How to get permanent residence as a dependent in Sweden 2021

The Swedish government has recently, 2021, imposed some new legal changes, meaning that it will now be harder for dependents over the age of 18 to obtain permanent residence in Sweden.

This means that children over 18, spouses, ‘sambo’, or partners will need to meet these new requirements in order to be granted permanent residence.

In this article we will be briefly outlining the new changes that have been imposed.

visa permit residence sweden family spouse wife partner sambo children

1. All first-time residence permits will be temporary

If you were applying as a spouse or dependent to a Swedish citizen, it was previously possible to obtain permanent residence if you had been living together abroad for at least 2 years. With the new changes it looks like this will no longer be an option.

2. You will need to have income to support yourself

In order to be granted permanent residence as a dependent (child, spouse, ‘sambo’, or partner) you will need to meet new maintenance requirements. This means that you need to prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself in Sweden.

According to the Migration Agency’s assessment at the time, only income from employment can count towards your income (self-employment can also count towards this). Savings or income from stocks do not count.

This means that you also cannot rely on your partner to support you to meet the maintenance requirement. If you are retired, you may be exempt from this maintenance requirement.

New rules for permanent residence as dependents in Sweden

The Migration Agency has assessed that the income level decided by The Swedish Enforcement Authority (Kronofogdemyndigheten). You can find this here (only available in Swedish). It is the Migration Agency’s assessment that you only need to prove that you can financially support yourself so the income level they look at is for a single adult. For 2021 this is a monthly income of 5,016 SEK.

In addition to the income level decided by The Swedish Enforcement Authority, the Migration Agency will also check that you have sufficient income to pay for your housing. If you live alone the entire rent should be taken into consideration.

If you share your housing with other adults (children over 18, spouse, partner, etc.) the housing cost will be divided by the number of adults you live with. This means that the total monthly income you need to prove for 2021 is 5,016 SEK + your housing expenses.

3. You must have held a dependent/residence permit for at least 3 years

It was previously possible for spouses, ‘sambo’, or partners to be granted permanent residence after holding a residence permit for 2 years. However, with these new regulations it is now required to hold a residence permit for at least 3 years instead.

4. You should not have committed any crimes

If you, as a dependent, have been charged with any criminal offences, then your application for permanent residence may be rejected. Your application may also be rejected if it is suspected that you will not live a peaceful and crime-free life in Sweden. This applies to everyone over the age of 15.

The Migration Agency states that there are currently no guidelines as to what level of crimes warrant a rejection and state that it will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

5. Knowledge in Swedish language and Swedish society

The new legislation recommends that this is imposed at a later time, so as of now, 2021, there is no requirement for this. If you are someone that is looking to obtain permanent residence in the future, it may be a good idea to study the Swedish language as this is likely to become a requirement.

It is important to mention that if permanent residence cannot be granted, it is generally possible for the Migration Agency to grant an additional temporary permit instead.

If you would like to read up on these new changes yourself, you can find the Migration Agency’s assessment of the new regulations here (only available in Swedish).