Many countries around the world have made it possible for individuals to be granted a residence permit or even citizenship by investing in the local economy. Many individuals are therefore looking for European countries that have these opportunities. If you are one of these people, the unfortunate news is that Sweden is not one of those countries. You cannot obtain a residence permit in Sweden or Swedish citizenship through investment. However, there may still be some good news.
Although it is not possible to obtain a residence permit, a visa, or even citizenship, there may still be one option that you could explore. If a timeline is not an issue for you, it might be possible for you to apply for a residence permit as someone who is self-employed. This is not a permit that is easy to obtain, and the processing times are generally quite long. However, this is as close as you can get to obtaining citizenship through investing in Sweden.
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The alternative way
In order to qualify for this type of permit you will need to:
- Prove that you have experience within the industry that you are setting up your business in
- Show that you have experience running your own business.
- Be proficient in Swedish and/or English.
- Show that you will have ownership of at least 50% of the business and that you have executive responsibility (that you have final say in matters relating to the company)
- The company must sell or produce goods in Sweden.
- Show that you have sufficient funds for you and your family during the first two years in Sweden (200,000 SEK for you, 100,000 SEK for any spouse/partner, 50,000 SEK per accompanying child).
- Have a budget and supporting documentation.
- Proof of customer contacts and/or a business network in Sweden.
If the above requirements are met, you might be able to apply for a residence permit as a business owner/self-employed. However, this is only the first hurdle in the process. Another issues that many individuals face is the long processing time. As of writing this article the processing time for this type of permit is approximately 12-20 months.
The processing time has consistently been relatively long and during the past years it has fluctuated between taking on average 1-2 years. If the Migration Agency has questions regarding your business plan or any of the other documents that you have submitted, the processing time can be increased to 14-25 months. This type of permit is therefore definitely better suited for individuals who are not in any rush to move to Sweden.
What to do once you have obtained the permit
If you are able to obtain a permit as a self-employed, you will receive a residence permit that is valid for 2 years and any family members will receive a permit with the same expiry date as yours. Note that you cannot be granted a permit beyond the validity of your passport so please keep this in mind when applying. After the initial permit you can apply for an extension.
The requirements for the extension will be similar and you will also need to submit additional financial proof that your company has sufficient funds to support you and your family. This means that you will no longer be able to rely on your own funds to support yourself and it is mainly the company’s finances that will be used as proof. If the company has sufficient funds, you will then receive an extension for another 2 years. Once you have held a permit for a combined period of 4 years, you may at that point be eligible to apply for permanent residence in Sweden.
In conclusion, to get Swedish citizenship through investment is not possible, but you can instead become self-employed in Sweden. This process takes a long time, so make sure you have plenty of time.