Swedish Citizenship

Swedish legislation on citizenship is based on the jus sanguinis principle, which means that citizenship, in principle, is acquired at birth if either of the parents is a Swedish citizen. Another fundamental principle is to avoid statelessness. Since 2001 Sweden accepts dual citizenship.

Young woman on a train Photo: Yina Chan/SCANPIX

Becoming a Swedish citizen

A person who wishes to apply for Swedish citizenship or acquire information on citizenship issues should contact the Swedish Migration Board.

The implication of Swedish citizenship

Citizenship is a legally binding relationship between a state and an individual. The most tangible proof of Swedish citizenship is the national passport or the national identification card. People with permanent residence permits

Foreign nationals who have a permanent resident permit (PUT) and are registered as residents in Sweden by and large have the same rights and obligations as Swedish citizens. There are, however, some differences. Only Swedish citizens have an absolute right to live and work in Sweden and only Swedish citizens are entitled to vote in the Riksdag elections. A foreign citizen cannot be elected to the Riksdag. There are also a number of posts, such as for example police officers and military officers in the Swedish Armed Forces that can only be filled by Swedish citizens.

People with permanent residence permits

Foreign nationals who have permanent resident permits (PUTs) and are registered as resident in Sweden largely have the same rights and obligations as Swedish citizens. There are, however, some differences. Only Swedish citizens have an absolute right to live and work in Sweden, and only Swedish citizens are entitled to vote in the Riksdag elections. A foreign citizen cannot be elected to the Riksdag either. There are also a number of posts, such as those of police officers, career officers in the Swedish Armed Forces and some safety service officers, that can only be filled by Swedish citizens. The obligation to do military service only applies to men who are Swedish citizens.

Possibility for dual citizenship

According to the Swedish Citizenship Act of 2001 it is possible to hold dual citizenship. A person acquiring Swedish citizenship may retain his or her previous citizenship if the law in the other country so permits. Similarly, a person who is a Swedish citizen and acquires another citizenship may retain his or her Swedish citizenship if the other country's legislation does not prevent this.

Minister responsible

Ministry responsible