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Moving to Sweden when married

How to avoid being separated for 18 months

AndyB
post 24.Jan.2017, 05:49 AM
Post #1
Joined: 24.Jan.2017

Maybe a forum isn't the best place to ask is, but I'm so fed up with Migrationsverket and their inability to give a straight answer, that I'm hoping that someone on this site having gone through something similar will be able to share their experience.

I'm Swedish, legally at least. I was born there and escaped some twenty years ago. However, I've been offered a permanent position at a university in Sweden, and my wife and I reckon that we could give Sweden a go for a few years (it seems less of a good idea now than a few months ago). I have to start the job in a few months.

My wife is Australian. Our son (4 years old) and I have dual citizenship. We've been married and have cohabited for six years, and we've been together for 11 years now.

As it turns out, the situation would've been easier if neither of us had any connection to Sweden. Instead, because of me my wife has to apply for permanent residency (We keep being directed to the 'Moving to someone in Sweden' even though this isn't the case), which has a 12-13 month processing time (sometimes the migrationsverket website claims it's 18 months). In addition to that, we're not technically eligible unless we already have a place to live in Sweden.

So if I understand things correctly my wife is expected to apply for permanent residency permit about a year to a year and a half before we're thinking about moving. Even then she won't get her residence permit unless we've also secured an apartment a year and a half in advance, as well as finding a job where they mind me not showing up for a year and a half. And even then the residency application asks about my taxes etc., which would imply that I would already have to be living in Sweden.

Being separated during the processing of the residence permit would be bad enough, but when there's a child involved it becomes impossible, as it's not fair for him to lose one of his parents for a year (which is 25% of his life so far).

Migrationsverket hasn't been that helpful. We keep being told that my wife should wait for her permit in Australia, as this is the 'norm'. I'm trying to get them to tell me how to get an exemption. Exemptions are available, where it's possible to apply for residence permit while in Sweden if:
* you're married to a Swedish citizen
* you'd likely be awarded residency if you had applied the 'proper' way
* you have a child together and separation would have a detrimental impact on the child

Is it just me or:
* are the rules completely insane? They fail to take into account the possibility of Swedes returning with foreign spouses at all. The only possibility they seem to be considering are cases where a person living in Sweden has gone abroad to marry someone, and then returned.
* is migrationsverket spectacularly unhelpful whenever you're actually trying to get a straight answer from them?

Every country has its strengths and weaknesses. One of Sweden's weaknesses seems to be their incompetent bureaucrats.
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mjennin2
post 24.Jan.2017, 12:44 PM
Post #2
Location: Västra Götaland
Joined: 8.Mar.2010

AndyB - I can provide you with a bit of help by way of links to support groups where you can get a lot of information and such. If you have facebook, PM me here and I'll send you my link so you can message me if you'd prefer. I have several friends who have been (and/or currently are) in your situation. All married, all have kids, all have cohabited for 10+ years, some married for over 20 years, they all waited the full length of time for their residence permit - with just as much frustration over how ridiculous the wait was, no help and conflicting info from MV, you name it. A good friend of mine who I met here on TL was in the exact situation as you. Her husband is Swedish, got a job as a university lecturer in the Dalarna area, she is Australian, they have been married for a long while and have two sons (registered Swedish citizens though born in Australia) about 10 years old or some such. Trust me when I say she tried to exhaust every single avenue to be able to move with her family to no avail. As luck should have it, I believe they only waited a year for her PUT and everything worked out well. She just moved a month ago. If you want to PM me, I can also connect you two on facebook. I would bet she'd be happy to talk to you or your wife and offer some advice. I would also suggest you have your wife join the English Speaking Mums in Sweden group, where some more support and advice might be rendered.

In short, however, there are unfortunately no real exemptions to your situation sad.gif Having children doesn't really help, as they have removed prioritization for things like that given the size of the queue. You and your son could, in theory, move to Sweden ahead of your wife, get an apartment, register with SV, and then have your wife come visit on a tourist visa. Once there, she can go to MV and request to change her application to an inifrån ansökan where she would be allowed to complete her wait from within Sweden - *IF* they let her. We have seen some success with families going this way (especially those whose children are already born), but it isn't guaranteed. Especially since your wife comes from a first world country where it is "safe" for her to wait. It's a risk, but it's at least something! The other downside being that she won't be given a PN until her case is settled, and so you know how disabled she'll be in society without that.

Another plausible option is that you, as an EU citizen, exercise your right of residence in another EU country by getting a job, studying, or coming in with "sufficient wealth". Move your family with you, live there for a few months, and then you can all move together to Sweden under the "repatriating Swede" clause in which Sweden would treat you with the same rules they afford a non-Swedish EU citizen moving to Sweden (that is to say, their family could move ASAP even while your non-EU spouse's application is being processed, and she can even work/study/etc. before the case is settled). In which case she would apply for a residence *card*, not a residence *permit*. More info here: http://www.skatteverket.se/privat/folkbokf...d743ffd158.html (or in english here) The downside to that is I'm not sure how long you have to live in the foreign country before repatriating, and it might just be way more trouble than it's worth.

MV's waiting time engine is a bit misleading. Although it's too soon to say how long the full wait will be for someone who has applied in the era of maintenance requirements, the general queue is giving decisions to couples within 12-14 months for normal cases (which yours sounds like), and it's been that way even through the worst of the refugee crisis. I would hope that that time frame continues to hold and doesn't get longer given changes to policy and such.

Anyway. That's a lot to digest, but like I said, if you'd like me to send you some useful links to groups who can offer a lot of information (because MV is the last place you want to go to for any shred of info), just PM me.
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axiom
post 24.Jan.2017, 01:08 PM
Post #3
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 24.May.2011

This for me is where the whole Migration process is turned up on its head, and begins to make no sense whatsoever. It would be easier for you in this case to be a foreigner than a Swedish citizen as you could get your permit in 2 months rather than 18months. And then people sit around and wonder why people are annoyed and SD just grows and grows.
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mjennin2
post 24.Jan.2017, 01:20 PM
Post #4
Location: Västra Götaland
Joined: 8.Mar.2010

QUOTE (axiom @ 24.Jan.2017, 12:08 PM) *
This for me is where the whole Migration process is turned up on its head, and begins to make no sense whatsoever. It would be easier for you in this case to be a foreigner th ... (show full quote)


Right!?

And at the very least, if the queue really does need to be squashed because there are so many casual relationships that need to be investigated... isn't it enough to have been married with children and cohabiting for years on years and years? Like seriously, what kind of investigation really needs to be done? Especially if the children are Swedish citizens.. even if the relationship were falling apart, the parent still has the legal right to move to Sweden with their minor children. Why isn't there a fast-tracked queue for cases like this? You can't really fake minor children who are citizens, regardless of whether MV feels the need to investigate the relationship.
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science.paola
post 24.Jan.2017, 04:16 PM
Post #5
Joined: 4.Dec.2016

QUOTE (axiom @ 24.Jan.2017, 01:08 PM) *
It would be easier for you in this case to be a foreigner than a Swedish citizen as you could get your permit in 2 months rather than 18months.


Freaking foreigners again!

Maybe you could consider mentioning that 'in 2 months' is in case a spouse moves to a spouse on a (temporary) work permit in Sweden, which is a very big difference from the case of this topic. For a more relevant comparison of a spouse moving to a spouse - permanent residence holder in Sweden, the time is 13-15 months, exactly the same as to move in with a Swedish citizen.
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mjennin2
post 24.Jan.2017, 04:39 PM
Post #6
Location: Västra Götaland
Joined: 8.Mar.2010

QUOTE (science.paola @ 24.Jan.2017, 03:16 PM) *
Freaking foreigners again!Maybe you could consider mentioning that 'in 2 months' is in case a spouse moves to a spouse on a (temporary) work permit in Sweden, whic ... (show full quote)

Yes but technically, if OP was a "foreigner" - not swedish, but an EU citizen - they could move to Sweden immediately. Like, today. OP's spouse would apply for a residence card despite being non-EU and could seek work or study while she waited for her permit. No waiting required.

It's a shame how Swedish citizens are treated, in a way.
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science.paola
post 24.Jan.2017, 04:49 PM
Post #7
Joined: 4.Dec.2016

QUOTE (mjennin2 @ 24.Jan.2017, 04:39 PM) *
Yes but technically, if OP was a "foreigner" - not swedish, but an EU citizen - they could move to Sweden immediately.


MV web site shows the same 13-15 months estimate if someone is moving to live in Sweden with an EU citizen.

Anyways, axiom meant the non-EU foreigners, hence the reference to the rise of the SD. His position from other threads is that the EU citizens and asylum seekers have all the rights to live in Sweden and can not be criticized, while the numbers of the non-EU work permit holders must decrease. Hence the reference to '2-months'.
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science.paola
post 24.Jan.2017, 06:21 PM
Post #8
Joined: 4.Dec.2016

QUOTE (mjennin2 @ 24.Jan.2017, 01:20 PM) *
And at the very least, if the queue really does need to be squashed because there are so many casual relationships that need to be investigated... isn't it enough to have ... (show full quote)


Just to clarify, I fully agree that the wait is soul crushing, and with your opinion about the lack of necessity for a thorough investigation in such cases. Merely came to disagree with axiom's statement that the sole reason for this long delay in the processing of permits is related to the terrible non-EU workers.
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mjennin2
post 24.Jan.2017, 09:03 PM
Post #9
Location: Västra Götaland
Joined: 8.Mar.2010

QUOTE (science.paola @ 24.Jan.2017, 03:49 PM) *
MV web site shows the same 13-15 months estimate if someone is moving to live in Sweden with an EU citizen.

^^But an important distinction: the non-EU spouse does not need to wait outside of Sweden while the case processes. And, they have the right to seek work, study, etc. even before they have a decision. So, yes - same amount of wait. But entirely different waiting experience. A matter of semantics, in a way smile.gif

QUOTE (science.paola @ 24.Jan.2017, 05:21 PM) *
Just to clarify, I fully agree that the wait is soul crushing, and with your opinion about the lack of necessity for a thorough investigation in such cases. Merely came to dis ... (show full quote)

Ingen fara smile.gif I don't follow TL enough these days to pick up on the trends of regular posters - I had no idea that this was an issue. Onward and upward! <3
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AndyB
post 25.Jan.2017, 12:22 AM
Post #10
Joined: 24.Jan.2017

Thanks to everyone who replied, and especially mjennin2.

I think this is another case of bureaucrats following the letter of the law (the process is everything) rather than the spirit of the law (investigate questionable cases, obviously legit cases can be waved through). I wish I knew of a way of using my political rights in Sweden to change this, but apart from strong general disagreement with the ideology of SD, I would hardly think that they'd be in favour of making it easier to bring in foreign spouses, as many of these cases would involve people who are naturalised Swedes.

As is pointed out, it's hard to fake a child. On top of that, in our case we registered our marriage in Sweden immediately, so unless they think we're carrying out a very committed six (soon seven) year scam, I can't see how cases like ours would warrant any investigation.

Either way, thank you for all the replies, which will hopefully help, dissuade, or mentally prepare other people who are considering returning to Sweden for whatever reason.
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axiom
post 25.Jan.2017, 08:24 AM
Post #11
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 24.May.2011

QUOTE (science.paola @ 24.Jan.2017, 04:49 PM) *
MV web site shows the same 13-15 months estimate if someone is moving to live in Sweden with an EU citizen.Anyways, axiom meant the non-EU foreigners, hence the reference to t ... (show full quote)


No, if they were EU citizens they could move immediately and wait for a permit in Sweden, no need to wait outside of Sweden and can in fact begin working immediately on arrival. I made a hypothetical statement in another thread, calm down, thats all it was hypothetical, it won't be long before you think I am the PR manager for SD :/

Now lets say he was an American living in America, he got a job in Sweden; he and his family could be living here within 2months, thats a fact, I am not assuming or building up a straw man argument. If he applied for a permit to take up the Job as an American, they could both get their permit after two months and move to Sweden.
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axiom
post 25.Jan.2017, 08:27 AM
Post #12
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 24.May.2011

QUOTE (science.paola @ 24.Jan.2017, 06:21 PM) *
Just to clarify, I fully agree that the wait is soul crushing, and with your opinion about the lack of necessity for a thorough investigation in such cases. Merely came to dis ... (show full quote)


I made no such statement, not even in the slightest. All I did was compare waiting times as stated on MSVT website. I did not lay any blame anywhere for anything, how did you come to this conclusion? blink.gif
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