I applied for and obtained a residence permit as a non-EU citizen married to an EU citizen who registered her right to reside in Sweden. This procedure is essentially the same for any non-EU citizen applying to live in Sweden through marriage to an EU citizen (and a similar process for marriage to a Swedish citizen, however Swedish citizens cannot bring their spouses to Sweden immediately). I was living in Sweden from start to finish when I applied and it took about six months until I received a residence permit that was valid for five years. It is possible for Migrationsverket – the government agency in charge of issuing residence cards – to issue a residence permit, known in Swedish as an uppehållskort, sooner, and in some cases this process does not cost anything. And remember that the initial residence permit is not a permanent residence permit- you can apply for this after you have been in the country five years.
The process for obtaining a residence card or Uppehållskort in Sweden through marriage or a civil partnership can be completed in the following steps:
Meeting spouse / common law partner / registered partner prerequisites
Application to Migrationsverket
Biometric and photograph appointment
- Additional Information
Step 1. Spouse Requirements for you to Apply for an Uppehållskort
As you are a non-Swede and member of a non-European Union country, your spouse must meet certain obligations to sponsor you, and your children if you have any.
First, the sponsoring spouse must have the right of residence in Sweden if he or she is not a native Swedish national or permanent resident. All EU/EEA-member country citizens have this right, as does anyone with a valid residence permit.
Proof of employment or capacity to provide financial support
- A home with at least a kitchen or kitchenette, a living room and bedroom for two people, and one additional bedroom for additional children, with two children being able to share one room. The home can be sub-rented with approval of the landlord
A note about the maintenance requirement- non-EU citizens must be able to provide for themselves, even if they are married to an EU/EEA citizen (excluding marriage to Swedish citizens), however Migrationsverket will take the income of both people into consideration for this.
If your spouse or partner is Swedish or a permanent resident, he or she will simply need to obtain a family status report/civic registration (Familjebevis för uppehållstillstånd) from the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket).
Step 2. Applying with Migrationsverket
Once you have reached this step you and your spouse can begin collecting all the papers you will need for your application. You can apply online or print off the following applications and mail it in. Online you have two choices for an application route:
Application for a residence permit to join your spouse or common-law partner (already married or have cohabited abroad)
- Application for a residence permit to come to Sweden and marry/cohabit with your spouse/common law partner (not yet married or have no prior history of cohabitation)
You will also be wondering if you can apply when you are already in Sweden. Here are the rules for that:
If your spouse or partner (you are already married or you have lived together abroad) is Swedish or a permanent resident you will need to apply through the Swedish embassy in your home country and wait until you receive a residence permit
If you are already married or have lived together and your spouse/partner is an EU citizen (not counting Swedes or permanent residents) you can apply for a residence permit after you have arrived in Sweden (for instance, you arrive in Sweden as a tourist and then apply) — **Note for people in this situation: I wrote this in 2012, and as of 2016 it seems this process may have changed that the couple first register with Skatteverket (the Swedish tax agency) and then apply for the residence permit with Migrationsverket. I haven’t had anyone write who successfully completed the process in this way yet, but here are two points of relevant discussion (point 1, point 2)
- If you are not married and have not previously lived together and wish to become married or cohabit with someone in Sweden you must apply and obtain a residence permit before you enter Sweden
And there is also a gray area. What if you want to marry a Swede, apply in your home country, and then travel to Sweden on a tourist visa, returning to your home country before your visa expires? What if you come to Sweden on a tourist visa and decide to get married all of a sudden? These are the types of questions are answered in the forum section below.
Required Documents to Submit with Your Application
Whether you apply online or by mail, you will need to include certain documents with your application, and these must be in either Swedish or English:
Main application for Residence Permit form 161011
If you are moving as a spouse/partner to a non-Swede, non-permanent resident who is from an EU country and registered in Sweden, use form 145011
Family Details form 239011
Copy of passport pages showing your name and expiration date
If you are moving to a Swede or permanent resident, the person you are moving to must obtain a family status report (Familjebevis för uppehållstillstånd) from the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket). This is a type of civic registration certificate
If you are moving to a non-Swede, EU state member spouse/partner then submit a marriage certificate or documents showing you have lived together
- If you have a child under 18, use form 163011
Fees: SEK 1,500 for adults and SEK 750 for each child. Exemptions to the fees apply to the following:
If you are from Switzerland or Japan
If you are moving as a spouse/partner…
to a person designated as being in need of protection
- to a person who is from another EU member state and has registered their right of residence in Sweden
Note that there are additional forms for people applying to Swedish missions in the United States, Russia, Serbia, India and Switzerland. These, along with all other applications and questionnaires, can be found on Migrationsverket’s forms page. You may also need to include additional information as specified in your application, such as bank account statements, proof of health insurance, etc.
Step 3. Biometric and Photograph Appointment
Regardless of your application path for a residence permit, before you get this you will need to be photographed and fingerprinted. If you are abroad and notified by mail that you are qualified to obtain a residence permit you may enter Sweden by presenting this notification and your valid passport if you do not need an additional visa. Once you are in Sweden (and if you have been there all along and receive this notification) you will need to make an appointment to get your fingerprints and photograph taken.
If you need a visa to enter Sweden you should contact your country’s Swedish embassy where you can be photographed and fingerprinted. They will mail your residence permit once it is ready.
In my case Migrationsverket lost the photographs they took of me at their main office in Solna and I only discovered this after my residence permit was late in arriving by two weeks, and then only after I called them to ask if there were any problems. That also meant waiting another two weeks for the next available appointment, so make sure to monitor this process and mark the dates on your calendar.
Step 4. Additional Information
I applied for my residence permit within Sweden as a non-EU member moving to an EU member registered in Sweden whom I had married abroad. It took about six months before the permit came in the mail, and that is including one month that got burned because my photographs were lost. It is prominently advertised that if you apply online your wait time will be significantly less. Migrationsverket writes on its wait time webpage that paper applications are processed in 14 months and online applications take 10 months.
When you Arrive
Make sure to bring the following documents with you when you come to Sweden:
Marriage certificate or proof of union and if possible, proof that the marriage is registered in the arriving spouse/partner’s home country
If you are coming as a co-habitee, bring a lease or apartment rental contract showing you have lived together before
If bringing children, bring their birth certificates
Any other documents showing that the person you are moving to is emotionally and personally close to you and that you strongly want to live together
Proof of health insurance, if any
- Bank account statements
Taking the Next Steps
Once you have your residence card you can breath a sigh of relief, but you still cannot yet work legally. To do this you will need to apply with the Swedish Tax Authority, also known as Skatteverket. This agency is completely separate from Migrationsverket, and an application for your personal number (personnummer) that allows you to work involves many of the same documents you will have submitted for your residence permit.
Helpful Migrationsverket Website Links:
- Moving to someone in Sweden (general)
- Residence permit to move to a spouse, registered partner or common law spouse in Sweden (for non-EU citizens)
- Residence permit to move to a future spouse or common law spouse in Sweden (for non-EU citizens)
- Residence permit for children
- Extending a residence permit to live with someone in Sweden
- Residence permits for EU citizens joining a Swedish citizen in Sweden
- Processing times for residence permit applications
- Different forms for different types of residence permits
Law – Aliens Act (2005:716) (I can’t guarantee this is the most-up-to-date version with all amendments, but it is the legal basis for the residence permit)
Please note that I’m just an average person who got a residence permit in Sweden. Perhaps I can offer useful suggestions for you if you are in a very similar situation as myself. Otherwise, I really can’t provide you with any better information than what you would find on the Migrationsverket website.
If you have questions about immigrating to Sweden that aren’t based on my own situation (and even if you do), please check through the following links and comment directory. Feel free to ask any question, as I hope someone out there who was in a similar situation might be reading and leave you a relevant answer. I’ll periodically organize questions and sort them by category, however I can’t guarantee a response.
Most important of all, I would encourage anyone who asks a question to post back later with details about how their situation turns out. This is where we can all get the most valuable details.
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Visitor Comments by Category
The following discussions are sorted by these categories:
- Health insurance and healthcare in Sweden
- Questions regarding engagements, marriage, and common-law partnerships
- Applying for a residence permit/personnummer inside of Sweden
- Applying for a residence permit/personnumer outside of Sweden / Moving to Sweden
- Coming to Sweden/travel while residence permit application is being processed
- Studying / student status in Sweden
Health Insurance and Healthcare in Sweden
- What type of health insurance do you need?
- UK citizen moving to spouse in Sweden, how to get a UK health certificate?
- EU citizen getting into the Swedish healthcare system
- Non-EU citizen married to EU citizen, getting into the healthcare system
Questions Regarding Engagements, Marriage, and Common-Law Partnerships
- Non-EU citizen getting married in Sweden to a Swedish citizen, then applying for a personnummer
- Residence permit to move to a spouse vs residence permit based on marriage abroad
- Getting married in Sweden after overstaying a visa
- Foreigners (1 EU, 1 non-EU) getting married in Sweden and then moving there
- Non-EU citizen moving to Sweden to get married to a Swedish resident
- Residence permit for moving to Sweden to get married, what documents/tickets to bring?
- Non-EU citizen planning to marry a Swedish citizen, how long to wait abroad for a residence permit?
- Difference between a civil partnership and marriage (including same-sex)
- EU citizen married to non-EU citizen, requirements for financial support for a residence permit?
Applying for a Residence Permit/Personnummer Inside of Sweden
- Can you apply for a residence permit from within Sweden?
- Applying for a residence permit within Sweden while spouse is pregnant
- EU-partner applying for a residence permit for non-EU partner while both living in Sweden
- Timing about changing from a tourist visa to a residence permit, and traveling within the EU in the meantime
- Non-EU citizen who is married to a Swedish citizen, applying within Sweden for a residence permit when partner is pregnant
- Non-EU citizen married to a Swedish citizen (living abroad for most of the marriage, but now all are in Sweden), with Swedish-citizen child and one child (non-Swedish citizen) from a previous relationship: applying for a residence permit from within Sweden and not returning to native country
- Non-EU citizen living in Sweden with Swedish-citizen girlfriend on a tourist visa. Applying for a residence permit while staying in Sweden
- Moving from Norway to Sweden, got married in Sweden, now applying for a residence permit
- Application for moving to someone in Sweden to marry VS coming to Sweden as a tourist and marrying. Residence card and personnummer
- Tourist visa expiring soon for non-EU citizen, applying for residence permit allows overstay?
- Non-EU citizen with Schengen visa, getting married to Swedish citizen and then remaining in Sweden
Applying for a Residence Permit/Personnummer Outside of Sweden / Moving to Sweden
- Getting a personnummer for a non-EU citizen from abroad with Swedish partner
- What documents to bring to an interview at a Swedish consulate/embassy for a non-EU citizen who wants to move to Sweden and live with a permanent Swedish resident?
- Non-EU citizen married to Swedish citizen, with children (Swedish citizens), and all living in a non-EU country. Is there an expedited processing time due to children?
- Non-EU citizen getting married to Swede abroad, then moving to Sweden
- Married non-EU and EU (not Swedish) citizens moving to Sweden: requirements
- Moving to Sweden with a long-term (permanent) EU residence card
- EU citizen moving to Sweden, having non-EU spouse join (another similar situation)
- Swedish citizen living abroad, returning back to Sweden and bringing non-EU spouse, (another similar situation)
- How long to wait abroad once a residence permit has been issued for a non-EU citizen to move to a Swedish partner?
Coming to Sweden/Travel While Residence Permit Application is Being Processed
- Migrationsverket update – you may be able to travel to Sweden while your application is being processed
- Can non-EU boyfriend come with Swedish citizen to Sweden as a tourist, then apply for a residence permit? Student permit?
- Non-EU citizen visiting boyfriend in Sweden as a tourist while residence permit application is pending, (another similar situation)
- Applying for a residence permit while in Sweden as a tourist, visiting Sweden while application is pending
- Visiting Sweden (non-EU) while residence permit application is being processed
- Non-EU citizen married to Swede, marriage was abroad, visiting Sweden while residence permit application is being processed
- Visiting other EU/Schengen countries with a residence permit
- Moving within the EU/Schengen Zone while a residence permit application is being processed
- Traveling within the EU with a Swedish residence permit
Studying / Student Status in Sweden
- Residence permit and specific dates/time period, tuition fee exemption
- EU citizen wanting personnummer based on post-grad internship
- Waiting abroad for a common-law residence permit to be processed, then applying for a residence permit based on being a student?
- Automatic citizenship for a baby born to non-Swedish parents in Sweden?
- Appeal for denial of residence permit based on marriage, pregnancy
- Reasons why a non-EU citizen would be rejected for a residence permit based on marriage?
- Non-EU citizen with a Swedish residence permit moving to Norway
- Job before personnummer?
- Applying for a residence permit in Sweden with a pending asylum application in another EU country (Germany)
- Non-EU citizen staying in Sweden with EU spouse, not enough income
- Finnish (Nordic) citizen with children, moving to Sweden with non-EU spouse
- Dublin agreement/procedure/protocol
- Non-EU citizen remaining in Sweden with children after divorce from Swedish citizen
- Changing a sammordnings number to a personnummer
- Multiple applications at once?
- Non-EU citizen proving valid marriage to Swedish citizen for a residence permit