
  • transit/airport transit visas

General information on how to apply for a visa is found below. For further information on each type of visa, please refer to the pages in the menu.

When do I apply?

You can submit your application at the earliest, three months before your planned visit. Apply as far in advance as possible, especially during the peak season. Usually, you get a decision within two weeks.

Where do I apply?

After applying online, at the appointed time, your application should be submitted to the Embassy of Sweden in Tehran. Visa applications are only accepted inside the Embassy building and not in any other locations.

As a general rule, Sweden should be the main destination of your trip (in terms of length or purpose of stay). If your main destination is any other Member State than Sweden, please apply for visa at a consulate of the relevant Member State.

How long is a visa valid?

A visa is valid in the Schengen countries for up to 90 days in a 180-day period. If you have been in the Schengen area for 90 days, you must leave the area for 90 days before you can be granted a new Schengen visa.

The number of days that you are allowed to stay in the Schengen countries is specified on the visa sticker that is glued into your passport. The days can be utilized during the period that is specified on the sticker. The period is often longer than the number of days that you may visit the Schengen countries. This is so that you have the possibility to change your travel date if something unforeseen happens.

Longer stay

If you are planning to stay in Sweden for longer than 90 days you need to apply for a visitors’ residence permit, or – if there are special reasons – a visa for a longer period (a D visa).

A visa can be valid for one or multiple entries or exits

Your visa sticker specifies how many times you may travel in and out of the Schengen countries while it is valid.

You can apply for a Schengen visa that is valid for multiple entries if you are regular visitor to Sweden. A visa with multiple entries can be valid for visits lasting up to 90 days in the latest 180 days for a maximum of five years, although it is very seldom given for that long time.

Where is a visa valid?

An entry visa is normally valid in all the Schengen countries. In exceptional cases a visa may be granted solely for entry into the country that issued it. For more information on the Schengen Agreement please click here.

In certain exceptional cases your visa may be valid for entries and stays in Sweden or certain Schengen countries only, if you are registered in SIS (Schengen Information System) or if your passport is not accepted in all Schengen countries.

Who decides my case?

In most cases, the Embassy decides whether to grant a visa. If the Embassy is not sure what position to take on an application, it passes the case on to the Migration Agency in Sweden for a decision.

How long does it take?

The time it takes to process an application at the Embassy varies but decisions are generally reached within 15 days from the time you visit the Embassy.

Please note that waiting times can be long in order to get an appointment. We advise you to book a time early, especially during high season in spring and summer.

What if I am granted a visa?

As soon as you receive your short-stay visa, make sure that all the information it contains is correct. Check the following:

  • Your passport has a passport number. This number is also indicated on the visa sticker. Make sure that these numbers are the same.
  • You applied for your visa for a specific period or periods. Check that your air ticket corresponds with the entry and exit dates indicated on the visa sticker.
  • Check that the number of entries you applied for (one, two or multiple) corresponds with the number of entries indicated on your visa sticker.
  • Check that your name is spelled correctly.

Do this yourself in order to avoid any problems or extra costs arising when using your visa. If you think that the information on the visa is incorrect, tell the consulate or embassy immediately, so that any errors can be corrected.

How to read the visa sticker

DURATION OF STAY ( ) DAYS : indicates the number of days, you may stay in the Schengen area. The days should be counted from the date you enter the Schengen area (the entry stamp) to the date you exit the Schengen area (the exit stamp), i.e. both days included. The period of time between "FROM ...UNTIL" is usually longer than the number of days printed in the "DURATION OF STAY" field. The difference in period is meant to give you flexibility to plan your entry into and exit from the Schengen area, but your stay in the Schengen area must never exceed the exact number of days in the "DURATION OF STAY ...DAYS" field. No matter how many days you have stayed in the Schengen area, you must leave no later than the date printed in the "UNTIL" field."

Controls at the border

Your short-stay visa allows you to travel to Sweden and usually to other Schengen States. But it does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen area. So you may have to provide certain information at border or other controls. You may, for instance, have to provide information on your means of support, how long you intend to stay in Sweden, and why you are visiting Sweden. In some cases, such checks may result in a refusal for the visa holder to enter Sweden or the Schengen area.

It is therefore recommended that you carry with you copies of the documents which you presented when you applied for the visa (e.g. letters of invitation, travel confirmations, other documents stating the purpose of your stay). This will help to make the border control procedure easier and avoid delays at the border.

Please note: You must keep to the period of stay allowed by your visa. Misuse and overstay may result in you being expelled and banned from obtaining a new visa for a certain period of time.  

What if my application is turned down?

Since April 5, 2011, it's possible to appeal a decision on an entry visa. At the same time, the decision to reject an application for an entry visa will require justification. This means that you will get information in the decision as to why your application was rejected.

If you received a decision you are not satisfied with, you can submit a written appeal no later than 3 weeks from the day you received the decision.

How to appeal?

In your appeal, write down which decision you are not satisfied with, and why and how you want it to be changed. If you have any documents that you didn’t submit earlier, you can supplement your case with them. Your appeal should be submitted to the Embassy of Sweden in Tehran through mail or e-mail, but it should be only sent once, please do not send it several times and in different ways. The Embassy will verify that the appeal came in on time and will go over the case again. If more than 3 weeks have passed, the appeal will be rejected; in that case you will have to submit a new visa application.

If the Embassy changes the decision

The decision can be changed if new information comes in. In that case you will be notified, and the entry visa placed in your passport.

If the Embassy does not change the decision, it will be forwarded

If the appeal came in on time and the authority that made the decision sees no reason to change the decision, the case will be forwarded as soon as possible. Your application, the decision, and all other documents submitted in the case will be sent to the Administrative Court in Göteborg. The Administrative Court then makes a decision and notifies you at the address you specified in the application or in the appeal.

After the case has been handed over to the court, all questions about the case should be addressed to them. You find their contact information here: http://www.forvaltningsrattenigoteborg.domstol.se  

More information

For more information you can visit Swedish Migration Agency website:

https://www.migrationsverket.se/English/Private-individuals/Visiting-Sweden/Facts-about-visas.html