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Residence permits for children moving to someone other than their parent in Sweden

An unmarried child under 18 years of age may, in exceptional cases, be granted a residence permit in Sweden in order to move to a person who is not one of the child's parents. The child and the person in question must be socially and emotionally interdependent.

Right to repre­sent the child

In order for the Migration Agency to be able to process the child's application for a residence permit, the application must be made by a person who is legally entitled to represent the child in his or her home country.

Impor­tant to remember before applying

In order for the Migration Agency to be able to assess the child's right to a residence permit, it is important to describe in the application the relationship between the child and the person in Sweden, and why the child is moving to Sweden now.

Must have lived together in the home country

The child and the person in Sweden (the reference person) must have lived together in the home country, and must have done so during the period immediately before the reference person moved to Sweden. The reference person must have a permanent residence permit in Sweden when the application is made. As a rule, it is not possible to obtain a residence permit for the child if the reference person's permanent residence permit in Sweden was issued a long time before the application is made. Exceptions may be made if the applicant has special reasons for such an interval.


In addition to the requirement that the child and the reference person have lived together, the Migration Agency will assess how strongly interdependent they are. They must be socially and emotionally interdependent, making it difficult for them to live apart. This interdependence must have existed in the country of origin and must go beyond the kind of dependence that normally exists within families. The child will not be granted a residence permit if s/he is only dependent on the reference person in Sweden for his or her maintenance.

Main­te­nance requi­re­ment

The person with whom the child is going to live in Sweden must be able to support him/herself as well as the child. S/he must also have a home of sufficient size and standard for them to live in together when the child moves to Sweden.

Read more about the maintenance requirement

How to make the child's appli­ca­tion

You can apply for a residence permit online

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

Application fees for residence permits

What to include with the child's application

  • copies of the child's passport showing personal data, a photo, a signature (if applicable), passport number, country of issue, the passport's period of validity and if the child has residence permits in any countries other than his or her country of origin
  • a document certifying that you are legally entitled to represent the child in his/her country of origin
  • description of how the child and the person in Sweden were interdependent in the country of origin.

Make sure that the information on the documents you enclose is clearly visible. Check that the numbers and characters at the top and bottom of the passport pages is clear and legible.

When we have received the child's appli­ca­tion

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

After the deci­sion has been made

The Migration Agency's decision will be sent to the embassy or consulate-general you selected in your online application. When going to collect the child's decision, remember to take your passport with you.

If the Migra­tion Agency refuses the child's appli­ca­tion

If the Migration Agency refuses the child's application, the decision can be appealed within three weeks of the day on which the child's guardian received it. Information on how to appeal is included with the decision.

If the child is granted a resi­dence permit

If the child is granted a residence permit, he or she will receive a residence permit card. On the card are the child's fingerprints and a photo. The fingerprints and photo are stored on the card's chip.

If the child needs a visa to travel to Sweden, he or she will need the residence permit card for the trip to Sweden. The child will therefore be photographed and have his or her fingerprints taken in connection with the interview at the embassy or consulate-general. Children under the age of 6 do not need to provide fingerprints.

Read more about residence permit cards

Once the residence permit card is ready, the embassy or consulate-general will entrust it to the person entitled to represent the child in the country where he or she lives. Bear in mind that it can take up to four weeks after the decision has been received to produce and deliver the card to the embassy or consulate-general. When the child enters Sweden, he or she must show the residence permit card and his or her valid passport.

Children who do not need a visa to travel to Sweden can travel without the residence permit card and can then instead book an appointment and visit the Swedish Migration Agency in Sweden to be fingerprinted and photographed for their residence permit card. However, their permit must be granted before they travel to Sweden.

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

Information to those who are new in Sweden and have 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

If you do not apply online

If you cannot to apply online you fill in form Application for a residence permit to settle in Sweden – for a child under the age 18, number 163011, and hand it in to the embassy or consulate-general in the country where the child is living. The application form specifies which documents you need to enclose. Contact the embassy or consulate-general before you submit the application.

Application for residence permit to settle in Sweden – for a child under the age of 18, form number 163011 (in English)PDF

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

If there is no possibility of applying in the country where the child is living, you must apply at the embassy or consulate-general closest to the country where the child is living. Contact the embassy or consulate-general for more information before handing in the application.

If you apply at an embassy or consulate-general, you pay the fee when you hand in your application. For information about fees, contact the particular embassy or consulate-general since they do not follow the same rules for fees as the Swedish Migration Agency.

Last updated: 2020-02-24

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