Working/living in Sweden as a UK citizen after Brexit

So, you may be asking “Can I move to Sweden from the UK after Brexit?”. By the time you read this the transition period will have ended and the UK will no longer be considered an EU country from an immigration perspective. This means that UK citizens will as of the 1st of January 2021 require a permit in order to live in Sweden for more than 3 months. UK citizens will be treated the same way as all other third-country nationals.

This means that if you want move to Sweden from the UK, you will need to follow the same immigration process as any non-EU citizen requiring a work permit. You can find more information about how to apply for a work permit here. 

Can I move to Sweden from the UK after Brexit

What to do if you are already in Sweden?

The Swedish Government has implemented a few regulations to ease the transition for UK citizens already living in Sweden. If you are already living in Sweden before the 31st of December 2020, then you will be allowed to continue living and working in Sweden. No work permit application will, in this case, be required. However, you will instead need to submit an application for “residence status” permit.

Note this doesn’t count if you suddenly decide to move to Sweden from the UK on the 30th of December 2020. Unless you can provide the documents required for a “residence status”, see below.

This will serve as proof that you can continue living and working in Sweden legally. The period in which these applications can be submitted will end on the 30th of September 2021. So, it is important that the application is submitted before then to ensure your stay in Sweden. 

Do I need a personal identity number in order to apply for residence status?

As of writing this article, the Migration Agency has informed that no personal ID number or coordination number is required as proof of already living in Sweden. This could, however, change once the Migration Agency has started processing applications and developed a more thorough routine. In the meantime, any other documentation can be submitted in order to prove that you have established residence in Sweden.

Such as payslips, rental payments, bills, employment contract, entry stamp, etc. Note that in many cases a combination of these documents may be required in order to establish sufficient proof. 

The application process for “residence status”

The residence status application itself has been quite straightforward as of now. Only requiring the following attachments for UK employees in Sweden:

  • Copy of your passport identification page or copy of your British national identity card
  • Certificate of employment confirming salary, start date of the employment, end date of employment (if applicable), weekly working hours, employer’s name, corporate registration number and contact details for your contact person at the company. 
  • Payslips during the past 3 months

In the application you will need to fill out the reasons for your current stay in Sweden, such as employment, and some basic information about yourself. You can find the application portal here. If you do not have a personal ID number, you may also need to attach the proof of established residence mentioned previously in this article. 

residence status uk citizen sweden living

Permanent residence

If you have been living in Sweden for 5 consecutive years (without any longer periods of absence), you will be able to obtain permanent residence in Sweden. If you have been living in Sweden for less than 5 years, you will instead get a temporary residence permit. If you want to move to Sweden from the UK, and your spouse is already living in Sweden, you can apply for a dependent visa

Processing time

The Migration Agency will start processing residence status applications in January 202. However, as of now the Migration Agency does not have any information about an expected processing time. The only information currently provided is that they will try to prioritize these applications so that UK nationals can obtain their new permits as soon as possible.

We will, however, need to see whether this prioritization results in a processing time of a few weeks or perhaps a few months. Depending on the backlog of applications that will need to be handled.

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