Visiting relatives and friends
If you wish to visit relatives and friends in Sweden and are a citizen of a country outside the EU, you will in most cases need a visa. In the right column, you will find a list of countries whose citizens require a visa.
As of and including 5 April 2010, the EU´s Visa Code applies as law in Sweden. Through the Visa Code, the provisions on visas for a period shorter than three months (90 days) are brought together in one EU Regulation. The Visa Code applies to all Schengen countries. A visa granted by any one of these countries is also valid for visits to the others. In exceptional cases — for example, if the holder's passport is not approved by all Schengen countries — the visa may only be valid for entry into the issuing country or only for certain countries. Click on the link on the right to see which countries are signatories to the Schengen Agreement.
The person you intend to visit (reference person) must fill in a special form — Invitation, no. 241011 — and send it to you, enclosing their civic registration certificate. The civic registration certificate can be ordered from the nearest tax office or downloaded from the Swedish Tax Agency website. Civic registration certificates are available for different purposes, choose the one with the heading ‘Inbjudan´ (invitation).
Requirements for obtaining a visaIf you wish to visit Sweden and the other Schengen countries, you must have
- a passport which is valid for at least three months after the final date of the visa
- 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 insurance which 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 and contact information on the website of the relevant embassy. Click on the link in the right column to find the appropriate embassy.
Special agreement for certain countriesSpecial rules apply for citizens of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Russia, Macedonia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Serbia and the Ukraine due to the Visa Facilitation Agreement concluded between these countries and the EU. More information about this agreement can be obtained from the embassies and consulates of the EU Member States in these eight countries.
Applying for a visaYou should hand in your visa application to a Swedish mission abroad. In certain countries, Sweden is represented by another Schengen country. There are also countries where Sweden does not have its own mission and is not represented by another country. If this is the case, anyone wishing to hand in a visa application must travel to the nearest country where there is a Swedish mission. If you intend to hand in your visa application at another Schengen country's mission abroad, you should contact the mission in advance. In such cases, it is this country's documentary requirements which will apply. The documents should also be translated into the language of that country. To apply for a visa, you must fill in the form Application for Schengen Visa.
Ensure your application is complete To enable the authorities to process your application, you must clearly state:
- Why you are visiting Sweden
- How long you intend to stay in Sweden
- How you will support yourself during your time in Sweden
- The type of passport you hold and for how long it is valid
- Where you intend to travel following your visit to Sweden
- If you have a permit to enter the country you intend to travel to after your stay in Sweden
With your application, you must enclose:
- Two passport photographs in which you are looking straight ahead and which are not more than six months old.
- Family details Appendix to your application, no. 239011.
- Invitation, no. 241011.
- Civic registration certificate with heading ‘Inbjudan´ (Invitation) for the person inviting you. The civic registration certificate can be ordered from the nearest tax office or downloaded from the website of the Swedish Tax Agency.
- Other documents which the embassy may require.
Decisions on visasIn the vast majority of cases, the mission abroad makes the decision. Sometimes it will make certain checks with the other Schengen countries. If the mission abroad is uncertain how to assess your application, the application may be sent on to the Migration Board in Sweden which will make the decision.
Most people who apply for a visa are successful. Your application may be rejected if the decision-making authority judges that you are unlikely to leave the Schengen zone after your visit and that the purpose of your visit is not as specified in your application. You may also be rejected if you are listed in the SIS computer system (Schengen Information System), where Member States register people who are not permitted to enter the Schengen zone.
How long will it take?You will normally receive a response within two weeks, but processing times can vary at missions abroad. If you need current information about this, contact the Swedish mission abroad which will process your application. If the Swedish mission sends your application on to the Migration Board, 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. During the June-August holiday period, the processing time could be longer.
Validity period for visaA 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.
Extending a visaInformation about how to extend your visit.
Appeals If you received a decision you are not satisfied with, you can submit a written appeal no later than 3 weeks from the day you received the decision.
How to appeal 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 mission abroad (embassy or consulate) that made the decision. The Swedish mission abroad will verify that the appeal came in on time and will go over the case again. If more than 3 weeks have passed, the appeal will be rejected; in that case you will have to submit a new application.
If the Swedish mission abroad 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 mission abroad 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 by courier to the Migration Court in Göteborg. The Migration Court will then make a decision.