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Visi­ting rela­tives and friends in Sweden

If you want to visit relatives and friends in Sweden and you are a citizen in a country outside the EU, you may need to apply for a permit before the visit. Which permit you need to apply for depends on how long your stay in Sweden will be. If your stay in Sweden will be less than 90 days you may need to apply for a visa. If your stay in Sweden will be more than 90 days you need to apply for a visitor’s residence permit.

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Vi beklagar eventuella besvär som detta kan medföra.

Do you want to visit Sweden for more than 90 days?

If you want to visit Sweden for more than 90 days you need to apply for a visitor’s residence permit.

Apply for a visitor’s residence permit

Do you want to visit Sweden for less than 90 days?

If you are a citizen of a country outside the EU and you want to visit Sweden (and the other Schengen countries) as a tourist, you may need to apply for a visa. A visa is a permit to enter a country and stay there for less than 90 days. Whether you need a visa depends on what country you are from or if you have a residence permit in another Schengen country or if you are permanently living in an EU country.

Countries whose citizens need a visa to enter Swedenexternal link, opens in new window

Read more about what applies if you are permanently living in another EU country

The visa is most often valid for entry into all Schengen countries. In exceptional cases the visa may only be valid for entering Sweden and/or some Schengen countries.

On the government’s website you can read about what countries are members of the Schengen agreementexternal link, opens in new window

Read more about what applies if you do not need a visa to travel to Sweden

Requi­re­ments for receiving a visa to visit rela­tives and friends

In order to be granted a visa to visit relatives and friends you must

  • have a passport that is valid for at least three months after the visa has expired, was issued in the last ten years and has at least two empty pages
  • be able to describe the purpose of your visit
  • have received an invitation from the person you want to visit (the form Invitation for application for Schengen visa form number 241011PDF)
  • have an individual medical travel insurance that covers all costs that may arise in connection with emergency medical treatment, urgent medical care or transportation to your home country for medical reasons (the insurance must cover costs of at least 30,000 EUR and be valid for all Schengen countries)
  • have money to support yourself and for the return trip home (Sweden also requires you to have 450 SEK for each day you stay in Sweden, which can also be paid for by the person who has invited you)
  • show that you intend to leave Sweden and the Schengen area on the last day before the visa expires
  • a photograph that is in passport format and taken with you facing the camera and which is not older than six months
  • other documents that the embassy may require.

Remember that it is important that you verify what applies in your particular case. You can find more information on the embassy’s website.

Swedish embassies and consulates-generalexternal link, opens in new window

If you are going to submit your application to another Schengen country's embassy or consulate-general, you should contact them in advance. It is that country’s embassy or consulate-general that assesses and makes a decision on your application.

Before you apply for a visa

Remember

  • you must apply for a visa before you travel to the Schengen area
  • you can apply for a visa up to six months before you travel
  • submit your application early
  • it is the final destination of your trip that determines at which Schengen embassy you should apply (if another Schengen country other than Sweden is your final destination you must apply for a visa at that country’s embassy)
  • a visa is valid for a visit and it is only in exceptional cases that you can work while you have a visa (Read more on the page Exceptions from the work permit requirement).

In certain countries, another Schengen country might represent Sweden. There are countries where Sweden has no representation, in other words has no embassy or consulate-general and is not represented by another country. If that is the case, you must check what applies to your area when it comes to visa applications.

Swedish embassies and consulates-generalexternal link, opens in new window

If you are submitting your application to another Schengen country authority abroad, you need to contact them in advance. The reason for that is because that country’s requirements for documents apply. The documents should also be translated into that country’s language.

Countries where Sweden is represented by another Schengen countryexternal link, opens in new window

This is how you apply for a visa

Most people who are applying for a visa need to do it through an external service provider. You can visit your embassy’s website to find out if your embassy has an agreement with an external service provider.

If your embassy does not have an agreement with an external service provider and you are applying for a visa through the Swedish embassies in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Seoul (South Korea), Teheran (Iran) or Tokyo (Japan), you can apply through our e-service.

If you are unable to apply through an external service provider or through our e-services, you can apply by handing in a form directly to your embassy.

Apply for a visa through an external service provider

Find out if you need to apply for a visa through an external service provider by visiting your embassy’s website. There you can find more information about to apply.

Swedish embassies and consulates-generalexternal link, opens in new window

When you apply through an external service provider you will be asked to give your fingerprint and application at the same time

Apply for a visa through e-service – applies to four embas­sies

If you are applying at any of these embassies you can submit your application online:

You can attach appendices in the e-service. A complete application with attached appendices will make the processing of your application easier. Before you begin the e-service you should remember to prepare the appendices in digital format (scanned) so that you can attach them to your application.

Please notice that if you have not been active in your application (added or edited information) for 72 hours, your application will be removed. Every time you edit your application you start a new 72-hour span, but in total you can only save your application for 14 days. If you have not submitted your application within 14 days, it will be removed.

Apply for a visa through an embassy

If your embassy does not have an agreement with an external service provider or if it does not offer an e-service, you must apply directly at the embassy. Keep in mind that it is important that you check to make sure what applies in your case. You can find more information on the embassy’s website.

Swedish embassies and consulates-generalexternal link, opens in new window

Application for Schengen Visa, form number 119031PDF

After you have submitted your application

Follow your visa case

If you applied online and you want to see what information you have submitted or if a decision has been made, you can follow your visa case. You can in some cases also reschedule or cancel your appointment at the Swedish embassy or consulate-general.

Waiting time for the deci­sion

You will usually receive an answer within two weeks, however the processing times at the embassies or consulates-general vary.

After the deci­sion

The embassy or consulate-general will make the decision in your case and will notify you if you have been granted a visa or not. If you have submitted your application at the company that collects applications for the embassy or consulate-general you will receive a decision from that company.

If you are granted a visa, a permit sticker will be glued into your passport. The permit sticker says when and for how long the visa applies.

If you are not granted a visa, you can appeal the decision to the Migration Court. If the decision has been made by another member state that represents Sweden, the decision can be appealed to that member state’s authorities.

If you want to appeal

If your application has been rejected you can submit a written appeal no later than three weeks from the day when you received the decision. Instructions on how to submit the appeal can be found in the decision.

If the embassy or consu­late-general changes the deci­sion

The decision might be changed if new information is submitted. In that case, you will be notified and your visa is glued into your passport.

If the embassy or consu­late-general does not change the deci­sion it is forwarded

If the appeal was submitted on time and the authority that made the decision does not feel that there is any reason to change the decision, they will forward the case as soon as possible. Your application, decision and all other documents that have been submitted in the case will be forwarded to the Migration Court in Gothenburg. The Migration Court will then make the decision.

Facts about visa

A visa is only valid for your stay in the Schengen countries for up to 90 days during a period of 180 days.

It says on the visa sticker that is glued into your passport how many days you may stay in the Schengen countries. The days can be used during the time period that is indicated on the sticker. The period is often 15 days longer than the number of days that you are allowed to stay in the Schengen countries. The reason for this is so that you will have a chance to change your travel date if something unforeseen happens.

The visa can be valid for multiple entries or exits

On the visa sticker it says how many times you are allowed to enter and exit the Schengen countries during the period of validity.

You may apply for a Schengen visa that is valid for multiple entries if you visit Sweden on a regular basis. A visa with multiple entries can be valid for stays of up to 90 days during a 180 day period for up to five years.

The visa may only apply to certain countries

If you receive a visa you can often visit the other Schengen countries as well.

Your visa may in certain cases only be valid for entry and stay in Sweden or in certain Schengen countries, for example if your passport is not accepted by all Schengen countries.

Calculate your visa time

With the help of EU’s visa calculator you can calculate when you can travel into the Schengen area again, and how many days you can stay.

Calculate your visa time with the help of EU’s visa calculatorexternal link, opens in new window

Controls at the border

Your short-stay visa allows you to travel to Sweden and usually to other Schengen States. It does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen area therefore you may have to provide certain information at border or other controls. You may, for instance, have to provide information on your means of support, how long you intend to stay in Sweden and why you are visiting Sweden. In some cases, such checks may result in a refusal for the visa holder to enter Sweden or the Schengen area.

You should therefore carry with you copies of the documents which you presented when you applied for the visa (e.g. letters of invitation, travel confirmations, other documents stating the purpose of your stay).

User terms and conditions for a visa application

Summary

You are given the following text for information at this stage concerning the rights and obligations that apply in conjunction with a visa application. Then you have to accept the text in conjunction with your visa application.

The text set out below has been taken from the visa application form adopted by the European Commission.

Extract from the visa appli­ca­tion form adopted by the Euro­pean Commis­sion

I declare that the particulars given by me in this visa application are correct. Any false statements will lead to my application being rejected or to the annulment of a visa already granted. I am aware of and consent to the particulars and any photograph and, where applicable, fingerprints given by me in my visa application being supplied to the relevant authorities in member states for the purposes of a decision on my visa application.

Decisions about my application will be registered and stored in the Visa Information System (VIS). I have the right to be told what information is registered about me in VIS. To be told what information is registered about me in VIS, I contact forvaltningsenheten@migrationsverket.se.

Legal basis

The Swedish Migration Agency processes personal data in accordance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The Swedish Migration Agency also handles personal data pursuant to the Aliens Data Act (2016:27) and the Aliens Data Ordinance (2016:30). These register statutes also contain provisions stating that the data may be processed without the data subject giving their consent. The Swedish Migration Agency also processes certain personal data under provisions in the Data Protection Act (2018:218). The Swedish Migration Agency sometimes processes personal data pursuant to other EU regulations and directives.

I am aware of and consent to the following.

Compulsory collection of data

The collection of the data required according to the visa application form, photography and, where applicable, the taking of fingerprints are compulsory in the examination of a visa application. All personal data about me stated in the visa application form will, as will my fingerprints and photograph, be sent to the relevant authorities of member states. These authorities process them to enable a decision to be made on my visa application.

Storage of data

These data and data concerning the decision on my application or a decision to annul, revoke or extend a visa issued will be registered in the Visa Information System (VIS) and be stored there for a period of at most five years. During that period the data will be accessible by the visa authorities and the authorities that are competent to check visas at the external borders and in member states and also to the immigration and asylum authorities of member states. The data are accessible in order check that the conditions for legal entry to and stay and residence on the territory of the member states have been met; to identify persons who do not, or who no longer, meet these conditions; to examine an asylum application; and to determine who is responsible for such an examination. In certain circumstances the data will also be accessible to designated authorities of member states and to Europol to prevent, detect and investigate terrorist offences and other serious offences. The following authority in Sweden is responsible for processing the data: Swedish Migration Agency, SE-601 70 Norrköping, www.migrationsverket.seexternal link, opens in new window.

You can also contact the Swedish Migration Agency’s Data Protection Officer dataskyddsombud@migrationsverket.se

The right to check personal data

I am aware that I have the right to be notified in any member state at all about the data concerning me that are registered in VIS and about which member state has registered the data. I also have the right to request that data about me that are inaccurate are rectified and that those that have been processed unlawfully are erased. At my express request the authority examining my application will inform me as to how I can go about exercising my right to check my personal data and have them rectified or erased, including what legal remedies are available to me under the national legislation of the relevant state. Sweden’s national supervisory authority (the Swedish Data Protection Authority, Box 8114, 104 20 Stockholm, www.datainspektionen.se/om-oss/datainspektionens-internationella-arbete/visaexternal link, opens in new window) accepts complaints concerning the protection of personal data.

You can use the document Request for register extract, rectification, erasure or restriction of personal data in central systemsPDF. Submit the request to the Swedish authority abroad or the external service provider (VFS) where you submitted your application.

Declaration

I declare that to the best of my knowledge all particulars supplied by me are correct and complete. I am aware that any false statements will lead to my application being rejected or to the annulment of a visa already granted and may also render me liable to prosecution under the law of the member state that deals with my application.

I undertake to leave the territory of the member states before the expiry of the visa, if granted. I have been informed that possession of a visa is only one of the prerequisites for entry into the European territory of the member states. The mere fact that a visa has been granted to me does not mean that I will be entitled to request compensation if I fail to comply with the relevant provisions of Article 6.1 of Regulation (EU) 2016/399 (the Schengen Borders Code) and am thus refused entry. The prerequisites for entry will be checked again on entry into the European territory of the member states.

Last updated: 2020-04-24

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