New rules at the Swedish Migration Agency for passport check from 1 November

From 1 November, applicants for a permit to study, conduct research, or work in Sweden must visit a Swedish embassy or the consulate-general personally to show your passport before the Swedish Migration Agency can make a decision. The aim is to increase security and reduce the risk of irregularities.

The new requirement primarily affects citizens of visa-free countries (ie countries that are not on the list of countries whose citizens need a visa to enter Sweden) such as the USA, Great Britain and Brazil, and who were previously able to apply for a residence permit online and travel to Sweden immediately after the application has been granted without visiting the Swedish embassy. The Swedish Migration Agency will now contact the applicants with information on how to book an appointment. 

You will be able to combine your visit to show your passport with being photographed and leaving fingerprints for your residence permit card. Once you’ve got a decision it can take another four weeks to manufacture the card and send it to the embassy or consulate-general. You can also make an appointment at your closest Migration Agency office to submit biometrics in Sweden, after arrival.

For foreign citizens who require Visa for entry into Sweden, the new requirement does not mean a major change, as you already need to visit the Swedish embassy or consulate general to provide documentation for your residence permit card. The passport control is done during that visit.

Accom­pa­nying family members must also show their passports before they can get a residence permit. Children under the age of five are not required to show their passport in person, but if a child needs a residence permit card, he or she must come with you to be photographed.

The new rules risk causing long waiting time at Swedish embassies and consulates-general abroad and extending processing times for students, doctoral students, researchers, employees and relatives.

If you are in Sweden and are using a passport that you have not previously shown to the Swedish Migration Agency, a Swedish embassy, or the consulate-general, you must visit one of the Migration Agency's service centers to present your new passport when applying for an extended residence permit. If you are applying with a passport that you have already shown in connection with a personal visit, you do not need to show it again. If the Swedish Migration Agency wants to see your passport, they will contact you with information on how to make an appointment.

The passport requirement does not apply when applying for:

  • asylum or protection according to the EU's Temporary Protection Directive
  • residence card and permanent residence card (family member of an EU/EEA citizen but not an EU/EEA citizen her/himself), permanent right of residence (EU/EEA citizen) or Long-term resident status

For visits upp to 90 days, see the Migration Agency: Visiting Sweden