Reader question: Are partners of Swedish citizens and residents exempt from the entry bans?

Reader question: Are partners of Swedish citizens and residents exempt from the entry bans?
Here's what you need to know about travelling to Sweden as the partner of a Swedish citizen or resident. Photo: Michael Probst/AP/TT
There are a few different entry bans in place at the moment, with slight variations in the rules. When it comes to partners of Swedish citizens, it depends mostly on where you are travelling from.

Hi, The Local. As a Swedish citizen, I am exempt from the entry bans in place. Can my non-Swedish partner come with me?

Swedish citizens, including those who hold dual citizenship, always have the right to enter the country, so are exempt from all the entry bans. For their partners and spouses, the situation is less clear and it depends where you are travelling from. 

The information below is correct at the time of publication, but be aware that the bans and exemption categories may change at short notice.

Travel from non-EU countries

There is an exemption from the ban on entry from non-EU countries for close family members of Swedish or EU citizens, as well as close family members of foreigners who are resident in Sweden. Both the Swedish police and government state that close family members include spouses, cohabiting partners, and children aged under 21. 

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Therefore, if travelling from a non-EU country, a Swedish citizen's partner may enter Sweden even if they themselves are not a Swedish citizen or resident.

In that case, they would need to bring documentation of the close relationship (for example a marriage certificate, cohabitation agreement, or excerpt from the Swedish population register) and would also need to have a negative Covid-19 test result no older than 48 hours in order to enter Sweden. You can find more information about documenting a family relationship from the Swedish police.

Travel from the UK, Denmark or Norway

The ban on entry from the UK, Denmark and Norway is stricter than the ban on entry from non-EU countries.

The government states that for travel from these three countries, “there is no special exemption for people with family ties to Swedish citizens”.

There are other exemptions from the entry ban, including for urgent family reasons (this typically includes situations such as visiting a family member who is giving birth or at the end of their life, but not ordinary visits to family) or parents travelling to meet a child aged under 18 who is resident in Sweden. Children aged under 18 may also travel to Sweden to meet a parent who is resident there, and in this case a family member may accompany that child.

But otherwise, unless your partner falls into another category that is exempt from the entry bans (such as if they work in Sweden), they will not be allowed to enter the country.

Even if your partner is exempt from the entry ban, foreign citizens need to show a negative Covid-19 test result no older than 48 hours in order to enter Sweden, unless they fall into a category exempt from the test requirement. Note that the exemptions from the entry ban and exemptions from the test requirement are not identical.

Travel from the rest of the EU/EEA

If you are travelling from a country within the EU/EEA other than the UK, Denmark and Norway, there is no entry ban in place and foreigners can travel to Sweden from these countries even if they have no ties to Sweden or a Swedish citizen. This means that to travel from these countries, there is no need to show proof of a relationship in order to enter Sweden.

However, they would need to have a negative Covid-19 test result no older than 48 hours in order to enter Sweden, even though any Swedish citizens or residents they travel with would be exempt from the test requirement.

Test and isolation

Travellers arriving in Sweden from any travel overseas all need to take a test for coronavirus as soon as possible after arrival, and a second test five days later.

This applies to everyone, including Swedish citizens, residents and their partners, regardless of which country they are travelling from and whether they provided a negative Covid-19 test result on arrival. All returning travellers and anyone they share a household with should also self-isolate for seven days on arrival, regardless of their first test result.  

This article was written in response to a question from members of The Local. If you have any questions about Sweden's Covid-19 rules, email [email protected] and we will do our best to answer if we can.


Member comments

  1. @TheScot The best is to wait until you got your residence card. As with the Brexit in place I assume Brits position is like those from non-EU country and they can’t get inside Sweden without resident permit.

  2. Anyone know what the deal is for those who have applied for residence? Specifically applied to be with partners? Can’t get a straight answer from embassy…

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