Apply for citizenship – for adults

Here is information on how you apply for Swedish citizenship as an adult.

Requi­re­ments for citi­zenship

To be able to become a Swedish citizen, you must

If you are a British citizen, special rules apply to you if you want to apply for Swedish citizenship.

Requi­re­ments for using the e-service

In order to use the e-service, you need to

  • have an e-identification
  • have an email address
  • be able to pay by card.

Remember that if you apply for a child, the guardian(s) must sign with an e-identification.

If the child is 12 or older, the child must also sign with an e-identification. If the child is 12 or older and does not have an e-identification, you need to apply for citizenship by form.

You can verify your identity by

  • presenting the original of your national passport, or
  • presenting an original copy of an identification document.

If you do not have a national passport or identification document, a close relative can in some cases attest to your identity. Read more about how a close relative can attest to your identity under the heading Close relative (see below).

Passport or identification document

The passport or identification document must be from a competent authority in your country of origin. You must have applied for the document and/or have collected it from the competent authority yourself. A passport can be accepted to verify your identity even if the period of validity has expired. Your photo must be on the document.

If you previously submitted your national passport to the Swedish Migration Agency, you can refer to it in your application under the heading Other information inside the e-service.

In some individual cases, the Swedish Migration Agency may consider that you have verified your identity even though your identification documents do not meet all of the requirements. If you have many documents that do not individually meet the requirements, the Swedish Migration Agency can make an assessment of whether they can verify your identity together.

Special requirements on identification documents

For some countries, there are special requirements on identification documents. Here are the rules that apply to you if you are from

Close relative

Sometimes, one of your close relatives (a spouse, parent, adult child or sibling) can verify your identity. That close relative must him- or herself be a Swedish citizen and have verified his or her identity in a way that is acceptable today.

You and your close relative must have submitted matching information on identity, your relationship, background, family circumstances, etc. in earlier investigations regarding residence permits or work permits.

In order for your spouse or close relative (a parent, adult child or sibling) to verify your identity, you must have lived together before you came to Sweden. You must have lived together for long enough for your spouse or close relative to have knowledge of your background and life story so that your identity can be verified for certain.

Exceptions to the requirement of a verified identity

The Swedish Migration Agency can make exceptions for you if you cannot verify your identity if

  • you have lived in Sweden for at least eight years, and
  • the information on your identity is credible, and
  • you do not have the possibility to obtain documents that can verify your identity.

Your identity is credible if you have lived in Sweden for at least eight years without interruption and have had the same identity in that time.

If you changed your identity during the time that you lived in Sweden, it is harder to make an exception to the requirement of a verified identity. Nor can you count the time that you were in Sweden with the wrong or a false identity in the period of habitual residence.

To become a Swedish citizen, you must have lived in Sweden for a certain amount of time. The time that you have lived in Sweden must be uninterrupted. How long you must have been a resident of Sweden varies.

Period of habi­tual resi­dence – time in Sweden

Habitual residence means that you are a resident of Sweden and have an intention to stay. As a rule, you must have been a resident of Sweden for five consecutive years. Why you settled here and what permit you had during that time determines whether you can count all of the time in Sweden in the period of habitual residence. The main rule is that the time with a residence permit that leads to a permanent residence permit is included in the period of habitual residence.

How is your period of habi­tual resi­dence counted?

  • If you had a permanent residence permit or residence permit for settlement when you entered Sweden, you can count the time from the day you came to Sweden.
  • If you did not have a permanent residence permit or residence permit for settlement when you entered Sweden, the time is counted from the date you submitted your application for a residence permit in Sweden.
  • If your application for a residence permit in Sweden was denied and then you submitted a new application, the time is counted from the date you received an approval.

Travel abroad

If you travelled abroad for short visits or holiday for example, it has no impact on the period of habitual residence in Sweden. But if you were abroad for more than six weeks in total during a year, the entire time you were outside Sweden must be subtracted from the period of habitual residence.

If you move to a different country and settle there, your habitual residence is interrupted. You can begin counting your habitual residence from the day you move back to Sweden.

EU/​​​​​​​​​​​​EEA citi­zens and their family members

EU/EEA citizens and their family members must have met the requirements for the right of residence in order to have a period of habitual residence in Sweden and be able to apply for Swedish citizenship. This does not apply to Nordic citizens.

Read more about citizenship for Nordic citizens

If you have been a legal resident of Sweden for five years, but have not requested a certificate of a right of permanent residence or applied for a permanent residence card, an assessment is made of whether you meet the conditions for the right of residence in connection with your application for Swedish citizenship.

How to verify your right of residence or residence card if you are an EU/EEA citizen

How to verify your right of residence or residence card if you are a family member of an EU/EEA citizen

Diffe­rent kinds of resi­dence permits

If you have had a temporary residence permit in Sweden, such as a residence permit for visits, guest studies or as an au pair, that time is not included in a period of habitual residence. This may also be the case if you work at another country’s embassy or consulate in Sweden.

However, if you are studying or have studied at the doctoral level, you can in some cases count the time with a residence permit for studies as habitual residence. You can count the time if it is apparent that you have had the intention of staying in Sweden after completing your studies.

Shorter time if you live together with a Swedish citizen

If you are married, live in a registered partnership or are a cohabiting partner with a Swedish citizen, you can apply for Swedish citizenship after three years. If so, you must have lived together the past two years. It is not enough to be married with each other. You must also live together.

If your partner previously had a citizenship other than Swedish or was stateless, he or she must have been a Swedish citizen for at least two years. In your time in Sweden, you must also have adjusted well to Swedish society. Things that we then assess can include the length of your marriage, your knowledge of the Swedish language and your ability to financially support yourself.

If you were previously in Sweden under an identity other than your true identity or if you made it harder to implement a decision on deportation by absconding, for example, it can impede your possibility of obtaining citizenship after three years.

If you are state­less or have a refugee status decla­ra­tion

If you are stateless or have a refugee status declaration, you must have been resident in Sweden for at least four years to be granted citizenship. A refugee status declaration is issued to anyone who has been granted a residence permit as a refugee pursuant to Chapter 4, Section 1 of the Aliens Act or equivalent paragraphs in the old Aliens Act. It is not enough for you to have been selected in the scope of the refugee quota.

Other iden­tity

If you lived here in Sweden under an identity other than your true identity, you may not include the time you were in Sweden with a false identity in your period of habitual residence.

Excep­tions for certain indi­vi­duals

There are several exceptions to the requirement of a period of five consecutive years of habitual residence in Sweden. Below are a number of examples of who may be exempt from this requirement:

  • An emigrated former Swedish citizen who returns to Sweden.
  • A person who is employed on a Swedish vessel and is nationally registered in Sweden.
  • A person who previously lived in Sweden and is posted abroad by a Swedish company to work for the company.
  • A person who has been married to or is a cohabiting partner of a Swedish citizen abroad for at least ten years and resides in a country where he or she is not a citizen.

The Swedish Migration Agency requests information from other authorities to check if you have unpaid debts or have committed crime in Sweden.

This information is gathered from

  • The Swedish Enforcement Authority (if you have unpaid debts)
  • The police (if you committed crime or are suspected of crime)
  • The Swedish Security Service (security screening).

Debts with the Swedish Enfor­ce­ment Autho­rity or other records of non-payment

Your application may be denied if you

  • have not paid taxes, fines or other fees
  • have not made maintenance payments.

Debts to private companies or the like that have gone on to the Swedish Enforcement Authority may also lead to you not being granted Swedish citizenship. Even if you have paid your debts, some time (around two years) must have passed before you can become a Swedish citizen. The reason is that you must show that you can remain debt-free.

Waiting time after a crime

If you have committed a crime, you can still become a Swedish citizen, but then you must wait for a period of time. How long you have to wait depends on what sentence you received.

The time that must pass after the crime before you can apply for Swedish citizenship is called a qualifying period. The qualifying period is usually counted from the crime, but if you received a long prison sentence, the time only begins counting once the sentence has been served.

Before you can become a Swedish citizen:

  • you must serve any prison sentence you have
  • the probationary period in connection with a conditional release must have expired
  • fines you were sentenced to must be paid.

Quali­fying times

Penalty

Qualifying period

Fine 30x daily income

At least one year after the crime. For example, if you receive a fine 50x your daily income, the qualifying period is calculated as one and a half years.

Fine 60x daily income

At least two years after the crime

Fine 100x daily income

At least three years after the crime

Suspended sentence

At least three years after the sentence went into effect (became legally valid). If, at the same time, you received a custodial sentence or a fine of more than 60x your daily income, the qualifying period becomes longer.

Probation

At least four years from the date on which the probationary period began. If, at the same time, you received a custodial sentence or a fine of more than 60x your daily income, the qualifying period becomes longer.

1-month custodial sentence

At least four years after the crime

4-month custodial sentence

At least five years after the crime

8-month custodial sentence

At least six years after the crime

1-year custodial sentence

At least seven years after sentence served

2-year custodial sentence

At least eight years after sentence served

4-year custodial sentence

At least nine years after sentence served

6-year custodial sentence

At least ten years after sentence served

If you have committed crimes on more than one occasion, the qualifying period may be longer than in the table specified above.

Special care

If you have been sentenced to special care after a crime, we look at what punishment you would normally receive for the crime.

If you have children who are under 18 who live in Sweden, they can become Swedish citizens together with you. To be able to include your children in your application, you must have custody of the child/children. If the child has two guardians, the other guardian must provide his or her consent by signing with e-identification.

If you include your children in your application, you must remember to

  • write in the children on the application (do not send in a separate application for the children)
  • the children who have turned 12 years of age must also sign the application with e-identification as an expression that he or she wants to become a Swedish citizen
  • you do not need to pay a fee for the children.

If the child is 12 or older and does not have e-identification, you need to apply by the form.

If you are an EU/EEA citizen, you need to be able to show that you have had and have the right of residence and thereby had a legal presence in the past five years. You must therefore send in documents that show that you have worked, been self-employed, had own funds or studied in Sweden.

If you work or have worked, you must include

  • a verification of employment or work certificate with information on the period of employment and terms of employment for the past five years
  • a certificate from the Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) verifying that you were a job seeker if you were unemployed for six months or more
  • a certificate from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) verifying that you lacked the ability to work for six months or more due to illness or accident if applicable.

If you are or have been self-employed, you must include

  • the registration certificate and corporate tax certificate of the company
  • tax returns or other documentation that shows that the company has been active for the past five years.

If you are or have had own funds, you must include

  • documents that show that you have had enough funds for your and your family's financial support in the past five years, such as pension disbursements, wages from abroad or bank funds
  • housing costs for the past five years
  • a certificate that nobody in the family has received income support according to the Social Services Act in the past five years.

If you are studying or have studied, you must include

  • study grants for the periods you studied
  • a certificate that you have been able to financially support yourself during the time you studied.

If you are a family member of an EU/EEA citizen, you need to be able to show that you have and have had the right of residence and thereby had a legal presence in that your relative has and has had the right of residence. You must therefore send in documents that show that your relative has worked, studied, been self-employed or had own funds in Sweden in the past five years.

If your relative works or has worked, you must include

  • a verification of employment or work certificate with information on the period of employment and terms of employment for the past five years
  • a certificate from the Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) verifying that your relative was a job seeker if he or she was unemployed for six months or more
  • a certificate from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) verifying that your relative lacked the ability to work for six months or more due to illness or accident if applicable.

If your relative is or has been self-employed, you must include

  • a registration certificate for the company
  • tax returns or other documentation that shows that the company has been active for the past five years.

If your relative is or has had own funds, you must include

  • documents that show that your relative has had adequate funding to financially support the family the past five years, such as pension disbursements, wages from abroad or bank funds (if you have own funds for your financial support, they must also be reported)
  • housing costs for the past five years
  • a certificate that nobody in the family has received income support according to the Social Services Act in the past five years.

If your relative studies or has studied, you must include

  • study grants for the periods your relative studied
  • a certificate that your relative has been able to financially support you during the time he or she studied.

If you cannot apply online, complete the form Application for Swedish citizenship for adults, 316011 (in Swedish only).

Application for Swedish citizenship for adults, form 316011 (in Swedish only)PDF.

Send the application to

Migrationsverket
Medborgarskapsenheten
601 70 Norrköping

Citizenship fees

You can include your children in your appli­ca­tion

If you have children who are under 18 who live in Sweden, they can become Swedish citizens together with you. To be able to include your children in your application, you must have custody of the child/children. If the child has two guardians, the other guardian must provide his or her consent by signing with e-identification.

If you include your children in your application, you must remember to

  • write in the children on the application (do not send in a separate application for the children)
  • the children who have turned 12 years of age must consent and sign the application as an expression that he or she wants to become a Swedish citizen
  • you do not need to pay a fee for the children.

If you have a child during the proces­sing period

If you have a child during the processing period and want the child to become a Swedish citizen together with you, you and the child’s other guardian must notify the Swedish Migration Agency of this with a letter that you both sign.

If you want to withdraw you application, you must write a letter to the Swedish Migration Agency and say so. The letter must include information with your name, personal ID number and possibly your case number. Also provide your phone number and address so that the Swedish Migration Agency can reach you should there be any questions. Sign the letter with your signature. If you have given someone power of attorney, that person may withdraw your application for you.

It is also possible to use Secure messages on My page to withdraw the application.

If you have become a Swedish citizen

The Swedish Migration Agency sends the decision to your officially registered address. If you have become a Swedish citizen, we notify the Swedish Tax Agency.

When you become a Swedish citizen, your residence permit card is frozen and becomes invalid. If you have children who have also become Swedish citizens, their residence permit cards are also frozen.

Swedish passport

If you have become a Swedish citizen, you can apply for a Swedish passport. You apply for a Swedish passport with the Swedish Police.

Read more about how to apply for a Swedish passport on the police’s websiteexternal link, opens in new window

If you are abroad and want to apply for a Swedish passport, you can do so at a Swedish embassy or consulate-general.

Swedish embassies and consulates-generalexternal link, opens in new window

Last updated: 2021-10-20