Residency permits For Members

Sweden launches pop-up passport control hubs in US and Canada

Emma Löfgren
Emma Löfgren - [email protected]
Sweden launches pop-up passport control hubs in US and Canada
Sweden's Migration Agency will set up mobile hubs in the US and Canada to check student and work permit applicants' passports. Photo: AP Photo/Eileen Putman

Sweden has announced the dates and locations for the pop-up passport control centres it is opening across North America next week to make it easier to apply for residence permits for work and studies.


As The Local has previously reported, new rules for residence permits have required applicants since November to visit a Swedish embassy in person to verify their identity using their passport – even if they’re from a visa-exempt country, such as the US or Canada.

Many universities have raised concerns over the new rules, which mean that an American researcher on the west coast has to travel to Washington DC on the other side of the country to show their passport.

But next month the Swedish Migration Agency will set up temporary mobile units at various locations across the US and Canada where student and work permit applicants only can go to get their passports checked.

”We are making this effort in parallel with the evaluation of other possible solutions,” the Migration Agency’s head of foreign operations, Oskar Ekblad, said in a statement announcing the news. Such solutions could potentially include digital checks or using an independent service provider.


The Migration Agency said it had chosen the locations of the pop-up passport checks based on demand, with centres also situated in places where people would otherwise have the longest travelling distance to an embassy.

”We have chosen the US and Canada because these are places of vast distances and a large population of students who might benefit from this effort,” said Ekblad.

The pop-up passport checks will be open at the following times and locations.


The Swedish Consulate in Vancouver: 2-5pm, July 3rd

University of British Columbia, Vancouver: 9am-noon and 1-4pm, July 4th


University of California Berkeley, San Francisco: 9am-noon and 1-4pm, July 5th, and 9am-noon, July 6th

University of California Los Angeles: 9am-noon and 1-4pm, July 7th

Rice University, Houston, Texas: 9am-noon and 1-4pm, July 10th, and 9am-noon, July 11th

DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois: 9am-noon and 1-4pm, July 12th

Honorary Consulate of Sweden, Chicago, Illinois: 9am-noon, July 13th

The pop-up passport checks are only available to those who live in the US or Canada, have applied for a student permit or work permit, and don’t need a visa to travel to Sweden.

If you need a residence permit card or visa in order to enter Sweden, or if you need to be interviewed (for example if you’re moving as a family member), you still need to visit the embassies in Washington DC or Ottawa.

No appointment is needed to visit the pop-up passport checks, except for applicants visiting the Honorary Consulate of Sweden in Chicago on July 13th, who need to schedule an appointment due to building security regulations.

You can find more information, including address details, about the pop-up checks on the websites of the Swedish embassies in the US and Canada.


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