Swedish Sambo Visa

After finally obtaining a Swedish Sambo Visa I thought that I would share the process for others out there who are planning to make the voyage to live in Sweden.

When it comes to any visa process things can seem quite painful. I find that waiting is the hardest part, you gather what you think is needed, bundle it together and hope for the best right? After months of not hearing anything you start to get concerned that your future plans will not come about and instantly project your mind to the worst case scenario! I know this all too well.

I cannot stress it enough that you need to plan! Any type of relocation takes time, regardless of moving to another city or country. I would recommend leaving yourself 12 months to get everything you need in order. I understand that people can be short on time, however the Swedish Migration Department does state that processing time can take up to 11 months.

What you need to provide for a Swedish Sambo Visa

  • Current passport and copies of all identity pages for you are your partner.
  • Evidence that you and your partner have been living together at the same address. Provide utility bills, joint bank account statements, rental agreements.
  • Personbevis (Civic Registration Certificate). I was confused with this one however if you are Australian you can get them from the department of Births Deaths and Marriages. Your partner will also have to provide one from Sweden.
  • If you are married or registered partners you should include copies of these certificates.
  • Several photos of you and your partner in daily life.
  • Complete the online application form at Migrationsverket. Once you have completed this and it has been submitted your partner will also need to compete a number of questions that will be emailed to them. Make sure you submit this online as it will speed up the application process.
  • Pay the 1500 SEK or $250 (AUD) application fee.
  • Once you have submitted your application you will be given a control number which you can use to check on the processing of your visa. 

What are the next stages of a Swedish Sambo Visa?

Okay so you and your partner have filled in all the application forms, sent off all your documentation, so what happens next? I know you don't want to hear it but the answer is wait! The department gives you an estimation of 11 months processing time for a Swedish Sambo Visa. In my case I did not hear anything for around 5 months. Then one day I received an email from the department informing me that I had to arrange an interview with my closest Swedish Consulate.

They may also notify you that you need to provide addition paperwork, In my case I had forgotten to submit my Civic Registration Certificate and personal photos. Gather together what you need and attached the documents to the link they provide in their email.

Swedish Sambo Visa interview

Don't stress, as soon as people mention interview alarm bells immediately start ringing. Locate your closest Swedish Consulate and arrange a time to take your interview. You will need to bring all the original paperwork that you submitted including you and your partners passports.

My interview was very informal and relaxed. I was given a list of questions that I had to fill in while the lady at the consulate took photocopies of all my documentation. These questions were very similar to the ones that you fill in on your online application, so don't freak out. The interview cost $20 and I was in there for around 1 hour. 

The consulate cannot give you any guarantee of when you will receive a decision on your visa so you again will have to play the waiting game.

When can I expect a decision on my Sambo Visa? 

This varies from case to case. I was lucky as I received a decision 2 weeks after I took the interview. I was very surprised about this as I thought that I would be waiting much longer. I have read that it has taken some people several months or several weeks, I think it really does depend on the workload of the department at the time. Once you have taken the interview just hold tight, this is your last step before a decision is made.

You will receive an email notifying you that a decision has been made, however they will not notify you the decision in the email. If you're in Sweden your visa decision will be mailed out to you. If you're outside of Sweden you will have to call your Swedish embassy and receive the outcome via phone.

This in itself is very stressful, the Swedish Embassy in Australia is only open for phone calls during certain days, which means I had to wait several days to hear about my decision. Once I did get to talk to someone I was holding me breath as they looked up my file. The lady at the embassy actually sounded quite happy to inform me that I had obtained permanent residency, which was nice.

Note: When you receive the email from the department informing you that a decision has been made scroll to the bottom of the email for the English translation! I only saw the Swedish versions at first and rushed over to my partner for her to translate. It was a day later that I realised they actually do provide you with an English version!

Once you have been granted a Swedish Sambo Visa

Once your Sambo Visa has been granted you will need to get your photo and fingerprints taken at either your Swedish Embassy or when you arrive in Sweden at your local Migrationsverket. You will receive an identity card which is mandatory if you are living in Sweden.

Note: If you don't need a visa to enter Sweden the department recommends that you obtain your identity card once you have relocated to Sweden. Book your appointment in the first few weeks that you arrive in Sweden.

So thats it! If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer your queries. Good Luck!