Automatic citizenship through birth, adoption or parental marriage

A child may automatically become a Swedish citizen through birth, adoption or  parents' marriage. In cases where a child does not automatically become a Swedish citizen, there may be a possibility to apply for or to submit a notification for Swedish citizenship.

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Swedish citizen through birth

In Sweden it is the parents' nationality that determines the nationality of the child.

  • The child of a Swedish mother will always become a Swedish citizen.
  • The child of a Swedish father and a foreign mother will always become a Swedish citizen if the child is born in Sweden. If the father is married to the mother, the child shall receive Swedish citizenship at birth, irrespective of where in the world the birth takes place.
  • The child of a foreign mother who is married to, in a registered partnership with or is the common law spouse of a Swedish woman will also become a Swedish citizen if the child is born in Sweden and insemination took place with the Swedish woman's consent.

Dual citizenship

A child who acquires the Swedish citizenship of their mother or father at birth may receive dual citizenship. This applies in the following circumstances:

  • The child is born in a country where the law stipulates that all children born there automatically become citizens of that country.
  • The child receives the foreign mother's or father's citizenship at birth.

Swedish citizen through adoption

A child who is not yet 12 years of age and who has been adopted by a Swedish citizen automatically receives Swedish citizenship upon adoption if:

  • the child has been adopted as the result of a decision made in Sweden or in another Nordic country
  • the child has been adopted as the result of a decision made abroad and approved in Sweden by the Swedish Intercountry Adoptions Agency
  • the adoption is valid under Swedish law.

The adoption must have been decided or approved after 30 June 1992. A child who has reached the age of 12 before the adoption may become a Swedish citizen by application.

Swedish citizen through parents' marriage

When a foreign woman has a child with a Swedish man and the child is born abroad, the child does not receive the father's Swedish citizenship if its parents are not married to each other.

If they later marry, the child becomes a Swedish citizen (if still under 18 and unmarried). The child is said to have become a Swedish citizen through legitimisation. The Swedish Tax Agencyexternal link, opens in new window registers the child as a Swedish citizen. The child's Swedish citizenship is then counted from the date of its parents' marriage.

Last updated: 25 June 2014