Residence permits for children who have been or are going to be adopted

A child living in a country outside the EU who has been adopted or is going to be adopted may need a residence permit in order to move to Sweden. In some cases the child becomes a Swedish citizen as a result of the adoption, meaning that the child does not need a residence permit.

Requirements for residence permits in Sweden

In order for the child to be granted a residence permit, the person adopting must have a residence permit in Sweden, or be a Swedish citizen or a citizen of another Nordic country. The adopted child must be unmarried. The adoption must also apply in Sweden under

  • the Act on adoption in international situations (2018:1289) or
  • the Act relating to Sweden’s accession to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption (1997:191).

Permanent or temporary residence permit

If the adoption is complete when the child moves to Sweden, the child can be granted a permanent residence permit.

If the adoption is not complete when the child moves to Sweden, the child may first be granted a temporary residence permit pending the completion of the adoption.

Swedish citizenship through adoption

A child can become a Swedish citizen as a result of the adoption. In that case the child does not need a residence permit.

Read more about automatic citizenship for adopted children

Different ways of adopting a child

International adoptions can be done in several different ways. The differences are partly to do with the country the child is from.

Read more about adoptions and the adoption process on the website of Swedish Intercountry Adoptions Authority (MFoF)external link, opens in new window

Applying for a residence permit

You can apply online for a residence permit for the child.

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

Fees for residence permits

For adoptions mediated by an authorised Swedish adoption organisation, include

  • 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
  • proof of consent from the social welfare committee.

For adoptions not mediated by an authorised Swedish adoption organisation, include

  • 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.

For an adoption granted in the child's home country, also include

  • the adoption decision document (original)
  • current adoption legislation
  • documents certifying that the adoptive parents are citizens of the country that has granted the adoption.

For an adoption that will be decided by Swedish court, also include

  • the document of consent from the social welfare committee
  • the home study carried out by the social welfare committee
  • approval of the adoption process by MFoF
  • documents certifying that the adoptive parents are citizens of the country that has granted the adoption
  • legislation indicating which government agency is competent to make decisions regarding custody
  • consent to the adoption from the child's legal guardian.

If the adoption has been carried out under the Hague Convention, also include

  • documents showing that the adoption process is ongoing, or that a decision has been issued under the Hague Convention
  • the document of consent from the social welfare committee
  • the home study carried out by the social welfare committee
  • approval of the adoption process by MFoF.

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 are clear and legible.

Learn more about the requirements for an online application

When we have received the application

If the adoption has not been carried out under the Hague Convention, the person adopting the child will receive an email when the Migration Agency has examined the application. The email will request that an appointment be made for interviewing the child at the embassy or consulate-general.

Find your closest embassy at swedenabroad.comexternal 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 your online application. When going to collect the child's decision, remember to take your passport with you. The decision is also sent to the adoptive parents' address in Sweden

If the adoption is mediated by an authorised Swedish adoption organisation the decision is sent to the adoptive parents' address in Sweden.

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

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 the child is granted a residence permit

If the child is granted a residence permit, they 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. Children under the age of 6 do not need to provide fingerprints.

If the child needs a visa to travel to Sweden, they will need the residence permit card for the trip. The child will therefore be photographed and have his or her fingerprints taken in connection with the interview at the embassy or consulate-general.

When the residence permit card is ready, the embassy or consulate-general will hand over or send it to the child. Bear in mind that it may take up to four weeks after you have received your decision 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 a valid passport.

Children who do not need a visa to travel to Sweden can travel without the residence permit card, and will then have to make an appointment to be fingerprinted and photographed at the Migration Agency after arriving in Sweden. The child should take a copy of the decision to present when he or she enters  Sweden.

Read more about residence permit cards

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

If you do not apply online

Adoptions mediated by an authorised Swedish adoption organisation

If you cannot apply online, fill in form Residence permit in the case of adoptions mediated by a Swedish adoption organisation, number 1744 and send it directly to

The Migration Agency
Tillståndsenheten
601 70 Norrköping
Sweden

The application form specifies which documents you need to enclose.

Residence permit in the case of adoptions mediated by a Swedish adoption organisation, form number 1744 (only in Swedish)PDF

Adoptions not mediated by an authorised Swedish adoption organisation

If you are unable to apply online, fill in form Application for a residence permit for a child under 18 years of age, who has been or is going to be adopted, number 171011.Hand the application in at the Swedish embassy or a 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 your application for further information.

Application for a residence permit for a child under 18 years of age, who has been or is going to be adopted, form number 171011 (in English)PDF

Find your closest embassy at swedenabroad.comexternal link, opens in new window

If there is no possibility of applying in the country where the child is living, you must hand the application in at the embassy or consulate-general closest to the country where the child is living. 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: 2018-09-10

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If you wish to ask the Migration Agency a question you can find our contact details under the heading Contact us.