Family reunification

The possibility for your family to come and live with you in Sweden depends on what type of residence permit and protection status you have been given. If you have the right to family reunification, you may be covered by what is called a ‘maintenance requirement’.

It is not certain that your family has the possibility of moving to you in Sweden even if you have been given a residence permit here. If you have a permanent residence permit or if you have protection status as a refugee, your family can apply for residence permits to join you in Sweden. If you have protection status as a person eligible for subsidiary protection, the possibilities for your family to join you in Sweden are very small.

Who has the right to family reunification?

The right to family reunification depends on what type of protection status you have and, in certain cases, it also depends on when you applied for asylum.

Your family has the possibility of applying for residence permits to join you in Sweden if you

  • have been given a permanent residence permit
  • have been given protection status as a refugee
  • have been given protection status as a person eligible for subsidiary protection and applied for asylum no later than 24 November 2015.
  • If you have been given protection status as a person eligible for subsidiary protection and applied for asylum after 24 November 2015, you only have the right to family reunification in exceptional cases.

Only your closest family can join you

The following are counted as family members: husband, wife, registered partner or cohabiting partner, and your children under the age of 18 years. Other relatives and children that are 18 years or older cannot join you in Sweden if you have been given a temporary residence permit. If you are under 18 years, your parents are counted as your closest family.

If you have been given a permanent residence permit, the person you plan to marry or cohabit with in Sweden can also apply for a residence permit to join you.

If you have been given a temporary residence permit, both you and your partner must be at least 21 years old before your partner can obtain a residence permit. You must also have lived together before you moved to Sweden. An exemption can be made from the age requirement if you have common children.

Your family can only obtain residence permits for as long as your own permit is valid.

Maintenance requirement

If you have the right to family reunification, you may be covered by what is called a ‘maintenance requirement’. This means that you must be able to support yourself and your family. You must also have a home of a sufficient size and standard that you can live together in when your family moves to Sweden.

Your maintenance

You need to show that you have regular work-related income that enables you to support yourself and your family members who are applying for residence permits. Here are examples of what is counted as work-related income:

  • pay from work
  • unemployment benefit
  • sickness benefit
  • earnings-related old-age pension.

You also need to meet the requirement that you have large enough net assets for you and your family members applying for residence permits to live on.

Your income

How high an income you must have to meet the maintenance requirement 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 the costs of, for example, food, clothing, hygiene, telephone, household electricity, insurance and other minor outlays for temporary needs.

For 2018 the standard amount is

  • SEK 4 814 for a single adult
  • SEK 7 952 for spouses or partners living together
  • SEK 2 554 for children aged 6 years or younger
  • SEK 2 940 for children aged 7 years or older.

Your home

You also have to have a home of a sufficient size and standard for you and your family. 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.

You have to be able to use the home from when your family members come to Sweden.

Exemptions from the maintenance requirement

The maintenance and housing requirement does not apply to you if you

  • are a child under 18 years
  • are a refugee or a person eligible for subsidiary protection and you have family members who apply for a residence permit no later than three months after you were given a residence permit, This only applies if the family member is your husband, wife, cohabiting partner, registered partner or child under 18 years of age and you do not have the possibility of being reunified in a country outside the EU. You and your partner have to have a well-established relationship. If the relationship began outside the country, it is considered to be established if you are married or in a consensual union. When applying from within the country, the relationship must have begun during a legal stay in Sweden
  • have family members who submitted an application for a residence permit on or before 20 July 2016
  • have a family member who is applying to extend their residence permit.

‘Consensual union’ refers to the situation when two persons belong to the same household, and have a ‘marriage-like’ relationship with each other, but are not married.

Questionnaire about family relationship and the maintenance requirement

When your family member has submitted an application for a residence permit to live with you in Sweden, you will have to reply to a questionnaire about your relationship. If you are covered by the maintenance requirement, you will also have to show that you can support yourself and your family members who are applying for residence permits and that you have a home of a sufficient size and standard for you all to live in. Your answers are of importance for the Swedish Migration Agency's assessment of your family member’s application and it is important that you reply to the questions within the period when you have been asked to fill in the questionnaire.

If you do not meet the maintenance and housing requirement your family will have their application for residence permits refused.

If you do not have a permanent job and a long-term tenancy agreement, you may need to show that you meet the maintenance requirement again when we investigate your family’s application.

It is important that you submit your application in time

If your family applies for residence permits within three months from when you were given a residence permit, the maintenance requirement does not apply to you. So, it is important to submit the application in time.

To make sure that the application comes in as quickly as possible, the best thing to do is to apply by submitting an online application for your family. If you apply on behalf of your family as your family’s representative, you need a power of attorney. When the Swedish Migration Agency has registered your application, your family will be asked to book an appointment for a visit to a Swedish embassy or consulate-general.

Go to online application for residence permits for your family

Read more about how you apply for residence permits for your family

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney can be a signed letter in which the person applying for a permit gives another person the possibility of representing them. A power of attorney can, for example, give someone the right to make an application, be told of the reasons for a decision or appeal a decision for someone else. The power of attorney has to be written by the person who gives their power of attorney to someone else and it has to be possible to present an original if requested by the Swedish Migration Agency.

To grant a power of attorney to another person, you must submit a letter to the Migration Agency, which states

  • that it is a power of attorney
  • the name, date of birth and address of the person giving someone else power of attorney
  • what the person being given power of attorney has the right to do
  • the name, personal identity number and address of the person given power of attorney
  • the signature of the person giving someone else power of attorney
  • the date and place where the power of attorney is signed.

Check the application

When your family member has submitted their application, they 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 or whether a decision has been made.

Check the application

Last updated: 8 February 2018

Was the information on this page helpful to you?

Thank you for helping us improve our website!

Thank you for helping us improve our website!

Tell us how we can make this page better*






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