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24 June 2020

The Swedish Migra­tion Agency has clari­fied the main­te­nance requi­re­ment for persons who plan to apply for family reuni­fi­ca­tion

If you are currently living in Sweden and have relatives who are applying for a residence permit because of their connection to you, the Swedish Migration Agency has clarified the maintenance requirement (the requirement that you be able to support yourself) in cases like yours.

One important change is that exemptions from the maintenance requirement will no longer be made simply because the family includes children. On the other hand, persons who apply for a residence permit on the basis of their connection with a child are exempted from the maintenance requirement.

Other clarifications that the Swedish Migration Agency has made about the maintenance requirement:

  • As a general rule, your income must be both sufficiently high and stable. ‘Stable’ means that you should maintain the same income level for at least one year from the date on which the Swedish Migration Agency assesses your application.
  • The income should belong to the person who lives in Sweden, or at least that person must have access to the income. Spouses, registered partners and de facto spouses are considered to have access to each other's income.
  • However, the requirement regarding the length of time for which your wealth must be able to support you and your family has been reduced from five years to two years.
  • The maintenance requirement does not apply if the Swedish Migration Agency's decision to reject the application would be contrary to a Swedish convention commitment, such as the European Convention on Human Rights.

The main­te­nance requi­re­ment applies to most people

The requirement that you be able to support yourself (maintenance requirement) applies to most people who apply for a residence permit on the basis of a connection to another person. This means that if you live in Sweden, you must be able to support yourself, other people in your household, and the family members who are applying for a residence permit so that they can move to Sweden to live with you. The requirement also means that you must show that you have a home that is of a sufficient size and standard for you to live in.

The maintenance requirement also applies to Swedish citizens. If you are a Swedish citizen living abroad and you now intend to move back to Sweden with family members who are applying for a residence permit and who are not Swedish citizens, you must therefore be able to show that you can support yourself and your family once you have moved to Sweden.

Exceptions apply if you are under the age of 18 or if you have a family and are applying to extend your residence permit. Exceptions also 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 in Sweden. 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.

Read more about the maintenance requirement

Read the legal position (in Swedish)external link, opens in new window