Frequently asked questions about stricter passport checks
On this page you will find common questions regarding the stricter passport checks.
The requirement to present your passport during an in-person visit applies in all cases in which a valid passport is required. It does not apply if
- you have already presented your passport in connection with a previous application or an in-person visit made for another reason
- you have an alien’s passport or travel document that you received from the Swedish Migration Agency
- you fulfil the requirements for a permanent residence permit
- you are applying for asylum or protection under the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive
- you are applying for a residence permit card, permanent residence card, permanent right of residence for EU citizens, or as a person with long-term resident status in Sweden.
- the application concerns a child under five years of age. In such a case, it is sufficient for a parent to present the child’s passport.
Citizens of the EU/EEA and Switzerland applying for a residence permit, or UK citizens applying for proof of permanent residence status, need to present identification documents but can choose to present a passport or national ID card.
You can read more about what applies to you on the pages on our website that concern your particular case type.
No, if you have already shown your passport in connection with an in-person visit to the Swedish Migration Agency, an embassy or a consulate-general, you do not need to show it again. This also applies if you presented your passport before 1 November 2022, or if you did so in connection with an application for a different type of permit than the one to which your current case relates.
When the Swedish Migration Agency starts processing your application, we will look at the passport copy that you submitted. If it is a new passport compared to the one used in your previous application, we will contact you and ask you to show your new passport at an in-person visit.
The Swedish Migration Agency will contact anyone who needs to show their passport when we have started processing their application. You should not visit the Swedish Migration Agency, the embassy or the consulate-general before you have been asked to do so.
In order to ensure that the applicant for a residence permit meets the requirement to have proven their identity and possess a valid passport, the verification must be carried out before the Swedish Migration Agency grants a residence permit.
The requirement to show your passport in person does not apply to children under the age of five. It is sufficient for a legal guardian to show the child’s passport. However, if a child needs a residence permit card to enter Sweden, she/he must accompany her/his legal guardian to the embassy or consulate-general to be photographed for the card.
Children who are moving to Sweden to live with a close relative may sometimes need to undergo an oral investigation at an embassy or consulate-general. If this needs to be done, the staff there will verify the passport and take photos and fingerprints in connection with that visit.
People who do not need an entry visa to travel to Sweden (visa-free people) can wait until they arrive in Sweden to have their photos and fingerprints taken for their residence permit card. In such a case, it is sufficient for a child’s legal guardian to show the child’s passport at the embassy or consulate-general.
Please note that only children who are under five years old when a decision in their case is made, do not need to present their passports themselves. If there is a risk that a child will turn five before the Swedish Migration Agency makes a decision, it is best that the child accompanies their guardian to the visit and shows their passport.
No, you should neither send your passport to the Swedish Migration Agency, nor to a Swedish mission abroad. Your passport must be verified at an in-person visit.
No, the National Government Service Centre cannot verify your passport, but they can help you book an appointment with the Swedish Migration Agency.
Passport verification is an exercise of public authority that can only take place at a Swedish mission abroad tasked with handling migration matters, that is, that handles applications for residence permits. Not all consulates are assigned this task. It is the Government that decides which Swedish missions abroad should handle migration matters.
No, Swedish law does not permit the handling of applications for residence permits to be outsourced to the authorities of another country or to an external service provider.
No, an in-person visit and verification of an original passport is required to ensure that all applicants meet the law’s requirement to possess a valid passport.
This is a change for persons who are exempt from the visa requirements who have not previously had to visit the embassy or consulate-general prior to their trip to Sweden, but there is no legal basis for exempting visa-free persons from the requirement to present their passports. To study or work in Sweden for longer than 90 days, a valid passport is required, and must therefore be verified before a decision can be made.
Yes, it is possible to book an appointment to show a passport for verification at a Swedish Migration Agency’s service centre, provided that the Swedish Migration Agency has asked the applicant to show their passport.
Please note that in most cases it is important that you are not in Sweden when the Swedish Migration Agency makes a decision about a residence permit. A residence permit for studies, work or to move to Sweden to live with a close relative must be granted before you can move to Sweden. For this reason, you are not allowed to use your visa-free status to travel to Sweden and wait for a decision on a residence permit in Sweden.
The embassy or consulate-general never keeps your passport. The verification takes place during your visit and the staff notifies the Swedish Migration Agency if they have any remarks about the passport.
If you show your passport to the Swedish Migration Agency in Sweden, we may keep it if there are serious suspicions about the authenticity of the passport, or if a specialist with higher qualifications needs to review the passport again. In such a situation, we need to keep it until we have made a decision on your application, and you will receive a receipt with information about when and how to get your passport back.
No, The Swedish Migration Agency has not changed its assessment of which passports are accepted as valid travel documents or ID documents. The staff of the Swedish Migration Agency’s service centres, embassies and consulates-general have received more comprehensive training in passport verification, thus improving our ability to detect deviations that can show that the passport has been tampered with in some way.
People who need to visit the Swedish Migration Agency, an embassy or a consulate-general for an interview can present their passport in connection with that visit, and in such an instance the new requirement will have no impact on waiting times.
Everyone who applies for a residence permit needs to make an in-person visit at some point, to provide fingerprints and be photographed for their residence permit card. Previously, many people have needed to make that visit after they receive a decision. To avoid unnecessary additional visits, they can now provide fingerprints and be photographed when they present their passport - i.e., before a decision instead of after.
For people who need to get their residence permit card before they can travel to Sweden, the new procedure may entail longer waiting times to receive a decision, but they will not need to wait longer before they can move to Sweden (after being granted permission).
However, for visa-free students and workers, who in most cases have been able to travel to Sweden without visiting a Swedish mission abroad, this new step in the application process may mean longer waiting times.
It is difficult for the Swedish Migration Agency to predict how much the waiting time will be affected, as each embassy and consulate-general handles its own scheduling and the waiting time for a visit may vary.