Swedish citizens who are moving back to Sweden with their family
In order to obtain a residence permit as a family member of someone in Sweden, the person you want to move to needs to be residing in Sweden as a general rule. A family member of a Swedish citizen who lives abroad and who is planning to move back to Sweden may in some cases also be granted a residence permit.
If you are a Swedish citizen and you and your family member who are citizens of a country outside the EU/EEA, live together abroad and plan to move to Sweden, your family member must apply for a residence permit. The residence permit must be issued before entry in Sweden.
The requirements for obtaining a residence permit are the same as for those who want to move to someone who already lives in Sweden, but with the exception that you as a family member do not need to be residing in Sweden. When the Swedish Migration Agency examines whether your family member can be granted a residence permit, an individual assessment is always made of what your plans to move to Sweden are like.
You must be able to demonstrate an intent to take up residence in Sweden
In order for your family member to be granted a residence permit you must be able to show that you intend to move to Sweden, that there is a so called intent to take up residence.
Since the processing time for an application for a residence permit can be long, it can sometimes be difficult to show intention to take up residence in the form of concrete relocation plans already at the time of application. You need to be able to show that you have an intention to take up residence when the application is submitted, but you can supplement it with more concrete relocation plans later.
You can show your intention to take up residence in different ways. For example, by showing that the stay abroad is of a fixed-term nature, because you are pursuing time-limited studies or have temporary work in the country. If you have arranged accommodation or a job in Sweden when the application is submitted, you must inform us of this.
You can add more concrete information later
After an application for a residence permit has been submitted, there can sometimes be a long waiting period before you are called for an interview at the embassy or consulate-general. If your plans to relocate have taken a more concrete form during the time you have been waiting, it is important that you notify the Swedish Migration Agency of that.
The Swedish Migration Agency takes into account both written and oral information in the assessment of your intention to reside. You can show that your relocation plans have become more concrete by specifying the time of the planned move and presenting concrete plans regarding housing and livelihood. You can, for example, do this through an agreement to buy or rent a home in Sweden, proof that you are discontinuing your business, work, studies or accommodation in the country you live in, or that one of you has received an offer of work in Sweden.
You can contact the Swedish Migration Agency at all times during the processing period if your relocation plans become more concrete.
Maintenance requirements do not apply to Swedish citizens
Some relatives in Sweden are subject to a maintenance requirement that means that they must be able to show that they have a sufficiently large income and a home of a sufficient size and standard for their family to be granted a residence permit in Sweden. As a Swedish citizen, you are exempt from the maintenance requirement if you and your family member have a well-established relationship (for example, that you have lived together for a long time).
You are subject to the maintenance requirement if you and your partner have non-joint children who are moving with you to Sweden.
If you are covered by the maintenance requirement, you can read more about it here
The application for a residence permit to move to someone in Sweden is the same regardless of whether you as a relative are resident in Sweden or if you are still living abroad and have not yet moved home. The application is adapted to the majority of applications, in other words those who want to move to someone who already lives in Sweden and therefore text and questions are designed accordingly. Therefore, in the application you may have to answer questions that do not really fit your particular situation. Still, answer them as best you can.
Show your intention to take up residence in the application
In the application, you should tell us as much as you can about your plans to move to Sweden together. You can use the "other information" field in the online application to describe your intention to take up residence. When applying with a form, use the form's free text field or attach an appendix if you need more space.
Questions about income and housing in the application
The application asks questions about a job or housing in Sweden, even though you as a Swedish citizen are exempt from the maintenance requirement. This is because jobs and housing are one of several ways for the Swedish Migration Agency to see your intention to settle, and these issues have nothing to do with the maintenance requirement.
After the decision
If the Swedish Migration Agency grants the application, your family member will receive a residence permit for a maximum of two years. The permit may be shorter if the passport has a shorter validity period. After this period, your family member can apply for an extended residence permit if you want to continue living in Sweden together.
An extension application must be submitted before the previous residence permit expires. When the family member has had a residence permit in Sweden for at least three years, they can apply for a permanent residence permit in connection with the application for an extended permit.
Read more about extending a residence permit
Read more about permanent residence permit
The rules on the length of the permit and when you can apply for a permanent residence permit are the same for everyone who applies for a residence permit on the basis of family ties, regardless of whether the family member in Sweden is a Swedish citizen or not. It is also not affected by the fact that there are children in the family who are Swedish citizens.
Possibility to apply for a residence card
If you and your family have lived together in the EU/EEA, your family member can apply for a residence card to live with you in Sweden. In order for your family to receive a residence card, you must meet the requirements for right of residence through work, self-employment, studies or with sufficient funds.
Read more about how your family applies for a residence card