- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Sweden Guide (PDF)
Depending on an expat's nationality, they may need a visa to visit, live or work in Sweden.
EU citizens can stay in Sweden for up to three months without a visa, after which they will have to apply for a residence permit (uppehållstillstånd), which they can get free of charge. Nationals of Scandinavian countries such as Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Finland can work and live in Sweden indefinitely.
Australian, New Zealand and Canadian passport holders can visit Sweden without a visa for up to three months, while Australian, Canadian and New Zealand nationals can qualify for a one-year working holiday visa. However, they must be between the ages of 18 and 30 years old.
Nationals of other countries will generally need to apply for a visa unless their country has an agreement with Sweden. A list of these countries can be found on the Swedish Migration Agency website.
Tourist visas for Sweden
Expats who aren’t from the countries listed above will need to apply for a Schengen Visa to visit Sweden. This visa allows an individual to stay in Sweden for up to 90 days as long as they have a return travel ticket and can show evidence of sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay. The visa can also be used to visit any other country that is part of the Schengen agreement.
Business visas for Sweden
Individuals who want to conduct business in the country should apply for a business visa for Sweden. This is done via a standard Schengen visa application form, although there are a few extra requirements when applying for a Swedish business visa such as employer's letters and an invitation from the host company in Sweden.
Residence permits for Sweden
A Swedish residence permit allows the holder to stay in the country for longer than the 90 days a tourist or business visa allows. Non-EU citizens generally need to apply for a residence permit for Sweden before entering the country.
Both temporary and permanent residence permits exist. Individuals will need to submit their application and go for an interview at their local Swedish embassy. The process can take up to eight months.
Temporary residence permits do not give an individual the right to work in Sweden; they will have to apply for a work permit separately. Permanent residence permits do, however, give holders the right to live and work in Sweden for an indefinite period.
Expats can get a residence permit for Sweden on the basis of a permanent move to the country because of family ties; employment; a period of study at a Swedish institution; or self-employment.
*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.
►For information on finding a job in Sweden, see Working in Sweden
Are you an expat living in Sweden?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Sweden. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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