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Sweden - Visas, Residency, Immigration & Documentation
For short visits to Sweden of less than three months, many nationals do not require entry visas. Details of the countries whose nationals require visas to enter Sweden can be found on the Swedish Migration Board website at http://www.migrationsverket.se/english.html
EU and EEA must hold a passport or identity card to enter Sweden, and are required to apply for a residence permit for stays of longer than three months.
All foreign nationals who stay in Sweden for more than three months are required to apply for a residence permit. Applications should be submitted to the Swedish embassy or consulate in the applicant's country of origin, or to the Swedish Migration Board if they are already living in Sweden. Applicants must enclose their passport or EU/EEA ID card, along with documents providing evidence of their employment, self-employment or other reason for remaining in Sweden (e.g. family connection, study, retirement). Those applying to live in Sweden with a Swedish close relative or spouse may be called for an interview.
Foreign nationals who are taking up employment in Sweden are required to include an employment certification form (available on the Migration Board website) completed by their employer with details of the type and duration of their employment, and their hours of work. Self-employed foreign nationals must provide evidence of their self-employed status such as their company's certificate of registration or tax card.
Residence permits are normally issued either for 5 years, or for the duration of the applicant's job in Sweden, if this is less than one year. Permits are sent to the applicant's address in Sweden.
After receiving a residence permit, all foreign nationals need to register with the local tax office and social security office. The tax office will issue a personal number which can then be used to apply for a Swedish ID card, and will also be required for other purposes such as opening a bank account.
Non-EU/EEA nationals must obtain a work permit from the Swedish embassy or consulate in their country of origin, before being allowed to enter Sweden to take up employment there. People who work in Sweden for temporary periods as a specialist employee of an international company are exempt from this requirement, as long as their total length of stay in Sweden does not exceed 12 months.
In order to apply for a Swedish work permit, foreign nationals are required to submit to the embassy their written offer of employment in Sweden, made out by the employer on form AMS PF 1704 (available on the National Labour Market Board's web site at http://www.ams.se. The employer will be required to confirm that the jobholder will be paid a minimum of SEK 13,000 per month, or an amount corresponding to any relevant collective pay agreement. They must also confirm that social security cover will be provided, and that accommodation will be arranged for the jobholder in Sweden before their arrival there.
Work permit applications are forwarded to the Swedish Migration Board, which will consult the local labour board in the decision process. If granted, the permit will be issued via the embassy or consulate in the applicant's home country. The procedure usually takes between six and eight weeks.
Work permits are usually issued for one year, and are renewable via local Migration Board offices throughout Sweden. Permits for jobs lasting less than a year are issued for the actual duration of the job. In areas of temporary labour shortage, permits are issued for a maximum of eighteen months. Work permits are not transferable between different jobs or employers.
Work permit holders are allowed to take their spouse/cohabitant and any children aged under 18 with them to live in Sweden for the duration of their permit, but all dependents must apply for a residence permit in their own right if they stay in Sweden for longer than three months.
Foreign nationals can apply for naturalization if they have lived in Sweden continuously for at least five years (two years in the case of citizens of other Nordic countries), hold a permanent residence permit and have a record of good conduct in Sweden. Applicants must be over 18 and must be able to prove their identity.
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