Overview of Sweden
Located on the Scandinavian Peninsula, Sweden is bordered by the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia. Norway is located to its northwest and Finland to its east, and Denmark connects to its south by a bridge tunnel. Swedish is the official language. Despite being an E.U. member, Sweden has its own currency: the Swedish Krona (SEK).
More than 10 million people live in Sweden, the largest country in northern Europe with 7 million visiting each year. Fifteen percent of the country is in the Arctic Circle and yet the weather, particularly in the summer, when daylight can stretch for 18 hours, can be quite temperate. Stockholm, a city of historic architecture, impressive housing stock, and fine museums, is the country’s capital and seat of government. Swedish restaurants run the gamut from international cuisine to regional specialties of fish, its famed smorgasbord and in August, crayfish with dill. Throughout the country, lingonberry jam is a tradition. From its forested north to its agricultural south, Sweden offers the nature lovers an array of water-based and woodland treks, skiing, and cycling. Culturally, Sweden is a very literate country with a high rate of news consumption. Its writers, among them Strindberg and Lindgren, and its filmmakers such as Ingmar Bergman and Lasse Hallstrom are revered at home and abroad. The world’s sixth richest country, Swedes enjoy a high quality of life.
Sweden signed the Schengen Agreement in 1996, becoming part of the Schengen area in 2001.
- Schengen visa eligibility for Sweden includes third country nationals from the following states, who are excluded from visa-free to Sweden/the Schengen area, and are therefore eligible to apply for a Schengen visa to Sweden:
14. BURKINA FASO
19. CAPE VERDE
71. NORTH KOREA
20. CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
74. PAPUA NEW GUINEA
25. COTE D’IVOIRE
27. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
79. SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE
80. SAUDI ARABIA
29. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
82. SIERRA LEONE
32. EQUATORIAL GUINEA
84. SOUTH AFRICA
85. SOUTH SUDAN
86. SRI LANKA
- Third party nationals from the following entities/territories are also required to apply for a Schengen visa: KOSOVO and the PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY.
- All documents required for your Swedish Schengen visa must be completed/translated into Swedish or English. Applications for all Schengen visas to Sweden will contain the following Basic Required Documents:
- Valid passport
- Passport sized photos
- Application form
- Fingerprints (biometric data)
- Travel medical insurance
- Visa Fee
- Materials related to your trip:
- Reason for visit
- Where you will stay (accommodation)
- How you will fund your trip (finances)
- Proof that you will leave Sweden before your visa becomes invalid/expires. This is often in the form of a paid roundtrip plane ticket (proof of return).
Note: For more information on what to include in your application, including a detailed description of required materials, please see: Basic Required Documents. Please note that you may have to submit additional Swedish Schengen visa supporting documents related to your specific purpose for travelling.
- The standard Swedish Schengen visa fee for an adult is 80 Euros. Certain types of applicants (most students, children under 6) are exempt from all visa fees. To get a Schengen visa for Sweden, you will likely have to submit a service payment with your visa application-this is a separate cost from the visa fee. Please note that these fees are non-refundable in the case of visa rejection.
How to Apply: Steps
- Step 1: Determine your Purpose for travelling to Sweden, which will determine the Type of visa you should apply for.
- Step 2: Determine how many Entries to Sweden/the Schengen area you need.
- Step 3: Gather your Required Documents.
- Step 4: Schedule a Schengen Visa appointment (if applicable).
- Depending on the location of the consulate/visa center you are applying through, you may have to schedule an appointment in order to submit your application. Alternatively, you may be able to drop off your application without prior arrangement, so long as you do so during normal operating hours. Contact your consulate/visa processing center directly to find out if you need to schedule an appointment in order to submit your application.
- Step 5: Fill out your application.
- Different Swedish Consulates/visa processing centers provide different ways of accessing applications – how you apply depends on where you are applying from. Contact your consulate/visa center directly to find out whether you should apply through an external service provider or directly through a Swedish Embassy.
- Please note that the option of applying through the Swedish E-Service is only available if you are applying via the Swedish Embassy in Iran, Korea, Tanzania, or Tokyo. If you are applying for a Schengen visa to Sweden through one of these embassies, you should use the E-Service link here.
- Step 6: Pay the application fee.
- Step 7: Submit your Swedish Schengen visa application (at least 15 days prior to travelling, not before 6 months).
- Different Swedish consulates/processing centers have different procedures for submitting applications. In almost all cases, applications must be submitted in person to the consulate/center you are applying through.
- When you submit your application, you will likely also be asked to submit biometric data (fingerprints). Children younger than 12 years are likely exempt from having their fingerprints collected. However, facial photo capture is required for all applicants nevertheless of their age.
- Please note, after submitting your application, you may be asked to return at a later date for a personal interview to provide further information/materials related to your trip.
When to Apply
- Submit your application at least 15 days prior to the day you intend to travel, and no earlier than 6 months before you leave.
Where to Apply
- Applications for Schengen visas to Sweden should be submitted at either a Swedish Consulate or a visa application center that has a relationship with Sweden.
- You should ideally lodge your application for a Sweden Schengen visa in the country where you legally reside/are a citizen.
- Find Swedish Embassy/Consulate where you live here.
- In countries where there is no Swedish consular presence, applications may be lodged via the consulate of a Schengen state representing Swedish consular interests. If you are seeking to apply for a Swedish Schengen visa via a non-Swedish consulate, you should contact the consulate prior to applying, to make sure that they will accept your application.
- The Swedish Schengen visa processing time is generally 15 days, although it can take longer in certain cases.
If your visa was approved:
- Collect your visa and make sure the information it contains is valid and complete.
If your visa was denied:
- If you receive a Schengen visa rejection for Swedish, you have the right to an appeal, within 3 weeks of receiving your rejection.
- Begin this process by picking up your standard issued-visa refusal form, which describes why your request was denied, and explains the detailed steps of the appeal process.
- You may have to pay an appeal fee, which is likely non-refundable regardless of the outcome of the appeal (positive or negative).
- You should submit your Schengen visa appeal in writing to the consulate which issued the original refusal. If you applied through another country’s consulate, your appeal will be considered by that country’s respective authorities.
- If the consulate upholds their rejections, your appeal is then forwarded to the Migration Court of Gothenburg, which has final ruling on your case.
Finally, once you obtain your Schengen Visa for Sweden, please note the following:
- Your visa may be revoked if you do not notify the Swedish Consulate/visa application center of any changes to your trip itinerary that occur after you have submitted your application.
- Being approved for a Swedish visa does not guarantee you entry to either Sweden or the general Schengen area – you can still be refused entry to both places upon arrival.
- Alternatively, you may have to show additional documents regarding your finances or accommodation in order to enter Sweden/the Schengen area.