Wondering How To Become a Swedish Citizen?

There are many advantages to becoming a Swedish citizen. Sweden boasts remarkably high living standards, and as a member of both Schengen and the European Union, its citizens can easily travel to and reside in other EU countries without any restrictions.

To become a Swedish citizen, one should be at least 18 years old and have proof of identity (such as a passport or other identification document).

One should also have resided in Sweden for a certain amount of time, have led an orderly life, and have a permanent residence permit or residence card.

Becoming a Swedish citizen is not as difficult as some may think. However, it’s important that applicants understand and satisfy every single requirement in order for their applications to be successful.

This article will cover various aspects of becoming a Swedish citizen, including what is required, how long it takes to acquire Swedish citizenship, and how much it costs.

Also, see What Do Swedes Think of Midsommar? to learn more.

How Hard Is It To Become a Citizen of Sweden?

Provided that one satisfies all the requirements that will be discussed in this article, it’s not hard to become a citizen of Sweden.

If the person applying for Swedish citizenship is not a citizen of another EU member state, then they should be in possession of a permanent residence permit. 

If the applicant already has a permanent residence permit and meets all the other requirements, there is little chance that their application will be rejected.

Additionally, being a citizen of any other Nordic country, i.e., Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Iceland, makes it easier to acquire Swedish citizenship [1].

As a Nordic citizen, one can apply for Swedish citizenship through the County Administration Board if they have lived in Sweden for at least five years [2].

Nordic applicants should also be at least 18 years old and have not been incarcerated for at least five years.

However, if the applicant doesn’t hold a permanent residence permit and is not a citizen of another EU member state, they will find that the “residence” requirement is the most challenging one.

No need to panic, though: it’s possible to apply for a permanent residence permit either before or after entering Sweden [3]. 

Any person applying for Swedish citizenship must be at least 18 years of age [4].

The applicant must also be able to verify their identity, meaning that they should possess a passport or an identification document – in both cases, the applicant is required to present original documents, as the Swedish government does not accept photocopies.  

So, what if the applicant cannot prove their identity? In such cases, it may be possible for a close relative (i.e., a parent, spouse, sibling, or child of at least 18 years of age) to attest to the applicant’s identity.

The close relative should, however, already be a Swedish citizen. 

If the applicant does not have a close relative who can help them prove their identity, there are still ways for them to submit their application, as the Swedish government is willing to overlook the “identity” requirement as long as:

  • The applicant has resided in Sweden for at least eight years,
  • The information pertaining to their identity is credible,
  • The applicant cannot obtain any documents proving their identity.

 To become a Swedish citizen, one should also meet the following requirements:

  • Not having committed any crimes 
  • Not having any unpaid debts (including taxes, fines, etc.) 

How Long Does It Take To Become a Swedish Citizen?

Under normal circumstances, it should take approximately six months for the Swedish Migration Agency to communicate its decision.

However, with the number of application requests rising each year, processing times have gotten considerably longer. 

Still, the Swedish Migration Agency is notoriously efficient when it comes to handling citizenship applications.

If an applicant has not received a response within six months, they may send in an official request which would force the Swedish Migration Agency to either accept or decline their request [5]. 

In reality, however, it’s getting increasingly difficult to obtain a prompt response due to more and more people applying for Swedish citizenship each year.

According to an article by the Local, in 2020, there were still four cases being evaluated that had been filed before 2015 [6]. 

In 2015, it took approximately 175 days for applicants to receive a response; in 2017, it took 185 days.

In 2019, however, the average processing time exceeded 290 days, and this processing period has been getting longer ever since. 

How Much It Costs To Become a Swedish Citizen

Applying for Swedish citizenship is not a particularly expensive process, but there are certain administrative fees that all applicants are required to pay, irrespective of their economic background. 

The only exceptions to this rule are:

  • If the applicant is a stateless refugee (their refugee status has to be official, though)
  • If the applicant is a stateless refugee who has been granted travel documents 

So how much does it cost to file all the required documents to become a Swedish citizen? The total cost amounts to SEK 1,500 (around $142 as of November 2022) [7]. 

If an applicant also wishes to include their minor children in their request, they may do so without having to pay any additional fees.

When compared to the citizenship application fees charged by many other European countries as well as the United States, one has to admit that Sweden’s fees are quite reasonable, especially considering the benefits of being a Swedish citizen. 

Despite having a relatively small population (a little over 10 million), Sweden boasts a strong economy and remarkably high living standards.

The Swedish government attaches great importance to freedom, tolerance, and sustainable development, which is why Sweden systematically scores very high on all of these key aspects. 

While it’s true that life in Sweden is more expensive than in most European countries, it’s also fair to point out that salaries are also above the European average.

All in all, Sweden has a lot to offer, and despite its cold weather, its citizens are among the happiest people on Earth. 

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Christian Christensen

Christian started Scandinavia Facts to explore his family heritage, raise awareness of one of his academic interests as a professor, and civilly promote the region. Please see the About page for details.

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