What does Swedish citizenship mean?

Swedish citizenship constitutes a legal contract between the State and the citizen. Citizenship strengthens your affinity with Sweden and unites the Swedish people. Being a formal member of society is a foundation of Swedish democracy.

The legal definition of citizenship is usually defined as the formal relationship between an individual and a state with regard to rights and obligations.

Bene­fits of Swedish citi­zenship

Swedish citizenship can bring benefits such as:

  • Only Swedish citizens have an absolute right to live and work in the country and only Swedish citizens have the right to vote in the elections for the Swedish Parliament.
  • Only Swedish citizens can be elected to the Swedish Parliament.
  • Only Swedish citizens may join the police or armed forces. There are also other occupations which are only available to Swedish citizens.
  • As a Swedish citizen, you will find it easier if you wish to work in other EU Member States.

Beyond this, in principle, foreign citizens who have a permanent residence permit and who are registered in Sweden have the same rights and obligations as Swedish citizens.

Dual or multiple citi­zenship

Sweden permits dual citizenship. Dual citizenship means that you are a citizen in more than one country. If you become a Swedish citizen, you may retain your foreign citizenship if the other country permits it. Likewise, if you are a Swedish citizen and become a citizen of another country, you may keep your Swedish citizenship if the other country permits it. Some countries do not allow dual citizenship. You can read more about this under the headline Losing citizenship.

More information about dual citizenship at the Government Offices of Sweden External link, opens in new window. (only available in Swedish).

Bene­fits of dual citi­zenship

Citizenship in more than one country can mean advantages such as:

  • the possibility of working in several countries
  • the possibility of taking advantage of social benefits in more than one country, for example pension
  • the possibility of owning or inheriting real estate/property
  • the possibility of travelling or residing in several countries.

Risks and problems with dual citizenship

There may be risks or problems associated with dual citizenship. The foremost risk is that your Swedish citizenship may not be recognized by the other country where you have citizenship. For instance, this may mean that authorities in the other country may not permit Sweden to provide consular help if you were to be detained by the police. It may even be the case that a representative of the Swedish embassy is prohibited from meeting you.

You may also encounter problems in a third country, particularly if you have not entered into that country with your Swedish passport, but rather with the passport of your other country of citizenship. In such a case, authorities of the third country could maintain that Sweden has no right to provide you with help.

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