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Family reunification

If you received a permanent residence permit or a temporary residence permit as a refugee or a person in need of subsidiary protection and at the same time are deemed to have good chances of obtaining a permanent residence permit, you may have a right to bring your family here.

It is also required that you will be able to provide financial support for your family and have housing of a certain standard. This requirement does not apply in every situation.

Who may have a right to family reuni­fi­ca­tion?

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

  • have been granted a permanent residence permit
  • have been granted a temporary residence permit as a refugee or a person in need of subsidiary protection and are deemed to have good chances of receiving a permanent residence permit.

Family reuni­fi­ca­tion for you if you have a tempo­rary resi­dence permit as a refugee or a person in need of subsi­diary protec­tion

The possibility for your family to come and live with you in Sweden if you have a temporary residence permit as a refugee or a person in need of subsidiary protection is governed by several things. First, you have to have a valid residence permit. This means that if your residence permit has expired and you have sent in an application for an extension of your residence permit, the Swedish Migration Agency must first decide if you have a right to a continued residence permit in Sweden. It is not enough for you to have a status as a person in need of subsidiary protection and that you previously had a residence permit.

Once the Migration Agency has checked that you have a valid residence permit, we review your family’s residence permit application. The Migration Agency begins by looking at if it is likely for you to receive a permanent residence permit after an extension application. As a refugee or person in need of subsidiary protection, you have received a status declaration that shows that you have been deemed to be in need of protection. As a starting point, your protection status means that you have good chances of receiving a permanent residence permit. However, if information comes forth that indicates that you will not keep your protection status, it is not likely that you would receive a permanent residence permit. Once it is established if you have good chances of getting a permanent residence permit, the Migration Agency does a review of your family’s application and looks at if you fulfil the rest of the requirements to move to you in Sweden.

Only your imme­diate family can move to you if you have a tempo­rary resi­dence permit

Your spouse, registered partner or de facto spouse, and your children under the age of 18 are considered to be family members. If you are under the age of 18, your parents count as your immediate family. Only in exceptional cases is it possible to obtain a residence permit for other family members, such as children over 18 years of age. This applies if you have been granted a temporary residence permit as a refugee or a person in need of subsidiary protection.

Your family can receive a residence permit for as long as your own permit lasts. This means that if, for example, you have a residence permit that expires in five months, your family only receives a residence permit that is valid for five months.

If you have a permanent residence permit, the person you are planning to marry or move in with can also apply for a residence permit to move to you. Persons other than your immediate family may also have a right to move to you in Sweden.

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 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 requirement 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.

Your income

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 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.

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 to the main­te­nance requi­re­ment

You are not required to be able to support yourself and have housing if

  • 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.

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.

No maintenance requirement applies if a decision to reject the application for a residence permit would be contrary to a Swedish convention commitment.

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 meet the maintenance requirement your family will have their application for residence permits refused.

If at the time of application you do not have a permanent job and a long-term housing contract, then when we examine your family member’s application, you may need to show that you still fulfil the maintenance requirement.

It is impor­tant that you submit your 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 allows another person to represent him or her. A power of attorney can, for example, give someone the right to apply, be informed of the reasons for a decision, or lodge an appeal for someone else. The power of attorney must be signed by the person who gives their power of attorney to another person, and must be presented in the original if required by the Swedish Migration Agency.

In order to give another person power of attorney, you will need to send a letter to the Swedish Migration Agency stating

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

Power of Attorney, form number 107011PDF

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: 7 July 2020

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