Brits told to ‘take action’ to secure their right to stay in Sweden

Brits told to 'take action' to secure their right to stay in Sweden
Brits have until the end of September to secure their right to stay in Sweden. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT
Thousands of Brits still need to apply for their post-Brexit residence status, and the British embassy is urging all Brits in Sweden to double check their legal status before they lose the right to remain in Sweden.

Brits who lived in Sweden under EU rules before the end of the transition period on December 31st, 2020, are generally allowed to keep living in Sweden as before – but there’s a concern that some will fall through the gap if they fail to actively apply for this right.

Sweden last year created a new “residence status” (uppehållsstatus) for Brits in this situation, that they can apply for before September 30th. But the embassy said that there has been some confusion among Brits in Sweden about whether or not they have to apply for this permit.

In short, Brits who are living in Sweden under EU law have the right to continue living in Sweden, but they must apply for residence status, otherwise they’ll lose that right on September 30th (if they’ve applied for residence status by this date, they can stay while the application is being processed).

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Brits who have dual Swedish citizenship do not need to apply for the new status, and neither do Brits who have permanent residency under Swedish rather than EU law (people only fall into this category if they at some point formally applied and received permanent residency).

The British embassy writes that they may however still “do so if they choose and receive additional benefits from the new status”, but it is not a strict requirement.

If you believe this applies to you and you have the right to stay in Sweden even without applying for the new residence status for Brits, it’s important you make sure that your permit is specifically a permanent residence permit (permanent uppehållstillstånd). The Migration Agency advises that “even if you have been granted a certificate of the permanent right of residence (intyg om permanent uppehållsrätt) or a permanent residence card (permanent uppehållskort), you need to apply for residence status before the end of the application period”.

UK ambassador Judith Gough on Tuesday urged Brits to find out which rules apply to them. Around 7,000 people have applied for the new residence status so far, but the Migration Agency estimates that there are around 20,000 Brits in Sweden who will need to do so.

“It is time to take action. I urge all British citizens in Sweden to check the basis of their residence now, and apply for a new permit, if needed. The new status introduced by the Swedish government will allow British citizens living in Sweden under EU rules to continue their lives as before,” said the ambassador in a press statement.

You can read more about Sweden’s post-Brexit rules for Brits on The Local, the Swedish Migration Agency’s website, or the UK government’s website.


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