Long-term resident status in Sweden
If you are a citizen of a country outside of the EU and have lived continuously in Sweden for five years, you may be granted long-term resident status in Sweden. Having this status means that you have certain rights which an EU citizen has and that you are more likely to be able to work, study or start your own business in another EU country.
Requirements for long-term resident status
To be granted long-term resident status, you must
- have lived continuously in Sweden for five years
- have had a residence permit, or legal residence in Sweden on other grounds, for the previous five years.
- be able to support yourself and your family.
If you are a refugee and have subsidiary protection status, you can count the time from the day when you submitted your application for asylum or application for new examination.
If you have had a Swedish residence permit for, for example, studies that are not at a doctoral level or for a visit, you cannot count this period of time. That is because this type of permit is granted for a limited time, not to those who wish to live in Sweden. However, for example, a residence permit period for work, research and doctoral studies, or a stay in Sweden with a right of residence may be included.
If you have been granted a Swedish residence permit as a person with subsidiary protection status, you cannot be granted long-term resident status.
The requirement that you are able to support yourself and your family means you must have the ability to do so in the long-term. It is not enough to have a temporary income from work or sufficient financial assets at the time of application. You must be able to show that you can support yourself and your family now and in the future through income of a long-term nature.
How to apply
You fill in the form Ansökan om ställning som varaktigt bosatt, 138011 (in Swedish only), and send it to the Swedish Migration Agency. Note that everyone, including an accompanying husband/wife/cohabiting partner or children, must submit their own application. Each person who applies for long-term resident status in Sweden is examined individually.
You should enclose
- copies of your passport showing your personal details, signature, period of validity and whether you have permission to live in countries other than your country of origin (read more about what the copies must show)
- documents showing how you are supporting yourself and your family. This can be shown, for example, with a certificate of employment and your latest salary slips, pension payments, bank statements, statements of your income from the Swedish Tax Agency, or a statement of income from your own company
- documents showing your accommodation costs, for example, rental contracts, purchase contracts and statements showing your monthly accommodation costs.
Family members who have not been living in Sweden for five years
Your family members will not automatically be given long-term resident status simply because you have it. In order for your family members to also get long-term resident status, they must have been living in Sweden for five years. This applies to every family member, including children. That means that if you have a child under the age of five years, the child will not meet the requirement for long-term resident status.
If you have family members who have not been living in Sweden for five years and who want to live with you in Sweden once you are granted long-term resident status, they must apply for a residence permit as a member of your family when their current permit expires, no matter what type of permit they have had previously.
In order for them to be able to get a resident permit as your family members, you must meet the maintenance requirement. This means you must be able to show that you are able to support yourself and your family members and that you have sufficiently large accommodation for you all to live in.
If you do not apply for or are not granted long-term resident status in Sweden, your family members can continue to live with you in Sweden on the basis of the residence permit they already have as your family members. If that residence permit needs to be extended, the rules vary depending on what type of residence permit you have.
If you are granted long-term resident status, you will receive a residence permit card. The card is proof that you have the status of a long-term resident in Sweden and contains, amongst other things, a photograph of you and your fingerprints. You should, therefore, visit the Swedish Migration Agency to be photographed and fingerprinted as soon as possible. You need to do this, even if you have previously had a residence permit card. This is because the Swedish Migration Agency does not save your photograph or fingerprints. Before visiting the Swedish Migration Agency, you will need to make an appointment.
If you do not already have a permanent residence permit when you are granted long-term resident status in Sweden, you will also be given a decision on permanent residence permit. You do not need to submit a separate application for a permanent residence permit when you apply for long-term resident status. If you are granted both long-term resident status and a permanent residence permit, you will be given two cards: a residence permit card and an EU residence permit card for long-term residents.
The decision will be sent to your address in Sweden. When the residence permit card is ready, it will be sent to your home within about a week.
If you are planning to move to another EU country, it is important that you check which rules apply in that country. This may be done by, for example, contacting that country's embassy or their equivalent of the Swedish Migration Agency.
Your permanent residence permit is valid for as long as you are resident in Sweden. Please note that you may lose your long-term resident status in Sweden if you are away from the country for six years.
If you are not granted long-term resident status you may appeal the decision within three weeks from the date you receive it.
Countries which are covered by the directive on residence permits for long-term residents
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Please note that the EU countries Denmark and Ireland are not covered by the regulations governing long-term resident status; therefore, you do not have the right to be granted residence permits in these countries simply because you are a long-term resident of Sweden.