Family reunification

You may be entitled to bring your family here if you have been granted a permanent residence permit, or a temporary residence permit as a refugee or a person in need of subsidiary protection, or due to impediments to enforcement or particularly or exceptionally distressing circumstances, and are at the same time considered to have well-founded prospects of being granted a residence permit for a longer period.

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 considered to have well-founded prospects of being granted a residence permit for a longer period
  • have been granted a temporary residence permit due to impediments to enforcement or particularly or exceptionally distressing circumstances, and are considered to have well-founded prospects of being granted a residence permit for a longer period.

Family reuni­fi­ca­tion for you if you have a tempo­rary resi­dence permit

The possibility for your family to come and live with you in Sweden if you have a temporary residence permit 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 protection status 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 starts by considering whether it is likely that you will be granted an extended residence permit. Once it has been confirmed that you have well-founded prospects of being granted a residence permit for a longer period, the Migration Agency examines your family’s application and looks at whether you meet the remaining requirements for them to be able to move to join you in Sweden.

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

Your spouse, registered partner or cohabiting partner, and your children under the age of 18 are considered to be your immediate 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 a temporary residence permit as a refugee or a person in need of subsidiary protection, or have been granted a temporary residence permit due to impediments to enforcement or particularly or exceptionally distressing circumstances.

The general rule is that it is not possible for new couples, i.e. couples who are not married or cohabiting, to receive residence permits if the person who is living in Sweden has a temporary residence permit. There is, however, an exception that makes it possible for certain couples to be reunited, even though they have not previously lived together. It is required that the person living in Sweden has refugee status or subsidiary protection status, or has a residence permit due to impediments to enforcement or due to particularly or exceptionally distressing circumstances, and that you can show that you have a serious relationship that was already established in the country of origin, but that you did not have the possibility of living together in the country of origin. This will make it possible, for example, for same-sex couples who have not been able to live together before to be reunited in Sweden.

Your family receives a residence permit for two years, or 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. Your family members can apply for a permanent residence permit after having lived in Sweden with a residence permit for at least three years.

If you are granted a permanent residence permit, a new partner may also apply for a residence permit in order to move to join you in Sweden.

Read what is required to receive a residence permit for someone who is planning to marry or become a cohabiting partner

Main­te­nance requi­re­ment

If you have the right to family reunification, you may be subject to 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.

The maintenance requirement does not apply if you are a refugee or a person in need of subsidiary protection, and your family members apply for a residence permit within three months of the date on which you were notified of the decision on a residence permit or on a refugee or subsidiary protection status.

Read more about what the maintenance requirement means and who is subject to it

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.

Read about how to write a power of attorney

Go to online application for residence permits for your family

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

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: 28 July 2021