Deadline approaches for Brits in Sweden to apply for post-Brexit status

Union Jacks hanging between two buildings
Brits have less than a month left before the application deadline. Photo: A Parry on Unsplash
Brits living in Sweden have until December 31st to apply for post-Brexit residency status. Those who don't apply in time could lose their right to stay in Sweden.

British nationals and their family members who were living in Sweden under EU rules before the end of the transition period on December 31st, 2020, may continue to live in Sweden as before – as long as they apply for a new post-Brexit “residence status” (uppehållsstatus).

The deadline for applying was previously extended from September 30th until December 31st, giving Brits who haven’t yet applied another chance to do so.

More than 10,000 UK nationals have already applied, said the British Embassy in a statement, yet there are still many who must do so before the deadline.

“With just one month until the deadline, ensuring you have applied for residency is a matter of urgency in order to protect your rights to live in Sweden and your future,” said British ambassador Judith Gough.

“Those of who have British friends, neighbours or family members who arrived in Sweden before 1 January, should ask them whether they have applied and, if not, encourage them to start the process now,” she continued.

British citizens who arrived before January 1st 2021 have until December 31st the right to continue living, working and studying in Sweden, even without citizenship or residence status.

But after December 31st, they will lose that right unless they apply before that date. Note that if you have applied for citizenship but have not yet received a response, then you need to apply for the post-Brexit residence status.

“Individuals who neither apply in time nor legalise their stay in Sweden in some other way will – after 31 December 2021 – be staying in Sweden unlawfully. This may have serious consequences for those who neglect to submit their application,” warned a statement by the Justice Ministry when the deadline was extended in September.

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The Migration Agency has recommended that Brits apply well in advance. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive a letter of confirmation, and can use this if you need to prove your right to live in Sweden – for example if returning to the country after travel overseas.

During the time that British applicants are waiting on a decision, they have the same rights as EU citizens and can continue to live and work in Sweden even after the application deadline, as long as they moved to Sweden under EU rules before December 31st, 2020.

Once an application has been approved, it is necessary to visit one of the Migration Agency’s Service Centres to have fingerprints and a photo taken before the residence card can be issued.

Brits with Swedish citizenship or a permanent residence permit (permanent uppehållstillstånd) do not have to apply for the new residence status, but you can still do so if you wish. This will affect, for example, which family members are allowed to join you in Sweden.

It is important to note that all Brits who were living in Sweden under EU rules at the end of 2020 and haven’t yet secured their right to stay must do so before the deadline. This applies regardless of how long you’ve lived in Sweden, and regardless of whether or not you have a permanent residence card or certificate of permanent right of residence (which are not the same as a permanent residence permit – anyone who is unclear about their current status in Sweden is strongly advised to contact the Migration Agency).


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