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 and your family members who are applying for residence permits
- 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.
As the person living in Sweden, you must be able to support yourself and the members of your family who are applying for residence permits. You also need to have a home of sufficient size and standard for all of you to live in.
The Swedish Migration Agency examines whether the maintenance requirement is fulfilled right away when an application is received. If you are living in Sweden and do not have a high enough income or a large enough home, your family member should not apply for a residence permit, and should instead wait until you fulfil the 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 enables you to support yourself and your family members who are applying for residence permits. Here are examples of what is counted as work-related income:
- pay from work
- unemployment benefit
- sickness benefit
- earnings-related retirement pension.
You may also fulfil the financial support requirement if you have a large enough net wealth that you and your family members who are applying can live on.
How high an income you must have to meet the maintenance requirement depends on how big your family is and how high your housing costs are. You must have an income that corresponds to what is called a ‘standard amount’ when your housing cost has been deducted. This means that, after your housing has been paid each month, you have to have enough money to cover, for example, food, clothing, hygiene, telephone, household electricity, insurance and other minor outlays for temporary needs.
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 can also meet the maintenance requirement if you have assets on which you and the family members applying for residence permits can live for at least five years.
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
The requirement of financial support and housing does not apply if
- you are under 18
- you are a refugee or person in need of subsidiary protection and your family members apply within three months after you received a residence permit or protection status, or
- you have a family member who applies to extend their residence permit.
This only applies if you do not have the possibility to be reunited in a country outside the EU to which the family has a particular connection. You and your family members must have lived together abroad for a long time and be considered to have a well-established relationship.
In the case of families with Swedish children, when the whole family is going to move to Sweden together, the maintenance requirement does not apply if no one in the family has moved to Sweden yet. The maintenance requirement does not apply either if you are a Swedish citizen and you have moved to Sweden along with the children before your partner applies to be allowed to move to you. But if you have moved to Sweden, while the children and the applicant are still living abroad, you must meet the maintenance requirement, as the person living in Sweden.
Questionnaire about family relationship and the maintenance requirement
When your family member has submitted an application for a residence permit to live with you in Sweden, you will have to reply to a questionnaire about your relationship. If you are covered by the maintenance requirement, you will also have to show that you can support yourself and your family members who are applying for residence permits and that you have a home of a sufficient size and standard for all of you to live in. Your answers are of importance for the Migration Agency's assessment of your family member’s application and it is important that you reply to the questions within the period when you have been asked to fill in the questionnaire. If you do not meet the maintenance requirements, your family will have their application for residence permits refused.
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.