Something Swedish

Officially Swedish

26 Comments

There are two ways to become Swedish:

Way One:  Adapt and integrate yourself into the culture:

THE WAY YOU EAT
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THE WORDS YOU SPEAK
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HOW YOU DECORATE

HOW YOU WAIT IN LINE
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Nummerlapp

Nummerlapp-Kölapp-Automat-Schweden-Hej-Sweden

Way two: Apply to become a Swedish citizenship

[DRUMROLL PLEASE]

photo 2 photo 3

Yep – I am officially Swedish! (Culturally and legally speaking!)

Quick facts/tips:

–  After two years of living in Sweden you can change your temporary residency visa to a permanent visa by “extending” (not filing for new) about one month before your temporary expires (cannot do it sooner). This costs 1200 SEK and you must go to the nearest migrationsverket office to get a new card. LINK

– If you live in Sweden with a spouse or a sambo you can apply for citizenship after 3 years

– Other situations like work, school or refugee status requires 5 years

– Decision wait time can vary. The migrationsverket website says 8 months, but I got mine back in 2 weeks. Be prepared for the full wait since you need to send away your passport and Swedish Residency card.

– Application for citizenship is also 1200SEK

– Any trip outside Sweden for more than 6 months counts as an “interruption” and can affect your application/doesn’t count towards your time in Sweden.

– There is no language or history test to become a citizen.

– Once you are a Swedish citizen you are allowed to: vote in/be elected for Swedish elections, work as police/military,  easier to live/work/travel anywhere in Europe

– Sweden allows dual citizenship. Having dual citizenship can mean that you need to pay double “world wide” tax  (this applies to the USA).

–  After getting your decision it is up to you to get your Swedish passport at the nearest police station. For me the whole process of waiting, taking finger prints, photo, signature and payment took ten minutes, cost 350 SEK and I got my passport in 4 days.

– It is recommended to use your own countries passport when visiting your own country.

– In 2014, Swedish citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 174 countries and territories, ranking the Swedish passport 1st in the world according to the Visa Restrictions Index. (Wikipedia)

If I missed anything important or you have any questions – let me know in the comments!

(all pictures in this post were borrowed aside from the two  last)

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26 thoughts on “Officially Swedish

  1. Hey Meg!
    Long time, no see!
    I actually have a question about Swedish citizenship. Maybe you know the answer!
    I have two passports already…Irish and American. Because Ireland is also part of the EU, I can live and work in Sweden without a visa. Do you know if I qualify for Swedish citizenship? Do I need to live in Sweden for 5 years? I think time spent studying at a university in Sweden does not count toward residency…so it might take me a while to get up to 5 years.
    It would only really matter if Ireland or Sweden decided to leave the EU… (crosses fingers)
    Maybe you know!
    See you sometime soon! Snälla.
    Thanks 🙂
    Siobhan

    • I believe as long as you have a personnummer the time counts. You can have dual citizenship with any country, so I don’t see why already being a member of European union would hinder that. Although, you would have to choose because you can’t have three 🙂 If I remember correctly EU members have a 5 year wait even if they are here with a spouse/sambo visa (I could be wrong on that, but I know someone in that situation who said that that is the case).

      • You can’t have 3 passports? One of my students does actually, but none of the countries are on the same continent… I guess it doesn’t really matter now because Sweden and Ireland are both EU.
        See ya!

      • Really? I thought Dual citizenship was the ” highest” amount of citizenships you could have. I’ve never heard of “tri citizenship” so I assumed that it wasn’t possible. Perhaps in cases like yours (Automatic citizenship at birth due to parents coming from different countries) it is possible? I’m no expert!

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_citizenship#Citizenship_of_multiple_countries There’s more information on “multiple citizenship” here, it seems to be in the case in your situation like I said (born into dual citizenship) There’s even a paragraph specifically about Ireland. I still have no idea how it works but I learned something new! I’m sure migrationssverket can answer any questions

  2. Wow, grattis Meg. No examinations on Swedish history? No swearing allegiance to the King? It’s that easy? I admire the way you have adapted so rapidly. Me, I am still relying heavily on text TV. But, well done to you.

    • Thanks Dan! Nope – no crazy tests or swearing. I am a bit surprised by it actually – a lot of other countries require something along those lines. I expected a language exam. Working at the daggis has helped a lot with my language – you have to use it or lose it!

  3. Congrats! Will you be celebrating with the other ‘new’ swedes on the 4th of June? Most cities have a special welcome ceremony on the national day 🙂
    Love your blog. My fiancé and I havent decided if I should move to the US or if he’ll move here, as long as we’re together it doesn’t really matter where – red tape has to be dealt with either way.

    • Thank you Minicha! I was actually looking into that ceremony as I’ve heard of it but there’s not a lot of information about it in my town. I know someone who did it 2 years ago, but it was in September. Do you know if it’s something “new Swedes” get invited to or do we have to sign up? Good luck with the move – which ever direction you go! (I think the red tape is a lot less to move to Sweden)

      • I was tired. The national day is of course on the 6th of June….
        I think it is open invitations and information can be found on the homepage of your Kommun, often there are (small) notices in the local papers. The Kommun announces a public celebration of the national day and it includes the welcome to new citizens.

  4. Woo hoo!! Grattis!! Just this week, since moving back, I realized that I can apply for citizenship as well! So, I am getting ready to send in my papers today actually! Is there anything you needed to do to alert the US government?

    • Wow – I didn’t know you were back, Liz! (I’ve been absent in the blogosphere!) I didn’t have to alert the US, no. However, I think it affects the application if you’ve been out of the country for more than 6 consecutive weeks. I know it was a question, at least. Not really sure how it works though – lycka till!

      • Thanks for your reply! I have bene back since January. 🙂 I am so freaked out about losing my american citizenship, and the government websites say that you are at risk if you voluntarily apply for citizenship abroad. But, I know so many people who have both. Anyway, my time back in the States counts as an interruption, but I can begin my habitual residence again on the day I moved back, so that means that I have 3 years and 3 months of living in Sweden. Yay!

  5. Congratulations!! Yours was fast mine took almost 6 weeks!

  6. I am so excited for you! Dual citizen of the world, my little Megera, Swedish Meatball! ❤ Miss you like crazy.

  7. Grattis! Are you developing hostile feelings for the neighboring countries yet? 🙂

  8. Glad to see a new post — and congrats on your citizenship! I look forward to hearing more. Love you!

  9. Hi Meg,
    I too am I love refugee. I moved from the states to live in Sweden about 3 years ago. Don’t have the funds to apply for citizenship yet however. I’ve loved reading your blog. It’s helped me out a lot in my own transition. Have you considered doing a post on filing taxes as an American citizen living abroad? In any case, I think you should!
    Oh and grattis on your Swedish citizenship!

  10. Bra!
    I am very excited to read this article…dual citizenship sounds amazing

  11. Congratulations! That’s awesome. Hope to see you back here and get more updates on your life. Always a pleasure to read you. 🙂

  12. I know only two words of Swedish: Svenska Kottbullar (I love making Swedish meatballs)! A well-traveled friend once told me the most physically beautiful people in the world are the Swedish (hmm … he may want this info about dual citizenship!).

  13. Can you elaborate on what you know about being double taxed? I know as an American living and working abroad in Sweden you have to pay taxes in the US to maintain your American citizenship otherwise you forfeit it. How much in taxes do you have to pay the US annually? Is it only to the Federal government?

    I used to live in Sweden and did my masters there, and my spouse (Swedish) and I are thinking about moving back there from the US maybe next year.

  14. Pingback: Transcript Headache | Something Swedish

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