For close relatives of someone applying for a residence permit to live with you in Sweden
A person who is a citizen of a country outside the EU or EEA, and who wants to move to Sweden to live with a family member, must apply for a residence permit. The permit must be granted before the move to Sweden.
Your husband, wife, cohabiting partner, registered partner and your children under the age of 18 can be granted a residence permit in Sweden if
- you are a Swedish citizen, have a permanent residence permit or have a temporary residence permit as a refugee or person in need of subsidiary protection
- you can support yourself, other people in your household, and the family members who are applying for a residence permit
- you have a home of sufficient size and standard for all of you to live in
- you and your partner are at least 18 years old.
If you are a Swedish citizen or have a permanent residence permit, the person you are planning to marry or cohabit with may also be granted a residence permit in order to join you in Sweden.
In exceptional cases, a close relative, who is not or will not become your spouse or live-in partner, can get a residence permit to live with you in Sweden. You must then have a permanent residence permit.
Other rules apply to family members of persons who have moved to Sweden to work or study.
If you live in Sweden, you must be able to support yourself, other people in your household, and the family members who are applying for a residence permit. You also need to have a home of sufficient size and standard for you to live in.
If you live in Sweden but do not have sufficient income or housing, your family member should not apply for a residence permit. Instead, she/he should wait until you fulfil these requirements.
If you submit new information concerning the maintenance requirement after a decision has been made, the Swedish Migration Agency cannot reconsider the decision. However, the decision can be appealed to the Migration Court, but that means that the waiting time will be very long. A person who is going to move to you should therefore wait and only send in their application when you fulfil the requirements.
You need to show that you have regular, work-related income that allows you to support yourself, other people in your household, and the family members who are applying for a residence permit. Work-related income includes, for example,
- salary/wages from work
- unemployment benefits
- sickness benefits
- income-based old-age pensions.
You may also fulfil the maintenance requirement (be considered able to support yourself) if you have enough money/taxable assets to support yourself, other persons in your household and the family members who are applying for a residence permit for at least two years.
The amount of income necessary in order for you to fulfil the maintenance requirement (be considered able to support yourself) depends on how large your family is and how high your housing costs are. Your after-tax income must be sufficient to cover your actual housing costs and the normal amount required to support the persons who will be part of your household. This means that after you have paid your housing costs each month, you should have enough money left over to cover, among other things, the cost of food, clothing, personal hygiene products, telephone costs, household electricity, insurance and other minor expenses for the incidental needs of all the members of your household.
For 2020 the standard amount is
- SEK 5,002 for a single adult
- SEK 8,264 for spouses or partners living together
- SEK 2,654 for children aged 6 years or younger
- SEK 3,055 for children aged 7 years or older.
You have to have a home of sufficient size and standard for all of you to live in. For two adults without children a home is big enough if it has a kitchen or kitchenette and at least one room. If children are going to live in the home, there must be more rooms. Two children can share a bedroom.
A sub-let home is alright, but the sub-let must be approved by the landlord, housing cooperative association or regional rent tribunal. If one has a live-in arrangement at someone else’s residence, or lives at home with one’s parents, one is not viewed as having an acceptable type of housing.
You have to be able to use the home from when your family members come to Sweden. You must be able to show that you have a home for at least one year to come.
Exemptions to the maintenance requirement
Examples of instances in which you are not required to be able to support yourself and have housing:
- you are under 18 years of age and someone is applying for a residence permit to in order to come live with you,
- a member of your family is applying to extend her/his residence permit.
The maintenance requirement does not apply if you are a refugee or a person in need of subsidiary protection and your family members submit their applications within three months of the date on which you were granted a residence permit or protection status.
However, the maintenance requirement does apply if you and your family have the possibility to reunite in a non-EU country to which your family has a special connection. In addition, in order to be exempt from the requirement that their applications be submitted within three months of each other, couples must have started their relationship before entering Sweden, or the relationship must be well-established.
If you and the person who wishes to move to Sweden to live with you have a child together, the Swedish Migration Agency first makes an assessment of whether your partner can be granted a residence permit on the basis of her/his connection to you. In most cases, you must fulfil the maintenance requirement. If it is the assessment of the Swedish Migration Agency that a residence permit cannot be granted based on the person’s connection to you, we will then assess whether a residence permit can be granted because of her/his connection to the child. The child is exempt from the maintenance requirement.
The maintenance requirement also does not apply if a decision to reject the application for a residence permit would be contrary to a Swedish convention commitment.
Questionnaire about family relationship and the maintenance requirement
Once your family member has submitted an application for a residence permit in order to come live with you in Sweden, you will be asked to fill out a form with questions about your relationship. If you are subject to the maintenance requirement, you will also need to show that you can support yourself, other people in your household, and the family members who are applying for a residence permit. You will also need to show that you have a home that is of sufficient size and standard for you to live in. Your answers are important for the Swedish Migration Agency's assessment of your family member's application, and it is important that you answer the questions within the time period in which you have been asked to fill out the form. If you do not fulfil the maintenance and housing requirements, your family member’s application for a resident permit will be rejected.
For you whose family applied for a residence permit before 21 July 2016
If your family member submitted an application on 20 July 2016 or earlier, a different maintenance requirement applies. Then, you only need to show that you can support yourself and that you have housing of an adequate size and standard for you and the family member to live in.
The maintenance requirement does not apply to you if you have a family member who applied for a residence permit no later than 20 July 2016 and if you
- are a citizen of Sweden, of an EU/EEA country or of Switzerland
- have a permanent residence permit and have lived in Sweden for at least four years on a residence permit for settlement
- are a child under 18 years
- have been given a residence permit as a refugee or have been given refugee status
- have been given a residence permit as a person eligible for subsidiary protection or have been given status as a person eligible for subsidiary protection
- have been granted resettlement in Sweden as you have been included in the Swedish refugee quota
- have special grounds, such as a long-term reduction in your work capacity due to illness.
- have a family member who is applying to extend their residence permit
- have a child under 18 who is applying for a residence permit. This applies whether the child is applying alone or together with the other parent.
Your family member can apply for a residence permit online. In addition to your address, telephone number and email address, your family member will also need your Swedish personal identity number when they fill in their application. The Migration Agency will use your personal identity number to check whether you meet the requirements that will allow your partner to apply for a residence permit online, and whether or not you are covered by the maintenance requirement.
You can make an online application for your family member. To do so, you need to have a power of attorney from your family member giving you the right to apply for a residence permit for them. Your family member can hand in the power of attorney when they visit the embassy or the consulate-general.
In order for you or your family member to be able to send the application from the Swedish Migration Agency website, you as a relative in Sweden need to
- be at least 18 years of age. The person applying for a residence permit must also be at least 18
- have a permanent residence permit, temporary residence permit as a refugee or person in need of subsidiary protection or are a Swedish or Nordic citizen if the person applying is your spouse, registered partner or live-in partner
- have a permanent residence permit, or be a Swedish or Nordic citizen, if you plan to marry or become the cohabiting partner of the person applying for a residence permit
- have a permanent residence permit or be a Finnish, Norwegian, Danish or Icelandic or citizen if the person applying is another close relative
- have a valid email address
- be able to scan or photograph and attach a copy of your passport or identity card when you answer your questionnaire.
When your family member has sent in their application you will receive an email. The email will contain instructions for logging in to a questionnaire, which you have to fill in within two weeks. Note that you should not register as a user to fill in the questionnaire before you have received an email from the Migration Agency.
Power of attorney
At any time at all during the application process, your family member can give you a power of attorney. If you have a power of attorney to represent your family member, you will be notified of the decision. If the decision is sent home to you, you are responsible for informing your family member about the Migration Agency’s decision. If you do not have a power of attorney, the embassy or the consulate-general will notify your family member of the decision.
Check the application
When your family member has submitted their application, he or she will be given a reference number (case number). You can use that number to check whether the application has been registered by the Swedish Migration Agency and whether a decision has been made.
When you have received an email telling you to complete the questionnaire
If your answers have not been received within two weeks from when your family member submitted their online application, the Migration Agency may refuse your application.
Note that you should register your marriage or partnership with the Swedish Tax Agency in Sweden.
Application at an embassy or consulate-general
If your family member is unable to apply online, they have to apply via a Swedish embassy or consulate-general. Once their application has reached Sweden, the Swedish Migration Agency reviews it and then sends a letter home to your registered address. The letter says that we have received your family member's application and that we need you to complete a questionnaire and send it in to us. You will be given information about which questionnaire to fill in. Please do not fill in a questionnaire until you have received instructions about which one to fill in.
It can take between a few weeks and a few months for you to receive the letter with information about the questionnaire.