Apply for citizenship – for children with one Swedish parent
Here is information on how a child under 18 years of age who has a parent with Swedish citizenship can become a Swedish citizen by the parent applying. The parent who applies for citizenship for the child must be the child’s guardian.
Requirements for citizenship
For the child to become a Swedish citizen, it is required that
- the child’s identity is verified (read more about the identity verification requirement)
- the child has a permanent residence permit, right of residence or a residence card in Sweden.
If the child has turned 15 years of age, it is also required that
- the child has lived in Sweden and has had a residence permit for settlement for the past three years (read more about the habitual residence requirement)
- the child has lived an orderly life (read more about the requirement of an orderly life).
Keep in mind that it is the Swedish citizen guardian, who must submit the application.
If the child has more than one guardian, the other guardian must also sign the application.
If the child has turned 12 years of age, the child must also sign the application as an expression that he or she wants to become a Swedish citizen.
In most cases, you pay a fee.
Requirements for using the e-service
To use the e-service, the following is necessary:
- you as the guardian must have an e-identification
- children 12 and up must have an e-identification
- you as the guardian must have an email address
- you as the guardian must be able to pay by card.
Children 12 and up must sign the application 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
If you have been sentenced to special care after a crime, we look at what punishment you would normally receive for the crime.
If the child has lived in Sweden and has had the right of residence for five years, an assessment is made of whether the child’s parents fulfil the requirements for the right of residence. You must therefore send in documents that show that you as the guardian fulfil the requirements for the right of residence or residence card.
How to verify your right of residence or residence card
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
- certificates 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.
You can use the My page e-service to see how your case is progressing and, for example, whether a decision has been made. It may take up to two working days after you submit your application before you can see your case in My page.
If you cannot apply online, complete the form Application for Swedish citizenship for children under 18, 317011 (in Swedish only).
Both of the guardians must sign the form. If a person has sole custody, only that person’s signature is needed. If the child is 12 or older, he or she must also sign the application.
Send the application to
Swedish Migration Agency
601 70 Norrköping
In most cases, you pay a fee.
The Swedish Migration Agency sends the decision to your officially registered address. If the child has become a Swedish citizen, we also notify the Swedish Tax Agency of the decision. We will then also freeze the child’s residence permit card, which means that the card is invalid and can no longer be used for travel.
If the child has become a Swedish citizen, you can apply for a Swedish passport. You file the application for a Swedish passport with the police.
If the child is abroad and you want to apply for a Swedish passport, you can do so at a Swedish embassy or consulate-general.