There are many different ways for your close family members to obtain a permit to move to Sweden along with you. In this article you will find some information about the different ways of moving to Sweden with your family. We would like to start by defining what the Migration Agency generally considers a close family member to be:
“Your husband, wife, cohabiting partner, registered partner and your children under the age of 18”.
Your siblings, parents, and other family members will generally not be considered to be close enough related. They normally can’t be granted permits along with you for most of the applications that we will list below.
Moving to Sweden with a work permit
If you have found employment in Sweden and will be applying for a work permit, it is relatively easy to bring your family members with you moving to Sweden. The Migration Agency generally only allows children up until the age of 18 to be considered as close family members.
However, those already holding work permits are able to bring unmarried children up to the age of 21. You can find some more information on the documentation that will be required for your spouse in our other article and for children too.
For your children, you will generally only be required a copy of their passport, as well as their birth certificate. If the certificate is not in English, it will need to be translated. Both the original and the translation will need to be submitted.
For other work permit categories, such as ICT permits, EU blue cards and researcher permits, you are only allowed to bring children up until the age of 18.
Bringing your family as an EU citizen
If you are an EU citizen living abroad, you are entitled to bring your family members to Sweden along with you. However, you must either;
- Have employment,
- Be self-employed,
- Be studying,
- Have or bought a business in Sweden,
- Will be retiring on your pension,
- Will be living off your savings/wealth.
If your family members are also EU citizens, you can move to Sweden without needing to apply for any permits. You don’t have to deal with the Migration Agency. If your family members are not EU citizens, then they will need to apply for a permit in Sweden.
If you have third-country nationals as family members, you will need to apply for a permit for them but the process is relatively straightforward. There are also certain perks that will be given to you as an EU citizen.
These perks include having your family be able to apply for the permits from within Sweden. Your family members can also obtain their personal ID numbers before their applications have been approved.
As well as, your spouse can start working in Sweden while the permit is being processed. The personal ID number will be applied for at the Swedish Tax Agency. You will need to provide proof of your EU citizenship and proof of relationship with your close family members.
EU citizens are able to bring their spouse, cohabitating partner, registered partner and your unmarried children under the age of 21.
The application itself is submitted via post to the Migration Agency. It should be submitted at the latest 3 months after your non-EU family members’ arrival in Sweden. Once the permit has been approved, it will be valid for 5 years. After these 5 years, your family will be able to apply for permanent residence in Sweden.
The processing times for these types of permits are, however, generally quite long. While some are approved in 1-2 months, the average from our experience has been around 6 months. Some have even taken up to 12 months.
You can find the application here.
Bringing your family as a Swedish citizen
If you are a Swedish citizen who wishes to bring any third-country-national family to Sweden, the application is relatively easy. However, the process can be quite long. Unfortunately Swedish citizens are not treated the same as EU citizens and are therefore subjected to different rules.
This means that the family members moving to Sweden generally cannot be in Sweden during the processing of the permit. Swedish nationals can bring their partners, as well as any children under the age of 18 to Sweden. For children, it is, however, generally better to simply apply for citizenship based on their relationship to you if possible.
As a Swedish citizen you will need to meet certain maintenance requirements if you intend on moving to Sweden with your close family members. This means that you will need to earn a sufficient amount of money and have housing of sufficient size. You can find the most updated figures for this on the Migration Agency’s website here.
There is one situation where a Swedish citizen can be considered to be an EU national instead and apply under easier conditions. This is when a Swedish national has utilized their freedom of movement and is living in another EU country.
If you are a Swedish citizen currently living in another EU country you can instead apply under the conditions mentioned in “Bringing your family as an EU citizen”.
You will, however, need to prove that you have been legally residing in that EU country for at least 3 months. This is not something mentioned on the Migration Agency’s website, but you can find it confirmed under section 4.2.2. Unfortunately, this document is only available in Swedish and it does not currently have any official translations.
Bringing your family as a student in Sweden
It is possible to bring your close family members to Sweden if you will be studying in Sweden on a student permit for higher education. You can find more information about this process in our other article.