Frequently asked ques­tions about the maintenance requirement

The maintenance requirement means that you have to be able to support yourself and your family, and that you and your family have a home that is big enough.

Read more about the maintenance requirement

In most cases, you are required to be able to support yourself and have housing. Exceptions may be made if the person in Sweden is a child and, as a general rule, when family members of refugees or persons in need of subsidiary protection apply within three months after the person in Sweden is granted a residence permit.

You must be able to support yourself and your family.

You can, for example, show this with a certificate of employment or some other document that shows how you support yourself.

Read more about the maintenance requirement

That 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 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.

For two adults without children it has to have at least one room and a kitchen or kitchenette. If children are also going to live there, more rooms are required. Two children can share a bedroom.

Yes, if you can present a tenancy agreement.

The Swedish Migration Agency will check that you are able to support yourself and your family members and that you have a home of a sufficient size and standard for all of you to live in when the application is received. You have to be able to use the home from when your family members come to Sweden. If you do not meet these requirements, your family will have their application for residence permits refused.

Some applications will need to be supplemented when they are going to be considered. If you have permanent employment and a long-term tenancy agreement when the application is made, you will not normally need to provide supplemental information.

You must have fulfilled the maintenance requirement (be able to support yourself) by the time the Swedish Migration Agency assesses the application for a residence permit. The maintenance requirement means that your income should be both sufficiently high and stable. As a general rule, your income is considered to be stable if it has remained at the same level for over one year from the date on which the Swedish Migration Agency assesses the application.

If you are currently in Sweden and are a refugee or a person in need of subsidiary protection, you may be exempt from the maintenance requirement if your family members apply for a residence permit within three months of the date on which you were granted your residence permit. This only applies if you do not 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.

Furthermore, parents of a child under the age of 18 who apply for a residence permit on the basis of their connection to the child do not need to prove that they can support themselves.

The maintenance requirement also does not apply if a decision to reject the application for a residence permit would be contrary to a Swedish convention commitment.

In general, the same rules apply to quota refugees as for other persons with refugee or subsidiary protection status. This includes exceptions for family members who apply for a residence permit within three months from the date on which the quota refugee is granted a residence permit.

Yes. The maintenance requirement also applies to Swedish citizens irrespective of whether the relationship is new or well-established.

No, the new rules do not apply to close relatives of EU or EEA citizens who are applying for residence cards.

No. There are no maintenance requirements for an application to extend a residence permit.

Last updated: 2021-01-25