Information on visas

The purpose of Swedish and EU visa policy is to have as free an exchange of visits as possible, within the framework of regulated immigration. The citizens of some countries need to have visas to visit Sweden

Visas are issued for short-term visits. A visa is a permit that must be applied for before entering the Schengen area (including Sweden) for a short period. The aim of the visit may be to visit relatives or friends, a tourist visit, a business visit, to participate in a conference or just to travel through (transit). The decision whether to grant a visa is made in advance of the visit.

How to apply for a visa

Applications for visas to Sweden are made at a Swedish embassy. In places where Sweden does not have an embassy, another Schengen country can represent Sweden, process an application and issue visas on Sweden's behalf. In some places Sweden is represented by another Schengen country even though there is a local Swedish Embassy.

Who makes decisions on visas?

Swedish embassies and consulates-general are independent decision-making agencies for visas, although sometimes an application must be sent to the Swedish Migration Agency for a final decision. Visa application decisions should be taken within 15 calendar days of the date on which the application was received. The processing time may be longer in certain cases. A rejected visa application can be appealed. Any appeal must be submitted to the embassy that made the decision.

Where does the visa apply and for how long a period?

A Schengen visa is valid for a maximum of three months in a six-month period. The number of days depends on the duration of and reason for the stay in Sweden and the Schengen area. A visa is usually valid for entry into all the Schengen countries. In exceptional cases, it may only apply for a stay in the country that issued it.

Read more about visas and application procedures

Detailed information on visas and application forms can be found on the Swedish embassy websites. The Swedish Migration Agency website also contains detailed information on visas, work and residence permits and other matters. The website also contains application forms and information in different languages.

Facts about the Visa Code

In July 2009, Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) was adopted. The rules concerning the issuing of visas are thus gathered in a single regulation. In addition, the working methods that the Member States are required to follow when processing visa applications are harmonised. Visas issued for Schengen countries apply to the entire Schengen area. With a Schengen visa, a third country national can enter a Schengen country and then travel freely throughout the entire Schengen area, since border checks of persons travelling across the national borders of the Schengen countries have been eliminated. Schengen cooperation accordingly makes it easier for many travellers who no longer need to apply for visas at several embassies when planning to visit several Schengen countries on the same journey. It is the main destination of the visit that determines which Schengen country’s embassy the visa application must be submitted to.

The members of Schengen

The Schengen countries are Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.