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

Immediate family means your husband, wife, registered partner or cohabiting partner, and your children who are under the age of 18. Other relatives or children who are 18 or older cannot move to you in Sweden if you have received a temporary residence permit. If you are under 18, your parents count as immediate family. Only in exceptional cases is it possible to get a residence permit for other family members, such as children over 18. This applies to you if you have a temporary residence permit as a refugee or a person in need of subsidiary protection.

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.

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.

Once the five months are up, the entire family must apply for an extension of their residence permit.

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 may also fulfil the requirement if you have a large enough net wealth that you and your family members who are applying can 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 2019 the standard amount is

  • SEK 4,923 for a single adult
  • SEK 8,133 for spouses or partners living together
  • SEK 2,612 for children aged 6 years or younger
  • SEK 3,007 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.

Exceptions to the maintenance requirement

The requirement of financial support and housing does not apply if

  • you are under 18
  • you are a refugee or person in need of subsidiary protection and your family members apply within three months after you received a residence permit or protection status, or
  • your family members apply for a residence permit before 19 October 2019, and you have a temporary residence permit as a person in need of subsidiary protection. You must have applied for a residence permit after 24 November 2015
  • have a family member who applies to extend their residence permit.

The exception from the requirement on financial support and housing only applies if you do not have the possibility to be reunited in a country outside the EU to which the family has a particular connection. You and your family members must have lived together abroad for a long time and b considered to have a well-established relationship.

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 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: 20 July 2019

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