Brits warned not to miss deadline for Swedish residence status

Brits warned not to miss deadline for Swedish residence status
The deadline is fast approaching for Brits who still need to secure their right to stay in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT
The Swedish Migration Agency warns that Brits who still need the new post-Brexit residence status have just over two weeks left to apply, or they risk losing 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 Brexit transition period on December 31st 2020 may continue to live in Sweden as before – but they must apply for their post-Brexit residence status.

And they must do so before December 31st 2021, when the application period ends.

“We recommend that anyone who has not submitted their application for residence status do so as soon as possible,” the Migration Agency’s Brexit coordinator, Jonas Colling, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The agency warned that the only groups who will continue to have the right to apply for residence status after the deadline are children born or adopted after 2021 (if the parent is a British citizen with residence status) and other family members of British residence status-holders.

But note that the Migration Agency must receive the application within three months of the applicant’s arrival in Sweden, or within three months after the child’s date of birth.

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In the case of all other Brits who still need residence status, they must apply before the turn of the year or have a very good reason as to why they missed the deadline.

Colling said that late applications “can only be accepted under the Withdrawal Agreement if there are ‘reasonable grounds’ for the application being submitted late. What constitutes reasonable grounds is always assessed individually.”

Once a residence status application has been submitted, you will receive a letter of confirmation which can be used to prove your right to live in Sweden, for example if returning after travel. Brits will retain this right while their application is being processed. Note that if you are waiting for a decision on a citizenship application, you also need to apply for residence status if you have not received an answer.

Some Brits do not have to apply for the new residence status (but it could give them extra benefits). These include Swedish citizens or Brits with a residence permit (which is different from residence status as it’s based on Swedish, not EU, rules – click here to read more).

But if you don’t have citizenship or a permanent residence permit, you must apply for residence status to secure your right to live in Sweden. 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 (the terminology may be confusing, but note that these 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).

The Swedish government has estimated that around 17,000 people are entitled to apply for the new post-Brexit residence status, although it’s impossible to get an exact number since under EU rules many Brits could previously move to Sweden without registering as residents. It is not known exactly how many of these still need to apply for residence status or have secured their right to stay in Sweden in other ways.

“Of these [17,000 people], 12,026 had applied for residence status by December 14th. At the same time, approximately 7,000 British citizens have been granted Swedish citizenship or a permanent residence permit in Sweden after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU,” said Colling.

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