This information applies to persons who have family in Afghanistan
In light of the recent developments in Afghanistan, many people have contacted the Swedish Migration Agency for information on how they can help their family in their country of origin. The information below outlines what you can do from Sweden and whether your family can apply for a permit to move here to join you.
When a person wants to move from a non-EU country to Sweden, the same requirements apply to everyone, regardless of which country they come from. The same goes for your family members in Afghanistan. The Swedish Migration Agency cannot make exceptions to the requirements or prioritise applications for residence permits from Afghanistan; they must be handled just like all other cases.
Here are the various permits for which a person living in a country outside the EU can apply in order to move to Sweden.
Residence permit as a spouse, cohabiting partner or child under 18 years of age
It is primarily your immediate family that can be granted a residence permit to move to Sweden to join you. “Immediate family” means your spouse, registered partner or cohabiting partner, as well as children under the age of 18.
If you live in Sweden, you must be a Swedish citizen, have a permanent residence permit, permanent right of residence, and a permanent residence card or have a temporary residence permit as a refugee, a person with subsidiary protection status, or due to impediments to enforcement or special or exceptionally distressing circumstances.
The application can be filed through the Swedish Migration Agency’s e-service or submitted to a Swedish embassy. For citizens of Afghanistan, the embassies in New Delhi, Tehran and Islamabad apply. Applicants via the e-service will also need to visit the embassy at some point during the application process.
Residence permit as another family member
In exceptional cases, a person who is not (nor is to become) a family member’s spouse or cohabiting partner may be granted a residence permit to move to Sweden to join her/him. This may include, for example, children over the age of 18 and parents of an adult child living in Sweden. Parents who want to move to Sweden to be reunited with an underage child also have the opportunity to obtain a residence permit.
If you live in Sweden, in most cases you must have been granted a permanent residence permit. You may have a temporary residence permit if you have been granted a permit as a refugee or a person with subsidiary protection status, or if your situation entails special/exceptionally distressing circumstances or impediments to enforcement and you have well-founded prospects of being granted a residence permit for a longer period.
Parents or children over 18 years of age
If your parents or children over the age of 18 wish to move to Sweden to join you here, you must be able to show that you lived together immediately before you moved to Sweden and that you were already socially and emotionally dependent on each other in your country of origin, and that it is therefore difficult for you to live apart.
The application must be submitted as soon as possible after you moved to Sweden. As a rule, it is not possible to obtain a residence permit if the application is made a long time after you moved here or if your interdependence arose after you moved to Sweden.
If you are an unaccompanied minor
If you came to Sweden as an unaccompanied minor, then in order for your parents to be able to be granted a residence permit to move to Sweden to be reunited with you, you must be under 18 years of age or have been under 18 years of age when the application for protection was made. The application for family reunification must be made within three months of the date on which you were granted a residence permit. You must have obtained a residence permit in Sweden as a refugee or as a person with subsidiary protection status.
In addition to applying for a residence permit to move to Sweden to join someone here, it is also possible to apply for a work permit to work here or a residence permit for studies.
To be granted a permit on one of these grounds, your family member must have received an offer of work from an employer in Sweden or be admitted to full-time studies.
It is not possible to apply for asylum from abroad
It is not possible to apply for asylum at a Swedish mission abroad.
The Swedish Migration Agency is currently working on a customised plan for resettlement in Sweden for people who have worked for Swedish interests in Afghanistan, as well as their close relatives. The same applies to people who already have a residence permit in Sweden, or who are Swedish citizens and are currently in Afghanistan.
If your family member has worked for a Swedish interest or has a permit in Sweden, or if she/he is a Swedish citizen, she/he should contact the nearest representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Aid organisations to contact
Your family can also contact aid organisations that are on the ground in Afghanistan or in neighbouring countries.