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
- you have a permanent residence permit
- you have a temporary residence permit as a refugee or have subsidiary protection status, and are at the same time considered to have well-founded prospects of being granted a residence permit for a longer period
- you have a temporary residence permit on the grounds of impediments to enforcement or exceptionally distressing circumstances, and are considered to have well-founded prospects of being granted a residence permit for a longer period.
- you must be able to support yourself, other persons living in the household and those family members who are applying for a residence permit
- you must have a home of a sufficient size and standard for you all to live in.
- you and your partner must be 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. This also applies if you have a temporary residence permit as a refugee, or have subsidiary protection status, on the grounds of impediments to enforcement or on the grounds of special or exceptionally distressing circumstances, and that you can show that you have a serious relationship that was already established in the country of origin, but that you did not have the possibility of living together in the country of origin.
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.
You, the person living in Sweden, must
- be able to support yourself, other persons living in the household and those family members who are applying for a residence permit
- have a home of a sufficient size and standard for you all to live in.
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 2021 the standard amount is
- SEK 5,016 for a single adult
- SEK 8,287 for spouses or partners living together
- SEK 2,662 for children aged 6 years or younger
- SEK 3,064 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
- you are a Swedish citizen, a citizen of the EU/EEA or a Swiss citizen and you are married/cohabiting partners and your relationship is well established (you have, for example, lived together for a long time)
- you have a residence permit with refugee or subsidiary protection status, and the application is made within three months of your having been granted a residence permit or refugee or subsidiary protection status in Sweden, you do not have the possibility of being reunited in a country outside the EU and you lived together immediately before you moved to Sweden
- you have come to Sweden as a quota refugee and the application is made within three months of your arrival in Sweden
- there are other special grounds, for example you may be unable to meet the maintenance requirement on the grounds of permanently impaired working capacity, for example due to illness or disability.
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.
If you are a Swedish citizen and reside outside Sweden
If you are a Swedish citizen living in another country, but you plan to move to Sweden together with your family member who is a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA, you must be able to show that you have the intention of moving to Sweden in the near future. When the Swedish Migration Agency determines if your family member can be granted a residence permit, an individual assessment is always done of what your plans to move to Sweden look like. In general, you must be able to show that you are planning to move to Sweden within a few months. If you cannot provide an exact date when the move will take place, you can verify your plans to move to Sweden through a housing contract or employment contract, for example.
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.
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 their 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.