On 29 March 2017, the United Kingdom submitted a notification of withdrawal from the European Union (EU). The European Council have agreed to extend the deadline for the British withdrawal to 31 January 2020. If the United Kingdom approves the proposed exit agreement, it can leave the EU before then.

On this page you will find information about how British citizens and their relatives will be affected in the event of a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit.

If you have questions about a residence permit governed by Swedish law, i.e., because of work or your affiliation with someone in Sweden, you will find information under the Private individuals’ tab.

Brexit with an agreement

A draft agreement does exist that has been approved by the European Council and the British government. If the agreement is also approved by the European Parliament and the British Parliament, a transitional period will enter into force, and will last until the end of 2020. In a practical sense, this means that the United Kingdom will remain part of the EU cooperation during the transitional period. During this period, British citizens and their relatives who are third country nationals will have the same rights as before and may reside, work and study in Sweden without residence and work permits.

Brexit without an agreement

Without an agreement, all British citizens, as well as many of their family members, will lose their former right to residency in Sweden, which was supported by the rules of the EU.

The Swedish government has adopted a framework for a scenario involving withdrawal without an agreement – a so-called ‘hard’ Brexit. In such case, British citizens will be subject to exemption rules. While these rules apply British citizens and their relatives may continue to reside, study and work in Sweden without residence or work permits.

Every individual is automatically covered by the exemption, and there is no need to apply for residence/work permits. However, those who wish to travel during the transitional period will require proof that they are exempt from the residence permit requirement. Applications must be submitted to the Swedish Migration Agency, which will process the request and issue a proof of permission. It is entered into the individual’s passport by means of a stamp. Only British citizens, not their relatives who are third country nationals, have the right to obtain such proof.

If the United Kingdom leaves the EU without an agreement, the proposed rules will enter into effect. It will be possible to apply for a proof (a stamp in the passport) as soon as we know if there will be a Brexit without a deal. The website of the Swedish Migration Agency will be updated with information about how to submit an application.

The information will be updated on an ongoing basis.

Questions and answers

Questions and answers are based on the assumption of a withdrawal without an agreement (‘hard’ Brexit).

  • As a British citizen, may I continue to live in Sweden if the UK withdraws without an agreement?

    Yes, the Swedish government has adopted regulations that say that you automatically have the right to continue to reside, work and study in Sweden without a residence and/or work permit for a transitional period of one year. These rules assume that you were living in Sweden at the time of withdrawal and had the right to reside here, and that you continue to meet the conditions of your previous right to residency.

  • Do I need any proof that I have the right to reside and work in Sweden during the transitional period?

    No, no proof is required.

  • Will I be able to travel as before?

    As a British citizen, you will have the right to continue to travel in and out of Sweden as you did before, but you will need proof that you are subject to the exemption rules. This proof will be entered into your passport in the form of a stamp, and will be used when you pass the border upon returning to Sweden.

    In the event of a ‘hard’ Brexit, you will be able to find more information about how to apply for a proof of permission on the website of the Swedish Migration Agency.

    Only British citizens are covered by the exemption rules. This means that relatives who are third-country nationals can not receive such a proof of permission.

  • When can I apply for a stamp in my passport?

    You will be able to apply for a stamp at the Swedish Migration Agency as soon as a decision has been made on if there will be a Brexit without an agreement, a so-called hard Brexit.

  • I have a residence permit in connection with my Swedish partner; do I need to apply for a proof of permission?

    No, if you have a residence permit issued under Swedish law (not as a European citizen), you require no such proof. Rather, you may travel using your residence permit card.

  • I am a British citizen living in Denmark and working in Sweden. Will I be able to continue to be and work in Sweden under the transitional rules?

    Yes, you will be exempt from the requirement to have a residence and work permit. However, this only applies in Sweden. Your right to live or work in Denmark, or in any other EU country, is dependent on that country’s rules for British citizens after Brexit.

  • What will happen when the transitional period ends?

    The Swedish government has not yet made a decision about what will happen after the transitional period. If the government does not decide to make specific arrangements for Britons, then as a British citizen the general rule will be that you must obtain a residence and/or work permit in order to be allowed to reside and/or work in Sweden.

  • Can I do something now to ensure my ability to continue to live and work in Sweden?

    You always have the right to apply for permission in accordance with the rules that apply to third country nationals who wish to live, study and work in Sweden.

Further information about Brexit

Further information about Brexit is presented on the Swedish government’s website:

Brexit – the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (in Swedish)external link, opens in new window

Brexit – the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (in English)external link, opens in new window

Last updated: 2019-10-31

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If you wish to ask the Migration Agency a question you can find our contact details under the heading Contact us.