Moving to Sweden from USA


I need help from my fellow Americans who have moved to Sweden!

I have applied for my residence permit and had my interview in August. I am married to a Swedish citizen so I am moving to my husband in Sweden.

Today, he called the Migration Agency and was told that I can visit Sweden while awaiting a decision. Yes, this is post interview. No, I do not need a special visa. Yes, they will notify us when they are ready to make a decision. No. I cannot be in Sweden when the decision is made.

Here is where I need help. Please, someone who has completed this process within the last year.

When they approve my application, what happens?

I heard a story about a guy who was notified they were ready to make a decision so he bought a ticket to Dublin. This was to prove he was not in Sweden when the decision was made. The story didn't say what happened next.

Do you receive a special packet? Is it a sticker placed in your passport? Is it an actual card like the green card here in the USA?

There is conflicting information at the Migration Agency website. If I understand correctly, I will receive my residence card from an agency office in Sweden.

So here we go again with the questions.

Is the approval an e-mail, phone call, or snail mailed notification? Will I receive my permit from an office in Sweden or do I go to an embassy here in the USA? If I have to go to an embassy, does that mean New York, DC, or San Diego? If I receive it in Sweden, does that mean I re-enter Sweden the same way I have for visiting with nothing more than my passport and my approval notification?

I am currently sitting in the USA as I had to return for my interview. My return ticket to Sweden is in October. If I am correct, I can return in October. When I am notified they are ready to make a decision, I can just hop the train to Denmark to show that I am not in Sweden. They will then notify me of my approval. Once I receive my approval, I will simply go to the local Migration Agency office to receive my permit. Can someone please tell me if this is accurate?

It is far too expensive to travel back and forth every 3 months.

It is killing us to be apart and there is no way we can stay separated as newly weds who are trying to conceive a baby.

If someone can answer these questions who has already been through the process and actually knows the process, I think it will help everyone who is anxiously waiting to start their new life in Sweden.


1. You (or your spouse) will get an email saying you have been approved. Print it all out and travel with it. You are not required to show it to anyone before you get to Sweden. Your passport will not be notated, but plan on carrying it with you everywhere for a few weeks. Your drivers license is useless as ID here. Be sure to have your birth cert, too.
2. First, You will go to the Tax Office to register for all the benefits of society. They will tell you to go to nearest migration office (for me it was Göteborg) where they will take Your biometrics and sign for a permanent residency card. This takes all of 5 minutes. They will mail your card to the home address in Sweden which you have listed. I had mine within 3 days.
3. Once you receive the card take it immediately to the Tax Office to prove your status. This is NOT your ID card. Tax office will notify regional ID office of your status.
4. ID office will send you an appointment letter to again have your biometrics done and sign for an ID. Do NOT miss this appointment. Your ID will be sent to the ID OFFICE, and they will notify you when it is ready to pick up.
5. Take your PR CARD and ID CARD to Arbetsförmedlingen Office (Employment Office). If you are not fluent in Swedish language, ask for referral to SFI. You will also be required to attend a society orientation course which is in your native tongue, one day per week for 10 weeks. If you are lucky enough to find a job, you are not required to attend.

As a side note, I had all my cards within 3 weeks, and started SFI 2 weeks after that.  If at any time you feel it's taking too long to get your documents, have your husband call to prod them. Nearly all public works are understaffed, so be a squeaky wheel!
As I am sure you are already aware, most people understand English. You will get much better service if you at least try to speak Swedish. Be aware that you are ENTITLED to have a translator present for any meeting you attend.

This move is going to be a culture shock for you. Time is the only thing that helps. I have been here 9 months and it is finally starting to feel like home. Very best of luck to you!

Thank you so much! I've been here awhile going back and forth and yes, it is a lot different but I love it!

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