Residency permits For Members

How to get permanent residency in Sweden

The Local Sweden
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How to get permanent residency in Sweden
Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Exactly how to obtain the permanent right to live in Sweden depends on your citizenship and any existing permits. The process can appear complicated, but here are the key things to know about the main routes to permanent residency.


EU citizens

If you're an EU citizen studying, working in Sweden or with the means to support yourself in some other way, you automatically have right of residence in Sweden without needing to apply for any specific permit or proof. But you may still be able to apply for a permanent residence permit (uppehållstillstånd), and there are a few benefits to applying for permanent residence, including added security in case you find yourself no longer fitting into those categories in future.

As for non-EU citizens, again permanent residence gives extra security once you are eligible to apply.

Permanent residence: EU citizens who have lived in Sweden at least five years

As previously mentioned, all EU citizens working, studying or with the means to support themselves have the right of residence in Sweden without applying for a permit, although you do need to register yourself as living in Sweden with Sweden's Tax Agency within three months of your arrival.

After five years of living in Sweden, people in this category automatically gain "permanent right of residence".


This secures your right to stay in the country even if you stop being able to support yourself. A certificate confirming that permanent right of residence can be issued for no fee upon request by filling out the form "Intyg om permanent uppehållsrätt", found here.

If you have right of residence as a family member of an EU citizen and have lived together with a close relative in Sweden for at least five years, then you may also meet the criteria for permanent right of residence.

The Swedish Migration Agency office in Solna. Photo: Adam Wrafter/SvD/TT

Long-term resident status: non-EU citizens

There are several different options for non-EU citizens, which depend on which type of permit you have previously lived in Sweden on.

Non-EU citizens who have lived in Sweden for five years with a valid residence permit and can prove they were capable of supporting themselves and their family during that time can also apply for long-term resident status by filling in the form "Ansökan om status som varaktigt bosatt”, found here.

Long-term resident status is valid for as long as the person resides in Sweden, but your long-term resident status may be withdrawn after six years of living away from the country.


Permanent residence: non-EU citizens and EU citizens without EU right of residence

You can only apply for permanent residence after a minimum of three years in Sweden as a general rule, with some exceptions, such as for self-employed people who can apply after two years. The exact time and requirements depend on which type of permit you are on, but in practice most people can only apply for permanent residence after at least four years in Sweden.

If your residence permit in Sweden is based on you being the family member of a Swede, you can technically apply for permanent residence after three years in Sweden, although you can only apply for permanent residence when renewing your temporary residence permit. This means you're likely to have to wait for four years before you can apply. The application costs 2,000 kronor for adults and 1,000 kronor for children. 

If you have lived in Sweden with a residence permit for doctoral studies for at least four years out of the past seven, you can also apply for permanent residence. Again, you must be able to prove you can support yourself financially. This application costs 1,500 kronor.


If you have lived in Sweden on a work permit, you can apply for a permanent residence permit when you extend this permit if you have worked for at least four years out of the last seven.

You need to meet the same requirements as for an extension of your temporary work permit (for example, meeting minimum salary requirements) and you also need to meet the special requirements for permanent residence, including being able to support yourself financially and having lived an "orderly life". It costs 2,200 kronor to extend a work permit, plus an extra 1,500 kronor per adult and 750 kronor per child if you have family members applying with you.

If you are self-employed, you can apply for a permanent residence permit after two years when it is time to renew your temporary permit. You need to be able to support yourself financially on the income from the company, spend more than six months of each year in Sweden, own at least 50 percent of your Swedish company, and be living an orderly life. The fee is 2,000 kronor.

There are a few exceptions to the fees for permanent residence permits. EU/EEA citizens, and citizens of Japan are exempt from all application fees; doctoral students with certain scholarships are exempt from the fees; and family members of non-Swedish EU/EEA nationals are exempt from the fee for family member permits, for example.


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Vince 2023/12/04 01:07
Hi :) What about a person that is not a EU citizen that is working in Sweden Married to Nordic Citizen living in Sweden together and the Nordic citizen is a Student in Denmark but living in Malmö for exemple ? But the Danish Person has now been a Swedish citizen since 2 years prior. Can this person( me ;) apply for permanent Residency after 2 years or after 3 years or after 4 years or after 5 years ? for and what about citizenship Can I or others apply after 2 years since I have been living with Swedish citizen for at least 2 years ? I have spoken to so many people about this I can not get clear response even the Swedish lawyer I paid for had to ask her friend from Migrationsverket and the response was not that clear. I understand Your all journalists and don't have all the answers :) since you even knew about the acceptions for Japanese people I figured it could not hurt to ask your team and perhaps Nordic citizen and there partners could be aded to future articles and future updates of articles about permanent Residency and articles about Swedish citizenship please and thank you :) - Vince from Canada - Ps I work a Personal assistant and my wife is University student studying to become a teacher in Copenhagen. We are not so wealthy at the moment I don't know if even financially make enough money for residency or citizenship and the both still Learning Swedish I am not sur what the language requirements are for me ? Since my Wife is now Danish and Swedish we are kind of lost I Imagine other Nordics and there partners looking for information about this subject are also not finding clear information about this particular cases. Thank you again sorry I write to much.
LS 2023/04/18 14:52
What does the requirement to "live an orderly" life include, apart from the obvious no criminal record and no debt?

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