If you already are in Sweden and want to apply for a residence permit to live with someone in Sweden

On this page you can find information about the possibilities to be granted a residence permit based on your ties to a close family member without having to leave Sweden.

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If you want to live with a close family member in Sweden, the main rule is that you must submit your application at a Swedish mission abroad (embassy or general consulate) whilst in your country of origin or another country where you are residing legally. You must not move to Sweden until you have received a residence permit.

If you are already in Sweden you may in exceptional cases be granted a residence permit due to your ties to a close family member, without having to leave Sweden. In that case you can send your application by post or submit it in person at one of the Migration Board's permit units.

If you already have a residence permit

You may be granted a new residence permit without leaving the country if you are already residing in Sweden with a valid residence permit. This may apply if you have e.g.

  • a work permit
  • a permit as a self-employed person
  • a permit for studies or
  • a residence permit due to ties to a close family member in Sweden.

The last example applies both if you are a family member to an employee, a self-employed person or a student, and if you are a family member of a Swedish citizen or a permanent resident of Sweden. Your permit must be valid when you submit your new application.

It does not, however, apply if you are visiting Sweden on a visa or a temporary visitor's permit. In such a case you may be granted an extension in the form of a temporary visitor's permit, but not a residence permit for settlement.

If you have or are expecting children in Sweden

If you are in Sweden without a valid residence permit you may in certain cases be granted a residence permit due to ties to a close family member, without having to leave Sweden. This applies if you have a child who has a residence permit or who is a Swedish citizen, and if you have or are expecting a child with a person who is a Swedish citizen or who has a permanent residence permit.

In these cases the requirements are:

  • that you fulfill the conditions for being granted a residence permit due to ties to a close family member in Sweden
  • that it is clear that you would have received a residence permit if you had submitted your application before coming to Sweden and
  • it is not reasonable to demand that you return to your home country to apply.

The child's best interest

The consequences for your child to be separated from his or her parent determine whether or not you can be granted a residence permit without having to leave Sweden.

Your application for a residence permit in Sweden may be turned down if:

  • you do not fulfill the requirements for a residence permit due to ties to a close relative
  • it is likely that the embassy will be able to process your application within a reasonable period of time
  • it is believed that your child will not be harmed by your temporary separation.

Your application may also be turned down if you have a criminal record or have been an illegal resident for a significant period of time, or if you have provided incorrect information.

EU citizen

If you are an EU citizen and have moved to a family member who lives in Sweden, you can apply for a residence permit based on family ties without having to leave Sweden. Read more under Residence permit for EU citizens.

Last updated: 31 March 2014