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Becoming a Swedish Citizen

There are many perks to becoming a Swedish citizen. First and foremost, you will become a formal member of Sweden and be afforded the absolute right to live, work and vote in Sweden. You can also join the Swedish armed forces and be elected to parliament. As a Swedish citizen, you gain the right associated with being a citizen of a EU member state. This makes it easier to live, study and work in other EU countries. Apart from the above benefits, you hold the same rights as a permanent resident of Sweden.

The Swedish Migration Board stipulates different conditions, which must be met by certain people in order to apply for Swedish citizenship. These conditions vary depending on your country of origin, your age and your ability to prove your identity.

The general conditions for a citizenship application are as follows:

  1. You must be able to prove your identity
  2. Be at least 18 years of age
  3. Have a permanent residence permit or be entitled to one; right to one in Sweden;
  4. Have been a resident of Sweden for a specified period and
  5. Have a record of good conduct in Sweden

Proving your identity and age

In order to prove your identity, you will need to provide your original passport or an original government issued identity document. Alternately, you can have a close relative attest to your identity.

If you choose to provide one of the first 2 options, a government authority must have issued the passport or identity document, be of good quality and include a photograph, which can be easily recognised as you.

If you choose to prove your identify through the attestation of a close relative, then this relative must be a Swedish citizen or have valid identification from their country of origin. They must also provide concordant information with what you have provided to the Migration Agency.

In exceptional circumstances where these requirements cannot be met, the Migration board has discretion to make individual assessments.

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A specified time in Sweden

The period of habitual residence required to be eligible for citizenship varies. The general rule is that you must have been a permanent resident for at least 5 continuous years. Overseas vacations of over 6 weeks per year are deducted from this. If you entered Sweden on a different type of visa such as a study visa, or a short-term visa, then the period of habitual residence only begins once you have been granted permanent residence.

If you are married to or in a registered partnership with a Swedish citizen and are living with them, then you can apply for citizenship after 3 years. If you are already a Nordic citizen, different conditions apply.

Good conduct

The Swedish Migration Agency will consult with various organisations in order to determine whether you have conducted yourself well during your time in Sweden. The Migration Agency will contact the Enforcement Authority (Kronofogdemyndigheten) to determine whether you have any outstanding debts or unpaid taxes. The police and security service will be contacted to determine whether you have committed or are suspected to have committed a crime. If you have, you can still apply for citizenship, but you will have to wait for a qualifying period. This period varies depending on your sentence and the severity of the crime.

Swedish Citizenship for Nordic Citizens

If you are a citizen of Denmark, Finland, Iceland or Norway and you have been a permanent resident of Sweden for at least 2 years, you can apply for citizenship by notification.

In order to be eligible to do this, you must be at least 18 years old, been living in Sweden for at least 5 years and you mustn’t have been sent to prison during those five years. If you have unmarried children under the age of 18, they will automatically become citizens once you have successfully become a citizen.

If you aren’t eligible to apply through notification, you can apply for citizenship the same way as non-Nordic citizens.

Swedish Citizenship for Children

It must be noted that children above the age of 12 must provide written consent to becoming a Swedish citizen.

A child born after April 1, 2015 to at least one Swedish parent automatically becomes a citizen.

A child born before April 1, 2015 will become a citizen if:

  • Their mother is Swedish (doesn’t matter if the child is born abroad)
  • The father is Swedish and the mother is foreign and the child is born in Sweden.
  • The father is Swedish and the mother is foreign and they are married, but the child is born abroad.
  • The mother is foreign and is married to or in a registered partnership with a Swedish woman who has consented to the insemination.
  • Apart from this, unmarried children under the age of 18 usually become citizens of Sweden in connection with their parents.

Dual Citizenship

Sweden does allow their citizens to hold dual citizenships. However, the other citizenship that they hold may not be recognized in that country. This can lead to consular difficulties so it is important to check whether your other place of citizenship accepts dual citizens.

Fees and Applying for Citizenship

The general fee for applying for citizenship is SEK 1500. Payments can be made online and the forms required to apply for or notify of citizen are all available on migrationsverket.se.