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Residence permit for a parent of an unaccompanied child in Sweden

If a parent who is a citizen of a country outside the EU wants to move to Sweden to live with his or her unmarried child under the age of 18, he or she needs a residence permit. In order for the parent to be able to receive a residence permit, it is most often required that the child has received a residence permit in Sweden on the basis of a need for protection.

Requi­re­ments for resi­dence permits

For the Swedish Migration Agency to be able to review if the parent has the right to move to Sweden, the child living in Sweden must

  • be unmarried and under the age of 18 or have been under 18 when the application for protection was made if the application for family reunification is made within three months after the child received his or her residence permit as a refugee or person in need of subsidiary protection
  • have come to Sweden without parents or another guardian or been left alone after arriving in Sweden
  • be a refugee or person in need of subsidiary protection
  • not have become a Swedish citizen.

Particu­larly distres­sing circumstances

Only in exceptional cases may a parent receive a residence permit to move to a child who does not have grounds for asylum in Sweden, but who has received a residence permit for particularly distressing circumstances.

Impor­tant to remember before applying

When a parent applies for a residence permit in order to move to his or her child in Sweden, an individual examination of the case is carried out. In cases involving children, the Migration Agency takes the child's right to be reunited with his or her parents into account. For that reason, processing includes examining the child's opportunities of being reunited with his or her parent in the country where the parent resides.

If the parent is already in Sweden

In some cases, an application can be made from Sweden. It may be, for example, a parent who has a residence permit on other grounds but now wants to apply for a residence permit to stay with the child.

Read more about applying from Sweden

How to apply if you are a parent

You can apply online from your country, or from some other country than Sweden where you are living.

In most cases, you will have to pay a fee.

Application fees for residence permits

What to include with your application

  • copies of the pages in your passport which show your personal information, photograph, signature, passport number, passport issuing country, the period of the passport's validity and whether you have permission to live in countries other than your country of origin
  • documents certifying your reasons for applying for a residence permit or making them probable.

Your application and the documents you send to the Migration Agency help to make a decision about whether you can be granted a residence permit. It is therefore important that you explain as much as possible about your particular reasons in the application. You must also include documents certifying your reasons or making them probable.

The documents should have been translated into Swedish or English by an authorised translator. A copy of the original documents must always be included.

When we have received the appli­ca­tion

Once the Migration Agency has examined your application, you will receive an email asking you to make an appointment with the relevant embassy or consulate-general for an interview. During the interview you will be asked questions about yourself and about your relationship to the child in Sweden.

Your child will be interviewed at the Migration Agency together with the person appointed as guardian in Sweden.

Swedish embassies and consulates-generalexternal link, opens in new window

After the deci­sion has been made

The Migration Agency's decision will be sent to the embassy or consulate-general you selected in the online application. When you are going to collect it, you have to bring your passport.

If the Migra­tion Agency refuses the appli­ca­tion

If the Migration Agency refuses your application, you may appeal the decision within three weeks of the day you received it. Information on how to do this can be found in the decision.

If you are granted resi­dence permit

If you are granted a residence permit you will receive a residence permit card. The card, which is proof that you have the right to be in Sweden, contains your photo and fingerprints. The fingerprints and photo are stored on the card's chip.

If you need a visa to travel to Sweden, you will need the residence permit card when travelling to Sweden. You will therefore be photographed and have your fingerprints taken in connection with the interview at the embassy or consulate-general.

When your residence permit card is ready, the embassy or consulate-general will hand over or send the finished card. Bear in mind that it can take up to four weeks after you have received your decision to produce and deliver the card to the embassy or consulate-general. Your residence permit card has to be presented along with a valid passport when you travel to Sweden.

If you can travel to Sweden without a visa, you should to be able to present a copy of the decision when you enter the country. As soon as you come to Sweden, you have to visit the Swedish Migration Agency to be fingerprinted and photographed. When your residence permit card is ready, it will be sent to your address in Sweden.

Read more about residence permit cards

Swedish embassies and consulates-generalexternal link, opens in new window

Book an appointment with the Migration Agency to be fingerprinted and photographed, if you can travel to Sweden without a visa

The Swedish Institute’s website Working in Swedenexternal link, opens in new window

Information if you recently moved to Sweden with a residence permit

Before you begin your application

The Migration Agency recommends that you use a computer when you make your application and that you use Internet Explorer.

Support for online applications

Read more about the requirements for an online application

Contact our technical support for online services

Due to planned maintenance, you cannot use our online services Sunday 7 June between 18.00 and 21.00.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you do not apply online

If you are not able to apply online, you must fill out the form Application for residence permit to settle in Sweden, number 161011, and submit it to a Swedish embassy or consulate-general in your country of residence. The application form specifies which documents to enclose. Contact the embassy or consulate-general before you submit your application.

Application for residence permit to settle in Sweden, form number 161011PDF

The Swedish Institute’s website Working in Swedenexternal link, opens in new window

If there is no possibility to submit an application in your country, you must apply at the embassy or consulate-general closest to your country of residence. Contact the embassy or consulate-general before you submit your application for further information.

If you are applying at an embassy or consulate-general, you pay the fee when you hand in your application. For more information about the fee, contact the embassy or consulate-general where you are applying, as they do not have the same fees and terms of payment as the Migration Agency.

Last updated: 2020-02-20

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