Residency permits For Members

IN NUMBERS: How long are waiting times at Sweden's Migration Agency?

Becky Waterton
Becky Waterton - [email protected]
IN NUMBERS: How long are waiting times at Sweden's Migration Agency?
Photo: Adam Wrafter/TT

Sweden's Migration Agency has notoriously long waiting times for citizenship applications, work permits and residence permits. So, how long should you expect to wait?


The Migration Agency has a calculator for application waiting times, where users can input information into a series of drop-down menus to receive an estimated waiting time on a number of issues.

These estimates are all based on online applications where the Migration Agency has not asked applicants to provide further information.

It is important to note that the result produced by the calculator states the length of time 75 percent of applicants for similar cases waited, with no information on how much longer the remaining 25 percent of applicants waited before receiving a result.

These figures also don't include waiting times for Swedish authorities abroad (such as consulates or embassies) so if your application requires such a visit, this could lengthen the processing time of your application.


Work in Sweden

Waiting times for work permits in Sweden can vary depending on the branch you're working in, whether you apply online or via post, and if you are applying for the first time or extending a permit.

Those applying for the first time online, as employees rather than self-employed, can expect to wait between four and 15 months, depending on the sector they are applying for, or four months if applying through a certified employer.

Extension applications have longer waiting times, going up to 18 months for sectors with a 15-month wait for first-time applications, or a slightly lower 15 months for branches with a four month wait for first-time applications.

Applications to extend a work permit with certified companies have a much shorter waiting time of just four months.

The situation is worse for the self-employed. People in this category making a first-time application online can expect to wait 27 months -- that's over two years -- or 18 months for applying to extend a work permit.


Live with someone in Sweden

Waiting times for moving to live with someone in Sweden are also complicated to calculate, with the length of the estimated wait affected by your nationality, the nationality of the person you're planning to move to, how they are related to you and even if you lived with the family member prior to moving to Sweden.

In the case of an EU citizen moving to a Swedish spouse or partner who they have lived with for at least two years before moving to Sweden, expect to wait 18 months.

Non-EU citizens moving to a Swedish partner can expect to wait between 15 and 18 months.

Unlike work permit applications, those applying for extensions to their applications to live with someone in Sweden can expect a shorter wait than those applying for the first time - they can expect a wait of just eight months, if they are still living with the same person they were living with when they first applied for a permit.


Prospective students have a relatively short wait compared to other groups - just four months for students applying for the first time or six months for extension applications.

Doctoral students can also expect a four-month wait for first-time applicants, rising to six months for extension applications or ten months if applying for permanent residency as doctoral students.


Visas for visiting Sweden have some of the shortest waiting times of all: visas for visits lasting 90 days or less to the Schengen area (including Sweden) are processed within just 15 days, extending to 45 days in certain circumstances.

Applications for visas to visit Sweden for more than 90 days have an expected waiting time of 7 months if applying outside of Sweden or 3 months if applying within the country.


Citizenship applicants can currently expect the longest wait of any applicant to the Migration Agency: applications for citizenship are complete within 33 months in 75 percent of cases, whereas notifications of citizenship (citizenship applications for Nordic citizens who have lived in Sweden for at least five years) take 11 months.


Residence card for EU-members' family

Residence cards for family members of EU citizens with the right of residence in Sweden also have short waiting times in comparison to other applications: this group can expect to wait just six months before receiving a result.

Other cases

Is your case not listed in this article? Have a look at the Migration Agency's calculator here and input your specific circumstances to find out how long the agency expects to process your case.

If your application has taken six months or more, you can send in a written request that the Swedish Migration Agency conclude your case. Once you've sent this request, the agency has four weeks to either conclude your case or refuse your request - meaning they may just say they need more time and you'll be forced to just wait it out.

You can also only send a request for conclusion once per case, so you can't ask for them to conclude your case again if they refused to do so the first time.

If you want to request a conclusion, you have to do so in writing. You can use this form, which you then fill out and send to the Migration Agency either digitally or by post.

Be aware though that using this service does, ultimately, lengthen waiting times for other applications, as Migration Agency caseworkers' time will be used processing these applications instead of work permits, citizenship applications and residence permits, so keep that in mind and consider avoiding sending a request if you are willing and able to wait it out until the agency gets back to you in their own time.

The waiting times listed in this article were all correct as of October 2nd, 2023.


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