You should apply for a residence permit if you want to work, study or stay in Sweden for more than three months. There are different types of residence permits (temporary as well as permanent) and they are granted on various grounds – such as work, family or studies in Sweden.
How to get a residence permit
Residence permits are granted on various grounds – such as work, studies or protection (asylum). However, the most common reason for obtaining a residence permit in Sweden is family ties. Over 40 000 residence permits were granted in 2013 due to family ties.
Who can apply for a residence permit?
You should apply for a residence permit if you want to live, work or study in Sweden for more than three months. However, not everyone needs a residence permit. EU citizens, for instance, have the right of free movement within the EU.
Other countries have agreements with Sweden that facilitates for their citizens to come to Sweden. Check with your local Swedish Embassy or Consulate if your country of origin has any agreements with Sweden that could facilitate for you when moving here.
How do I apply for a residence permit?
You apply for a residence permit by submitting an application to your local Embassy or Consulate or in some cases directly to the Swedish Migration Board – Migrationsverket.
You must submit your application from your country of origin or the country where you legally reside. If there is no Embassy or Consulate in your country you may have to travel to the nearest country (who has a Swedish Embassy or Consulate) in order to submit your application.
It is sometimes possible to submit an application at an Embassy or Consulate of another Schengen country. It is important, that you get your residence permit before you travel to Sweden.
In some exceptional cases, you might receive a residence permit while staying in Sweden. This exception applies if you already have a residence permit, or if you have or are expecting children.
How long does it take to get a decision from Migrationsverket?
You will have to be patient, because processing times are quite long, especially for first time applicants. The current waiting time for first time applicants are between 14 – 18 months! However, it does get better with time. Processing times for second time applicants are generally shorter – around a workweek. Yet, this highly depends on the complexity of your application.
Tip: make your application online. This usually helps to speed up the processes. Another tip is to check out the current waiting times on Migrationsverkets website or to call them directly and ask how the application is going.