Visiting relatives and friends
If you are visiting relatives or friends in Sweden and are a citizen of a non-EU country, you may need a visa. A visa is a permit to travel to and stay in a country for a maximum of 90 days. To be granted a visa you need to an invitation from the person that you are visiting. You need to show that you have enough money for your keep and your return trip. You also need health insurance that covers the costs if you become ill during your visit to Sweden.
If you plan to stay in Sweden for more than 90 days you should instead apply for a visitors’ residence permit.
Requirements for obtaining a visa
If you wish to visit Sweden and the other Schengen countries, you must have
- a passport that is valid for a minimum of three months after your visa has expired and which has been issued in the last ten-year period.
- have received an invitation from the person you intend to visit
- money for your keep and for the journey home. Sweden requires that you have SEK 450 for each day spent in Sweden. In certain circumstances, this amount may be lower, for example in the case of a young child, if the cost of food and accommodation is paid in advance or if you are going to stay with relatives or friends. You must be able to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds for your keep with the help, for example, of bank statements or a document in which the person inviting you to Sweden promises to meet all expenses during the visit
- individual medical travel insurancewhich covers the costs which could arise as a result of emergency medical assistance, emergency hospitalisation or medical repatriation. The insurance should cover costs of at least EUR 30,000 and be valid in all the Schengen countries
Requirements of Swedish embassies and consulates
Some requirements differ from country to country. It is therefore important that you check what applies in your case. The requirements may change depending on the current circumstances. You will find more information on the website of the relevant embassy. Click on the link at he bottom of the page to find the appropriate embassy.
Special agreement for certain countries
Special rules apply for citizens of Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia and the Ukraine due to the Visa Facilitation Agreement concluded between these countries and the EU. If you are a citizen of one of these countries you will find more information on the Swedish embassy website for each country.
Applying for a visa
You must hand in your visa application at a Swedish embassy or consulate-general. To find out which rules apply in your home country, please select your country in the list at www.swedenabroad.com
- A number of Swedish embassies and consulate-generals cooperate with VFS Global for visa applications and it is to VFS Global that you need to hand in your application. Information about how to proceed can be found at the embassy’s or consulate-general’s website.
- In certain countries, Sweden is represented by another Schengen country and it is that country’s documentary requirements that apply. Documents also need to be translated into that country’s language.
- In certain countries there is no Swedish embassy or consulate-general or other Schengen country representing Sweden. You will need to travel to the nearest country where there is a Swedish embassy or consulate-general and hand in your visa application there. Information about which embassy you should turn to can be found at www.swedenabroad.com.
How long will it take?
You will normally receive a response within two weeks, but processing times can vary at embassies or consulate-generale's. During the June–August holiday period, the processing time could be longer. If you need current information about this, contact the Swedish embassy or consulate-general which will process your application. If the Swedish embassy sends your application on to the Swedish Migration Agency, the process may take longer. To be sure that you receive your visa in time, you should submit your application at least two months before you are due to travel to Sweden.
Decisions on visas
The embassy or consulate-general normally makes the decisions regarding visas, but in some circumstances it can hand the matter to the Swedish Migration Agency for decision-making. The regulations in the EU Visa Code determine whether or not you are granted a visa.
Your application may be rejected if the decision-making authority judges that you are unlikely to leave the Schengen area after your visit and that the purpose of your visit is not as specified in your application.
Validity period for visa
A visa is time-limited and is valid for a maximum of 90 days in any six-month period. This means that if you have spent 90 days in the Schengen zone, you must leave the area for 90 days before you can be granted a new Schengen visa.
If you have special grounds, you may be granted a visa for a longer period – up to a maximum of one year – a so called D-visa. Special grounds can for example be that you need to travel to Sweden to visit your children for a period of time that exceeds 90 days in half a year. A D-visa gives you the right to move freely within the Schengen area.
The permit sticker glued into your passport states how many days you can use your visa during the permit period. This is often a little longer than the validity period of your visa. The reason for this is that the authorities expect that you could need a little time to arrange the trip – booking tickets and purchasing medical insurance, for example.
It should be noted that you may not stay in Sweden or any other Schengen country beyond the number of days stated on the permit sticker. The time is calculated from the date of entry on the first trip. The permit sticker states how many times you may enter and leave the Schengen zone during the period of validity.
You can use the EU Schengen calculator to work out when you can enter the Schengen area again, and how many days you can stay.
How to appeal
If you received a decision you are not satisfied with, you can submit a written appeal no later than three weeks from the day you received the decision. 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 Swedish embassy or consulate-general that made the decision. The Swedish embassy or consulate-general will verify that the appeal came in on time and will go over the case again. If more than three weeks have passed, the appeal will be rejected; in that case you will have to submit a new application.
If the Swedish embassy or consulate-general 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 Swedish embassy or consulate-general 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 Migration Court in Göteborg. The Migration Court will then make a decision.