It is hard to believe over two years have passed since I initially applied for my residence permit and work visa. As the initial permit is valid for two years from the date of issue, January 16, 2016 was the expiration date.
After living and working in Sweden for two years with the sambo visa you are allowed to apply for a permanent residence. According to the Swedish rules regarding application of the permanent residence visa applicants are eligible to apply at the earliest 30 days before the visa is set to expire. Prior to submitting the application I had reviewed everything my girlfriend and I needed to do so when December 16, 2015 rolled around all I needed to do was pay the fee and submit the application.
The application to acquire the permanent residence permit is straightforward and easy to fill out (assuming you are still with your same sambo), requiring only three things:
- Form to be completed online by the applicant
- Completed and signed assurance of cohabitation form (filled out by your significant other)
- Proof of identity
The actual application and assurance of cohabitation are only two pages long and ask the same simple questions regarding personal details, your relationship status, travel outside of Sweden, any other information you wish to submit, and a signed declaration the information is true. To prove my identity I submitted a copy of my passport, Swedish identification card, and my old visa card. With all three of the above documents completed I created an account using my email address, paid the 1500 SEK fee (around $175) and submitted the application.
As Migrationsverket is quite busy nowadays I wasn’t sure what to expect with regards to a wait time. Even if your visa expires while waiting for a decision to be made, you can still remain in Sweden, as well as move back and forth between other countries without a hassle, so long as you can prove you have initiated a new application process. While traveling back from a trip abroad at the immigration desk they simply asked to see my expired visa, as well as an email confirming my application.
After hearing nothing for over a month, on January 22, 2016 I received word from Migrationsverket they required more information about my case. In this instance I had been traveling quite frequently in and out of Sweden from 2014 – 2016, and they simply wanted a record of my travels and reentry in to the country, as well as if my girlfriend had accompanied me while travelling.
Fast forward a few days – on January 29, 2016 I found out a decision had been made and my case was now closed. I was quite excited to learn a decision had been made, however, Migrationsverket does not inform you of the decision via email. So, upon logging into my case account, it still merely stated a decision has been made, and I will receive a letter soon regarding the decision.
As frustrating as it was to have to wait all weekend wondering my case status, come Tuesday morning I received the letter indicating a permanent residence permit was granted (yay!). The letter indicated their decision was based on the fact my girlfriend and I are still together, we still live at the same address as originally provided, and I have a job and contribute taxes. After receiving the decision the only thing left for me to do was book an appointment at the Migrationsverket office (I went to Solna) to have my fingerprints and photograph taken for a new visa.
Booking an appointment online took no time at all, and having the fingerprints and photograph was very easy as well. Upon arrival at Migrationsverket I checked in using the confirmation number sent to me via email. Apparently I was one of a few with an appointment – as soon as I checked in, my name appeared on the screen to proceed to one of the stations. The woman assisting me was extremely kind and helpful, she needed to verify my passport, take my old visa card, took my photo and fingerprints, I verified the information was correct – and that was it! I was in and out in less than five minutes. Six days later I received the new visa card in the mail.
Overall, the process I experienced couldn’t have been more simple and streamlined. While others experiences may differ significantly, I have never had a single issue dealing with Migrationsverket. Total time to process and receive my permanent residence visa was 58 days. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to reference my other posts on attaining residency in Sweden, or send me an email.
Other posts in this series: