The Swedish Migration Agency logotype

Permits for family members of Nordic citizens

All Nordic citizens have the right to move to Sweden without applying for residence permits. If all family members are Nordic citizens you only need to register with the Swedish Tax Agency.

If your family are citizens of a non-EU country and you intend to live together in Sweden they can either apply for residence permits using the Swedish rules or use the EU rules and apply for a residence card.

What is a resi­dence permit?

  • Permit issued in accordance with Swedish legislation (Chapter 5 Sections 3 and 3a of the Swedish Aliens Act).
  • The right to a permit is based on the relation between the applicant and the person living in Sweden.
  • If you are a cohabiting partner, spouse or registered partner the application can be submitted in Sweden. If you plan to marry or cohabit with someone in Sweden, the application is submitted outside of Sweden.
  • Permanent residence permit may be granted after two years in Sweden.
  • The permit may be recalled if the relationship ends.

Applying for a residence permit using the Swedish rules

The Swedish Aliens Actexternal link, opens in new window

What is a residence card?

  • A card issued in accordance with the free mobility within the European Union (EU) for EU citizens and their family members (Directive 2004/38/EC).
  • The right to reside in Sweden is dependent on the EU citizen's ability to meet the requirements for residence permit.
  • Valid for cohabiting partner, spouse or registered partner. This does not apply if you are not yet married or cohabitant.
  • The application can be submitted in Sweden.
  • Permanent residence card can be issued after five years of right of residence.
  • The right to reside in Sweden may case if the relationship ends or if the family is unable to meet the requirements for residence permit.

Applying for a residence card using the EU rules

Illustration of a man and a woman.

Nasser is a Pakistani citizen who has been married to Nina from Denmark for a few months. They plan to move to Sweden. Nina will continue working in Copenhagen and commute to their residence in Sweden.

As a Nordic citizen Nina can move to Sweden and then register herself as living there. Nasser can apply for a residence permit in Sweden. In his application, he needs to include documents proving that he is married to Nina and that she resides in Sweden. He can apply for a residence permit after his arrival in Sweden. He may then be granted a residence permit valid for up to two years.

As an EU citizen who meets the requirements for right of residence Nina can use the EU rules which state that her close relatives also have right of residence in Sweden. If Nasser does not choose to apply for a residence permit in accordance with Swedish rules, he should instead submit an application for residence card. Nasser needs to provide documents showing that Nina has money to support them, through her employment in Denmark. He also needs to include documents showing that they reside in Sweden, what their living costs are and what Nina's costs are for commuting to Denmark.

Illustration of two women.

Kirsten from Denmark is 24 years old and in a relationship with Rana who lives in India. They met while Kirsten was on vacation in India and have been a couple ever since. They now want to live together in Sweden. Kirsten works in Denmark and has been promised continued employment in the company's Swedish branch.

As a Nordic citizen, Kristen can move to Sweden and start her new employment without first applying for a residence permit. Kirsten and Rana cannot be considered cohabiting partners as they have not lived together more than when visiting each other. For this reason, Rana cannot be granted a residence card in accordance with EU rules. However, Rana can, in accordance with Swedish rules, apply for a residence permit as a close relative of Kirsten's as they are in a relationship and plan on living together. Rana must apply for a residence permit in India and obtain a permit before entering Sweden.

Illustration of a man and a woman holding each other.

Helga lives in Norway and is in a relationship with Giulio from Italy. Giulio has found work in Sweden and Helga plans on finishing her studies in Sweden. They will therefore move in together in Sweden in order to eventually get married and start a family.

Helga can, as a Nordic citizen, move to Sweden without a residence permit. Giulio cannot yet be considered a member of Helga's family in accordance with EU rules as they have not lived together previously and are not married. However, Giulio can apply for a residence permit as Helga's future cohabiting partner in accordance with Swedish rules. As he is an EU citizen he can submit his application once he is in Sweden and he is allowed to start working immediately.

As Giulio himself is an EU citizen and has found employment in Sweden, he has right of residence. Instead of applying for a residence permit as a relative of Helga, he can choose to live in Sweden on his right of residence and therefore does not need to contact the Swedish Migration Agency.

Last updated: 2020-06-11

Was the information on this page helpful to you?