How to apply

The quickest and easiest way to apply for a residence permit is to apply online. An online application goes directly to the Swedish Migration Board and is given priority. If you cannot or do not want to apply over the Internet, you can fill in a paper form that you submit in person to the embassy.

The description below applies to you if you are the citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA and wish to move to live with a family member who is also a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA or is a Swedish citizen.

Applying online

How to proceed (for applications on paper forms, see further down):

1. Prepare your documentation
Check which documents and personal data you require. The Swedish Migration Board gives priority to applications that are completed in full, and you get a decision sooner.

Read more under ‘Required documents’.

2. Applying
Follow the Swedish Migration Board’s instructions for applying online over the Internet. You attach documents electronically and pay the application fee using a VISA card or a MasterCard.

Swedish Migration Board web application

3. Your family member must answer questions
Your family member has to fill in a questionnaire. Once you have sent in your application, he or she will automatically receive an email with instructions. The family member must reply to the questions within two weeks.

4. Visit the embassy/consulate
Wait for the email you receive asking you to make an appointment at the embassy. Only then will the Swedish Migration Board have gone through both your application and your family member’s replies and have transferred your case to the embassy.

You make an appointment by calling the Embassy during the phone hours, for contact details visit the Embassy contact page. 

At the embassy, you have to prove your identity by showing your passport, and you will be interviewed. Children applying for a residence permit are also interviewed. If the child is too young or too immature, the person looking after the child is interviewed instead.

Bring along the originals of the documents you attached to your online application. In its email, the Swedish Migration Board may also have asked you to bring additional documents with you. You may need to be photographed and fingerprinted for the residence permit card you will receive if you are granted a residence permit. This also applies to children.

You can find the address of the embassy under ‘Contacts’ in the menu on the left.

After the interview, your case is transferred back to the Migration Board in Sweden. Even if you did not attend the interview, your case will still be sent to the Swedish Migration Board, and your application may be rejected.

5. Wait for the decision
When the Swedish Migration Board has reached its decision, you will be informed of this by email. The actual decision will be sent to your family member in Sweden, if you have authorised him or her to represent you. Otherwise you can call the Embassy and request to have the decision sent by email. For contact details and phone hours, please se Embassy contact page.

6. Wait for the residence permit card
If you are granted a residence permit, you will be issued with a residence permit card.

If you need a visa to enter Sweden
If you need a visa to enter Sweden, the card is ordered automatically if you have already been photographed and fingerprinted. If you have not been photographed and fingerprinted, you should make an appointment to visit the embassy. For contact details to make an appointment, please visit the embassy contact page.

It can take up to four weeks for the residence permit card to be prepared and delivered to the embassy. Once the card has arrived there, you can collect it without making an appointment during normal business hours (see Embassy Contact page) You must bring your passport with you. If you pay a shipping fee the Embassy will send the card to you (see Fee page for shipping cost). If you want to know whether your card has reached the embassy, contact the Embassy during visa phone hours (see embassy contact page.)

If you do not need a visa to enter Sweden
If you have been granted a residence permit and do not require a visa, you travel to Sweden and arrange for the card there. Contact the Swedish Migration Board to have your photograph and fingerprints taken.


Applying on a paper form

How to proceed:

1. Prepare your documentation
Check which documents and personal data you need. The Swedish Migration Board gives priority to applications that are completed in full, and you get a decision sooner.

Read more under ‘Required documents’ and on the Swedish Migration Board website.

2. Pay the application fee
Application fee should be paid in the form of one money order or certified bank check, payable to the Embassy of Sweden OR to the Swedish Consulate where you submitted your application. If you are applying in person at the Embassy, the application fee can be paid with a credit card (not American Express).

Read more under ‘Fees’

3. Present your application to the embassy
Submit your complete application by mail to the Embassy or a Swedish Consulate in the U.S. If you need to be interviewed, the Embassy will contact you.

4. Visit the embassy
Interviews will be conducted at the Embassy or at the Consulate. Children applying for a residence permit are also interviewed. If the child is too young, the person looking after the child is interviewed instead.

You will be photographed and fingerprinted for the residence permit card. This also applies to children.

After the interview, your case is transferred back to the Migration Board in Sweden. Even if you did not attend the interview, your case will still be sent to the Swedish Migration Board, and your application may be rejected.

5. Wait for the decision
If you have authorised a family member in Sweden to represent you, The Swedish Migration Board’s decision will be sent to him or her. Otherwise you can call the Embassy and request to have the decision sent by email. For contact details and phone hours, please se Embassy contact page.

6. Wait for the residence permit card
If you are granted a residence permit, you will be issued a residence permit card after submitting your biometrics. You arrange for the card in the same way as described above under ‘Applying online’.

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