You’ve applied, what happens next?

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 movingtostockholm@gmail.com

Cheers,

//Karl

First Steps

Within this post I will be covering the basics of Migrationsverket, determining what application type suits you best, how to apply, tips on applying, as well as a few additional thoughts from my experience applying for a residence/ work visa.

So what is Migrationsverket? Migrationsverket, also referred to as the Swedish Migration Board, is the government agency of Sweden handling all affairs regarding moving to Sweden, working in Sweden, seeking asylum, etc. The Migrationsverket website is organized quite well and it is easy to navigate to find the proper applications to apply for residency. To begin, you must not be in Sweden. You can only apply from your home country. In my case this was the United States. Once you are in your home country, register on the Migrationsverket website and choose which application type suits your situation best. For most individuals seeking to relocate in Sweden, the reason is almost always “moving to someone” – for anyone planning to move with family, girlfriend, boyfriend, etc. go here to register on Migrationsverket and begin the application.

After registering, there are a few things you must put together prior to submitting the application. First and foremost, an up to date copy of your passport is required. The Swedish individual you are moving to must also request a copy of their Personbevis from the taxation authority. In addition to these two primary documents, if you are moving to someone you are in a relationship with compiling photos, plane tickets, and other documents helping to prove your relationship can be helpful and speed up the process. I also included images of relevant passport stamps in and out of Sweden, and letters from friends further verifying the legitimacy of my relationship.

Filling out the actual application is quite simple and very straight forward. The majority of the questions are about your family, your background, etc. as well as questions about the co-habitee’s family, background, and several questions about your relationship including first meetings, meetings since first meeting, plans for the future, and so on. When filling out the application you are given 1.5 hours to complete each page – I recommend registering, then filling out very short answers (1-2 words) so you can access the entire application and copy/ paste the questions into another document to review prior to submission. I initially registered with Migrationsverket months prior to applying, pasted the questions into a separate document, answered the questions completely, and then when I was ready to apply for real, registered again, filled out the application, and submitted.

After completing the required fields and reviewing, prior to submitting the application there is a one time fee of 1,500 SEK (about $230 USD). Pay the fee, press submit, and you should receive confirmation the application has been received immediately. Once the application has been received, an email is also sent to the person you are moving to. The email includes instructions to go to Migrationsverket and login (username/ password information provided in the email), after logging in, the co-habitee has 14 days to complete the same exact series of questions on the application.

Once you have both submitted the application, you must wait until the Migrationsverket contacts you. Their website indicates it typically takes between 10 and 14 month to hear from them. This scared me when I was first applying, but I came to realize it was extremely inaccurate. Surprisingly, Migrationsverket works rather efficiently for a government agency – I applied on December 23, 2013, on January 2, 2014 I received an email indicating I need to schedule an appointment with a Swedish consulate.

The process was much easier than I had anticipated and went very quickly. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to comment or send an email at movingtostockholm@gmail.com

Cheers,

//Karl

What is movingtostockholm.com?

After meeting my (Swedish) girlfriend in the US in 2011, and frequenting Sweden for nearly two years using only a travel visa, I decided it was time to apply for a more permanent stay in Sweden with a residence permit. In October of 2013 while visiting Sweden I began researching the exact process of applying for a residence permit. Unfortunately the state sponsored webpages fall short when it comes to proper explanations regarding the visa/ residence permit application process. With little or no detailed information on Migrationsverket, Skatteverket, etc. I searched through social channels and managed to find a few good places with much better information – with this blog I hope my first hand experiences can provide much needed clarity for anyone outside of the EU interested in applying for a residence permit/ visa in Sweden. Applying for a visa was a completely new process for me and I managed to navigate the system without issue. With each new post I will cover a step in the application process (from start to finish). Here is a brief preview of the upcoming blog posts and topics to be discussed:

 

1.) First steps – introduction to Migrationsverket, application types, tips for applying, additional thoughts

2.) What happens next? – what to expect after you apply, waiting times, additional thoughts

3.) The interview – visiting a consulate or mission abroad, what the interview consists of, what to expect, additional thoughts

4.) Decision time – how you receive the decision, how to check the status, helpful tips, additional thoughts

5.) Arriving in Sweden – what to do when you receive the visa, what happens when you arrive in Sweden, additional thoughts

6.) The person number – attaining a person number, Skatteverket, helpful tips, additional thoughts

7.) SFI clases – what is SFI, how to apply, additional thoughts

8.) Working in Sweden – Arbetsförmedlingen, other options, additional thoughts

9.) General commentary on life in Sweden – additional thoughts

 

Feel to make a suggestion regarding a post or ask a relevant question.

Cheers.

//Karl