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!

52 comments:

Nikeille Gee said...

I just had my interview recently but i feel bad as i gave a wrong answer how long my sambo is living in his pad. I said 3 years instead of 6. I hope its okay. What do you think? :s

Tim Findlay said...

Hi Nikeille,

I would not stress too much, my interview was a bunch of hand written questions that were exactly the same as I had first filled in on my original online application. i am sure that inconsistencies with dates are common, its very hard to be exact.

If you have provided all the other documentation correctly that shows you and your partner have been living together for a appropriate amount of time I am sure you will be fine.

Did they give you any indication of when a decision will be made about your visa? I hear that waiting times can vary a great deal from case to case.

I just received my residency card from the migration office here in Sweden, please read my post about it and make sure you book an appointment once you arrive in Sweden.


claudia schmieley said...

Hello thank you for your post. I just applied april 27 and my boyfriend a week later when he received the email to do so. I want to be back in July do I have to be here in the states for an interview?

Tim Findlay said...

Hi Claudia,

Thanks for you question. I would double check with the migration department. My feeling is that you will have to be in your home county to do the interview.

Also you will have to be in the US until a decision is made about your visa unfortunately. Sweden will not allow you be living in the country while your visa is pending. They do allow short trips for a around 2 -3 weeks but you will have to notify them that you are leaving for a holiday.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,

Tim.

claudia schmieley said...

Thank you for that information I have already received the email to contact my embassy for my interview it will be June 14. I'm excited now it went by faster than I thought. Now it's just waiting after the interview. Thank you

Maki said...

Hi Claudia . I applied 11th February and I haven't hear anything from MV yet.How could you get interview so fast? A few days ago my BF called MV, they answered they haven't touched our case. it is up to 9 months . We don't know 9 months means till interview or get visa.

Tim Findlay said...

Hi Maki,

It really does vary. I did not hear another back for well over 6 months. Then one day I received an email saying that I had to arrange an interview. After my interview things did move much faster. It really depends on the workload of the department at the time, it is just a matter of sitting tight and waiting.

I can tell you that once you have your Sambo Visa it is really easy to get everything you need in Sweden including personal number, bank account, id card etc. It will be well worth the wait.

Cheers,

Tim.

Maki said...

Hi Tim! I'm glad to hear from you and I appreciate that you gave me so nice message.You are exactly right.I try to not just focus to wait.Best regards to you from Japan, Maki.

Mona So said...

I want to apply for the Sambo Visa, just that I really want to visit and try living in Stockholm ! That city looks too great !

Mona.

Shailin Crary said...

Hey everyone!

I have a question. On the migrationsverket website it says this visa should only take 3 months to process (this information is only in Swedish). Does the website always say this or is it adjusted to how many applications they have to go through at the time? When I applied last month the Swedish consulate of Phoenix said it would take a "couple of months" and the website says 3 months. Is this just a standard time it should take or a real estimate? Thanks!

Shailin

Tim Findlay said...

Hi Shailin,

3 months seems quite short, but if they are quoting this on their website it must be a quite period for the department. In my case I was waiting for 8 months before any contact was made for an interview. They did however state that it would take 12-13 months when I applied.

You might get lucky and have it processed quite quickly, don't be too stressed however if it does take a little longer. Once you actually take your interview things should start moving quite fast from there.

Visa times really vary, fingers crossed that their estimation is correct!

Good luck!

Tim.

Jamal Muhammad said...

I have applied on 3rd august 2014 i revived an email on Jan 2015 to book an appointment for interview than i had my interview on fab 23rd 2015 till i had my interview it s around 5 months .one year has been completed the day i had my interview they asked me to wait for 6 months they said within 6 month u get ur decision few days ago my sambo called migration they asked to wait for 3 weeks more .it s disgusting and hard to wait ..the only reason for late reply is much cases many refugees from sirya has to be settled in Sweden by government this is the reason of immigration officers .

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I've been in a long distance relationship with someone from Sweden for over five years. I have lived with her for three months out of the year for four years but on my tourist visa...so can I still apply for the sambo visa or is that reserved for couples who actually live together? Thank you!

Jose

Tim Findlay said...

Hi Jose,

All that time still counts, I was living with my partner for 3 months while on a tourist visa and i could claim that time. It is better if you have some consistency with your evidence and show longer periods of time when you have been living together.

This may be a questions for the Swedish Migration Department but if you have been a couple for 4 years and you have been visiting her for 3 months out of the year I would suspect that you would have a pretty good case. They do like to see rental agreements, joint bank statements and utility bills. Every case is different so I would have a chat with the department and see what they say.

Cheers,

Tim.

Ayoub Nakri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gloriach_lima said...

hello Tim, im from Peru and my boyfriend its from germany he star to work in denmak on may but life in sweden he buy a home for us but we want life together before to married for this we ghink in a sambo visa but we dont know what we can do and where we can find jnformation, we are together 2 years n half and before he was living in swiss i flight 3 timis for 3 months every time before he visit me and then we meet in ecuador for holidays but we are tired to the distance we need star our life together so you think that i can have a sambo visa, please give me a advance
gloria

gloriach_lima said...

sorry i didnt explain well, the time that he lived in swiss i visited him 3 times every 3 months all this time we are lived together before to this we have other travels together in september i have 3 months out to europe and i can flight again but we have the hope to star with a normal life together soon,he want visit me in october or november and star with a family but we want time before to married for this we try to find a option, visa sambo looks great but i dont not if work for me im from latin america and i have turist visa.
thanks

Ayoub Nakri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gloriach_lima said...

hello Tim i was looking and a lot of page said that for applicate a sambo visa we need life togegher for min. 2 years in the same adreess and i only visit him for periods to 3 months every 3 months with my turist visa, do you know where we can ask?
Thank you

Anonymous said...

Have you received a decision yet? I also applied in May and I havnt heard anything yet.

Anonymous said...

Sorry meant I applied in April too

Unknown said...

Good day Tim. thesame as questions above I was in Sweden last May to August this year for a tourist visa. And living with him for 3 months. Get back in my hometown now here in Philippines. my boyfriend decided to apply my residents permit now but we're just livin for 3 months we do not have a sharing of bill any suggestions that can use?.. We're starting gathering data before applying.. Hope you can drop by. Tnx. And godbless
/Terai

claudia schmieley said...

It all depends on migration. I applied in April and received my Emil for inter iew i June and in July I received my decision. I have been in Sweden now since July. I think it's on a base to base case.

Leela said...

That's was fast...I applied last year September and am still waiting my decision. I even gave proof of pregnancy when I was interviewed. My baby girl is now 7 weekdays old.

Lyn said...

I ama a Kenyan and my boyfriend is Swedish. I made my application in October 2014 and was given a waiting time of 14 months. I didn't hear anything from them for a while, prompting my boyfriend to MV in April 2015. A week after, I got an email asking me to schedule an interview at the nearest embassy, which I attended in June 2015 in Nairobi. After the interview, they went silent and I resorted to wait for the stipulated 14 months, which ends this December. On the 3rd of December, I emailed them requesting for an update, and in response, they sent my boyfriend an email asking for additional information(Photos of us together, visa stamps and email conversations). We are on luck because we talk daily on emails and skype (we have proof), we visit each other often (I have a multiple entry schengen visa and we visit each other after every other month) and ofcourse, lits of photos together. Nonentheless, I find it very peculiar that they requested for additional information towards the end of the waiting period. Anyway, as the author advices, let me continue playing the game of waiting.

Anonymous said...

Hello.

Thanks for this information. I havequestions maybe you know something about this.

1. Can i work llegall when I apply for sambo visa or must wait for answer ?

claudia schmieley said...

Once you have received your decision and are in Sweden you need to apply for your personal number then you could get a job. But that takes like 2 weeks. Once you are in Sweden do that immediately. :-)

Leela said...

Lyn. ..they asked me additional info like marriage certificate which I submitted and also gave a copy the lady who interviewed me....

Terai Millar said...

Hi ms. Claudia when applying is it necessary to make another email account? I'm so much confused about it.
/Terai

Terai Millar said...

Hi ms. Claudia when applying is it necessary to make another email account? I'm so much confused about it.
/Terai

Lyn said...

Leela,
my boyfriend sent the details they needed yesterday on the 8th and today 9th we got our permit granted decision. May be you should make a follow up now because I saw on another blogpost with the statistics showing all people who applied in October are receiving decisions now. Or perhaps you could ask your husband to chek his email, may be they sent him an email asking for additional information.

claudia schmieley said...

Hi Terai
It's not necessary to open another email account just check it daily and also your spam you never know it might appear in span junk mail too.

Terai Millar said...

Thanks for the info claudia.. i will check my spam too..

Terai Millar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
claudia schmieley said...

No problem. Your welcome. :-)

Leela said...

Am so happy for u...hope they grant my decision soon...they emailed me asking additional info on October and I sent it...

Anonymous said...

Did they say how long you had to enter Sweden after it was approved?

claudia schmieley said...

Once approved you enter Sweden immediately. 😊

Leela said...

Claudia do you have any idea how long it takes to receive an email from the embassy when u send paper application to swedish embassy?

claudia schmieley said...

Hello Leela, well it took me 30days to receive the email to set up the appointment with the Swedish embassy. The whole process for me was 3 months exactly. Where are you coming from?

Leela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leela said...

I applied 9-13-14 with my daughter. While my case was being processed, I had another baby. I mailed paper application to theswedish embassy in Washington DC for the baby. My case officer wants to make the decision for all of us at the same time including the baby. I was wondering how long it takes to receive case number since I didn't apply from online...

Leela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sanjeev Kumar said...

Hello
My girl friend is swedish how long we have to live together to show the bills and other relevant documents to apply the sambo visa???
Kindly suggest

Tim Findlay said...

Hi Sanjeev,

You will need to prove that you have been living together for 2 years if you intend to gain perminant residency.

However you can apply if you intend to move over to her and you don't meet the 2 year requirements. This will however only give you a temporary 2 year visa which you will have to renew at the end of the 2 years and show that you are still together with you partner.

Sanjeev Kumar said...

Hello Tim,

Thanks a lot for the response, now we are planning to apply for the visa soon.

So can i just go ahead and apply the visa with the relevant documents?


Sanjeev said...

Hello Tim,

Kindly let me know the renewal time of the SAMBO visa and the place where i can renew the visa?

Should I come to my country to renew the visa?

Tim Findlay said...

Hi Sanjeev,

The permanent residency visa is valid for 5 years, you can renew your visa from the Swedish migration department once it has expired.

Yes, once you have the relevant documents it is a matter of compiling them and applying online. They will get back to you if they require any more documentation, so don´t be concerned if they need additional information.

Regards,

Tim.

Reza mantap said...

Hello Tim,

I am an Indonesian and my girlfriend is Swedish, we haven't been living together for amount of time,therefore we are planing to live together in Sweden but all I can do ( as foreigner) to live together is to apply tourist visa (which is only permitted to live in Sweden for 3 months), based on comments I have read on your blog, you said it is better to live together for 2 years meanwhile I just can live together for 3 montsh using my tourist visa. Do you have any suggestions?

Hope you understand what I mean and please kindly reply, thanks in advance

Best Regards

Ghulam Shabbir said...

Hello Tim ! I spent 7 and half year Sweden . I had student visa for 5 years a and afterI got 2 year visa with my sambo but after that we separated then I applied for work but due to emergency I came back in Pakistan. Now i am waiting near 18 months but still did not get answer ?

Jason Rowe said...

Hi Tim,
LOVE YOUR BLOG! you have really helped make my decision of moving over that much easier and summarise everything very nicely.
I am curious to know how its going for you with the apartment hunting and employment?
My missus is from Malmo and we are looking to move over. I was wondering if you had any info on how long after you get the green light (if all goes to plan) I would have to move? Is there a time limit to activate the visa so to say?
Looking forward to hearing from you mate.
Cheers,
Jason