So, you’ve applied for your residence permit/ visa to move to Sweden – what happens next? Within this post I will cover the basics of what will typically happen, what to expect, etc.
As I briefly mentioned in the previous post, when applying on the Migrationsverket website, or when speaking to any employee from Migrationsverket, they tell you to expect waiting a minimum of 10 to 14 months. They claim to be constantly overloaded with applicants and not nearly enough qualified staff to grant visas. I believe they state such a long expectancy period to discourage people from applying so government employees can continue enjoying a 26 hour work week (I decided I gave Migrationsverket to much praise in the previous post). When you apply for the visa online, you will receive a confirmation email indicating the application has been received. Once the person you are moving to in Sweden has completed their portion of the application, you will receive another email indicating the application has been accepted and is under review.
In my case I applied on the December 23, 2013. My girlfriend completed her portion on December 27, 2013. On January 2, 2014 I received an email indicating my application had been reviewed and I needed to schedule an interview at a Swedish Consulate. In the USA Sweden has consulates or missions throughout the states. The Swedish Consulate in San Francisco happened to be nearest to me, I phoned the Consulate on Friday January 3, 2014 and set an interview for the January 14, 2014. After the interview, I received word the next day (January 15, 2014) my visa had been granted.
In my particular case, the entire bureaucratic process took 24 days. When I factor in the planning and educating prior to applying, I would estimate the total time at approximately 29 days – while it is rather expedited compared to what Migrationsverket says to expect, it still can vary. I have spoken with other applicants from USA who received a visa in 4 months, in another situation it took 14 days. Final thoughts – if everything is correct when you apply, I would imagine within one or two months you will be granted a visa.
In the next two posts, I will cover the consulate interview and post interview process in detail. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to comment or send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org