Record number of Swedish citizenship applications concluded

Sweden’s Migration Agency expects to make a decision on a new record number of citizenship applications this year, as an increased focus on reducing long processing times begins to have an effect.

Record number of Swedish citizenship applications concluded
File photo of a Migration Agency office in Sweden. Photo: Adam Wrafter/SvD/TT

The Local has previously written about the long queues for Swedish citizenship, and the waiting times have also been criticised by Sweden’s Parliamentary Ombudsmen.

But things are now moving in the right direction, according to the Migration Agency.

In 2021, it made a decision on around 85,000 citizenship applications, the highest number yet, following efforts to streamline the process.

In October and November last year, around 11,000 citizenship applications were concluded per month, an increase of more than 70 percent compared to the monthly average in the first half of 2021.

“The investment in citizenship has started having an effect in the form of a significant increase in the number of concluded cases in the last quarter of 2021. We also saw that a trend was broken and the number of open citizenship cases began to decrease,” reads a new report by the Migration Agency, which sets out the agency’s forecast for the coming years.

It predicts it will again break the record for concluded cases this year, estimating it will make a decision on around 110,000 citizenship applications in both 2022 and 2023.

However, it warns that waiting times are expected to remain long for now, but that it expects to reach the target at the end of 2023, with no applicant waiting more than six months. At the turn of the year, around 100,000 people were waiting for Swedish citizenship.

Member comments

  1. I am waiting for a decision on citizenship application since September 2020, while I know people who applied last year and got reply in a week. How fair is this? Why not to process historical applications first, in order? I don’t even have a case officer yet, according Migrationsverket website.

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What rights do you have in Sweden as a Nordic citizen?

If you are a citizen of Denmark, Finland, Norway or Iceland you are considered both a Nordic citizen and an EU/EEA citizen, meaning you can get some added rights. Here's what rights you gain if you become a citizen of another Nordic country.

What rights do you have in Sweden as a Nordic citizen?

Nordic agreement

Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland make up what’s known as the Nordic countries. These countries have an agreement which states that Nordic citizens have a right to live in whichever Nordic country they choose without the need for permits. The agreement also states that you may only be registered in one Nordic country at a time. 

EU/EEA citizens

As a Nordic citizen you are also considered an EU/EEA citizen. EU/EEA citizens and their families have the right to live and work in an EU/EEA country which is not their country of origin, as long as they meet the requirements for residency permits through work, studies or with sufficient funds. So if you move to an EU/EEA country outside of the Nordics, these rules apply.

Swedish residency from the Nordics

If you are a citizen of a Nordic country, you can freely travel to Sweden to live and work. You do not need a visa, work permit or residence permit.

You can stay in Sweden for up to one year but if you plan to live in Sweden for longer, you need to be registered in the Swedish population register (folkbokföringsregistret) which can be done by notifying the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket).

This can be done by visiting one of the Tax Agency’s offices. All members of the family who are moving to Sweden must visit at the same time.

If you have family members who are citizens outside of a Nordic country and if they are moving together with you, they need to have a residence permit (uppehållstillstånd) or right of residence (uppehållsrätt).

Swedish citizenship from the Nordics

Nordic citizens who have lived in Sweden for at least five years can often become Swedish citizens through notification, which is a simpler and cheaper process than that for EU citizens. 

For that process, the form “anmälan om svenskt medborgarskap för medborgare i Danmark, Finland, Island eller Norge” is filled out here and sent to the local country administrative board, along with a fee of 475 kronor.

The alternative is to submit a standard application for citizenship to the Migration Agency at the standard cost, which Nordic citizens can do after living in Sweden for two years.

If you’re granted Swedish citizenship, you can vote in parliamentary elections, stand for election to parliament, join the Swedish Police and Swedish Armed Forces.

READ MORE: How to get Swedish citizenship or stay permanently in Sweden

Norwegian residency from the Nordics

As a Nordic citizen, you don’t need a residence permit. You just need to book an appointment with the tax administration if you plan on staying in Norway for longer than six months. If you are moving to Norway together with your family, it is important that all family members come with you to the tax office.

You must also register in the National Registry. If you are registered as living in Norway, you are generally a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme (folketrygden) which gives you rights from the social insurance authority, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV).

If you commute between Norway and another Nordic country because of work, you do not need to register in Norway but you need to notify the tax office. On the notification form, you can tick a box to show that you are a commuter. 

Norwegian citizenship from the Nordics

Nordic citizens over the age of 12 can apply for Norwegian citizenship after living in Norway for two years, rather than 6-8 years for EU citizens, and you don’t need to fulfil any further requirements.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How to apply for Norwegian citizenship

Danish residency from the Nordics

As a Nordic citizen, you are able to work, live and study in Denmark without a residence permit. You just need to get a CPR (personal registration) number to register for tax and healthcare if you live in Denmark for more than six months.

You apply for a CPR number at the Danish National Register (folkeregistret). To do this you can contact your local municipality’s Citizen Service centre or one of the four International Citizen Service centres in Aalborg, Aarhus, Copenhagen and Odense.

You don’t need a passport to enter Denmark as a Nordic citizen but you need to carry some ID such as a driver’s license or bank card, in case you’re asked for it.

If your family members are not Nordic citizens, they need to either apply for a proof of registration or a residence card under the EU rules.


Danish citizenship from the Nordics

As a Nordic citizen, you can get Danish citizenship after living in Denmark for two years, rather than the nine years required for EU and non EU citizens. You still have to fulfil the other criteria for citizenship which includes:

  • Give a declaration of allegiance and loyalty to Denmark
  • Fulfil prior residency criteria
  • Be free of debt to the public sector and be financially self-sufficient
  • Have no criminal convictions
  • Hold a full-time job or have been self-employed for three and a half of the last four years
  • Meet criteria for Danish language skills 
  • Pass a citizenship test and demonstrate knowledge of Danish society and values

If you got Nordic citizenship that wasn’t through naturalisation (for example you got citizenship by birth rather than application) you can become a Danish citizen after living in the country for seven years, if you have not had a prison sentence during this time and are aged 18 or over.

READ ALSO: How do Sweden’s citizenship rules compare to Denmark and Norway?