Swedish residency waiting period for married US citizens?

Hello please advice

I am married with 3 kids we are all Swedish except my US citizen husband in USA! We planned a quick move back to Sweden due to health issues and my kids have special needs. I plan on moving from USA to Sweden by end of July 2018!
If I apply now May 7, 2018 how long has an average husband waited to get interview and residency for living in a sweden? Online it says waiting up to 15 months ?!?!

Can my husband travel with me while waiting for residency permit? Any way to expedite the application due to special circumstances my kids have autism and I can't care for them alone!

Also any of you Swedish citizens able to get help with finding a place to rent in Sweden because there is a waitlist and hard to find a place so fast?

Please any advice is great!

Thanks !


Unfortunately you can't apply for the residence permit for your husband until you have an apartment and a job back in Sweden, as you need to prove that you can provide for your family. The partner usually has to stay in their home country during the wait (being married doesn't make any difference) but since you have children together you can apply for him to wait inside Sweden. It's not a given that they'll say yes but because of your situation it's possible. You should really go on the MV website and read all about the visa requirements.

Good luck! And if you have more questions feel free to ask :)

Thanks ... really I can't apply until I have a job? Well I have special needs kids so I can't work until my husband can watch them for me or I get a daycare for them. Also I have my parents apartment is too small for four more people? Should I just call the MV and ask how to apply.

That is great if my husband can wait in Sweden while his papers are done because the kids need their father and I need his help with them.

I thought I could apply even before I have moved? Maybe the rules changed since I last checked them a couple years ago. I will call ViSa department in USA and ask.

Did you do an application similar to me ? How long is the wait though?


Hi! You should definitely contact MV with your questions. As of 2016 (I think) you need to fulfill certain maintenance requirements, they do this to make sure that the person moving to Sweden will be taken care of even if they can't find a job right away (which is usually the case). On the website they state how big the place needs to be and how much money after rent you must have depending on the size of your family. Read all you can on their website and then contact them if you still have more questions.

Yes, I applied for a residence permit based on my boyfriend last year. My case was settled super fast (2 months) for no apparent reason but it really depends on how "easy" your case is, the country from the applicant and the person making the decision.

There is a group on facebook called i väntan på familjen full of people going through the same process. I still recommend asking MV first for official information but you can learn from other people's experiences there.

Good luck!

Oh great info thanks I will check out the Facebook page as well. You would think US citizen is an easy case because it's visa free for 3 months to Sweden.

How do you like Sweden so far where did you move from ? 🤓

Have a nice day

You would assume so but an "easy" case is more about how "believable" your relationship is and everything, the country doesn't play that big of a role in that. How fast you get an answer also depends a lot on the home country and the workload they have at the embassy. I got my interview a week after they told me to book it but most people need to wait for months to get an appointment.

I moved from Mexico at the end of last year and I love it here! It has taken some getting used to but I'm really happy here :)

American spouse here. Call the closest Swedish consulate to where you live in the States. Let them advocate for you with MV. When I applied (same situation as you), we had to prove we had a place to live. We had a 1bedroom apartment that we had owned for 20 years, but it was not acceptable due to size, so we said we were going to live with his parents until we purchased a house. That was acceptable. As for the job thing...YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN ARE SWEDISH, you do not have to have a job to come home. Hopefully you have savings, but even so, you are entitled to both barn and vårdbidrag (once you have jumped through all the hoops and loops to prove entitlement) I would suggest that you contact either social services or the child health specialist BEFORE leaving the USA, in order to get medical records sent. Make sure you have a hard copy of those records, and school records, so LSS assistance and A-kassa start your benefits ASAP. Make sure you check in at tax office to say you are residing in Sweden on the first or second day in the country. As for my petition to live here, we applied May 1, and had my paperwork back by the end of September. Mind you, though, that the massive number of refugees from Syria started arriving shortly after I applied, and the wait time went from 4 to 24 months over night! The Consulate in Dallas was able to get all our paperwork sent to every department (triplicate copies) at the same time, so that cut out a great deal of time. When we saw the 24 month change she called to get the name of our handläggare, hubby called him, and I had permission to travel within 2 days. So, contact your consulate and MV, but also specialists. Let them know your situation and be prepared for the long waiting periods for assistance once you finally get here. Hubby should not travel here before getting permission to wait here - that could go sideways very quickly.  Best of luck!

Hello wow thanks super helpful info!!
Did you apply last year then? Was your husband registered in Sweden before he applied for your residency?
So it is possible to apply for uppehållstillstånd for my husband while we are still in the USA? What are the chances of him being granted approval to stay in Sweden and wait while his paper work in pending approval for residency in Sweden?

The rules online now say even parents are not approved as place of residence!! So I am still confused since I am the Swedish citizen I have to be my husband's sponsor right showing I have income and residency... how much savings will they allow for me to have in lieu of income ? I don't have much though considering I will spend it all on the tickets to Sweden and moving costs etc.

Also what is LSS? I didn't work in Sweden before other than a summer job lol when I was 16 after Highschool I have been in USA.

The problem also with renting is I have to get Andra hand and proof my income to be able to rent ... it's so much easier to rent in USA 😳

Do you have any kids? Any idea if my 16 yr old can finish Highschool as being homeschooled either via USA or some English school in Sweden?


The very best thing you can do is contact your closest Swedish consulate. The rules change often and drastically here. You have a rather special situation with special needs children. If you are fluent in Swedish, finding employment should be a snap. Home schooling is not allowed in Sweden. I wish it were an option as our Aspie son is really struggling in the regular system. LSS is the Kommun agency that can help with specialized child care, modifications, school assistance, and financial assistance. They approve the funds and A-kassa pays it to you. You can find all this info on the Kommun website and the Arbetsförmedlingen website. Barnbidrag is about $125 per child, per month. Vårdbidrag varies, and is considered job income for the parent.
As for me? I have been here almost 2.5 years. I understand Swedish but have been a SAHM, trying to help the kids acclimate, so I don’t speak Swedish well. Just working with a program now for språkpraktik, then hopefully Will be able to work in My professional Fields. One last thing: there is a Housing program to help families get into rental apartments. You would find that info on the Kommun website, too. Kids MUST go through 9th grade here - mandatory. After that, they go on to Gymnasium, which is high school. Then on to högskola or universitet. It is all free. Keep a good hand on the kids. The schools are War zones. The teachers are disrespected and have zero recourse or rights under current laws. Kids rule the schools, and their homes. That has been the hardest to adjust to...  I am the mom of 6. Our two youngest 12 and 10, immigrated with us. My others are still in the States, all parents and productive adults.  Where do you plan to live, and do you have family here to help you?

Ps. English is taught as a second language. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find schools taught in English. It’s going to be traumatic for your kiddos. They have to go through up to 8 weeks at Briggan, which assesses which grade they should be in and recommends schools, etc. Teach them as much Swedish as you can. We have used Duolingo and Memrise to supplement language immersion. Your hubby will have to attend SFI to learn the language. You do not have to have a job to come home. Actually, you have to apply for him to immigrate. He can be applying for jobs now. If he snags one, that company can help get his paperwork through faster. It’s all about extenuating circumstances. You do not have to be written in to the country to do the petition. My hubby was not written back in until 2 days after our arrival. We took the tickets to tax authority and they back dated to actual day we arrived. Then they sent me for ID and medical card. In three different cities! Consulate is THE authority on best practice to be approved ASAP. As for savings, I can’t really quantify that, as we had assets in both countries, which kept us in Korv until hubby found a job. Our airline tickets were paid with miles (even our cats flew). We paid around $15G to ship our household goods. You have to plan that stuff several months in advance.

Hej :) hope your Swedish is getting better ! I went to middle and gymnasium in Hallsberg Örebro in 1992!! Things have changed now I guess and I am mainly moving back for my parents and my kids and to be closer to Europe and Middle East and London we have family all over .. my parents are in Knivsta near Uppsala and my sisters too.. they don't own any property and they are in small 2 bedroom apartment.

My two kids almost  5 and 7 have ADHD and mild autism so here they have IEPs is there anything like that in Sweden? I also know they will lose a year of school like back one grade but that's is ok with me except they need speech therapy and so a whole new language will be tough at first !

I have a degree from UOf A AZ Hydrogeology 2002! Last time I tried to get a job in 2006 near Stockholm I couldn't find a thing after a year I moved back to USA with my first born she is 16 now and forgot all her Swedish ...

I guess my other option is moving to London don't don't know how they will get any help with services though unless its through an employer... is London still part of EU...

Sorry my last 7 years I have been SAHM caring for my kids taking them to therapy etc!! Do they even have ABA therapy in Sweden ?

That sucks no homeschooling in Sweden? I know they have distance learning for college classes and a huge waiting list for some of the English speaking schools in Sweden too.

Waw is it that bad at school now I have issues with my son being bullied here and he is 1st grade I am near Everett WA was in AZ like 20 yrs ...

That's good to know I may get vård bidrag for my kids ... hope to call the Kommun soon near Knivsta Uppsala

Are there any autism advocate groups in Sweden ?

Take care

Attention! is the advocacy group for ADHD and other neurological disabilities. We are members but have not attended regular monthly meetings. You will want to make contact with doctors at BUP for autism spectrum. We have gone through social services to get VÄSTBUS meetings arranged (this will include physicians, therapists, teachers, counselors, principals, etc. and basically results in an IEP that ALL parties contribute to. Our son goes to Korttidsboende 8 days per month, which goes through LSS. He has the absolute right to learn in his own language, and to have special assistance at school. He has played hockey, (phenom), and now plays soccer. All those costs are covered by LSS. Special foods, special clothing, contact person...same. It just takes a long time to get all the balls in the air.  If you are moving near orebro that’s great! The University there is the main psychological university, so finding care should be a snap. And yes, there are English speaking therapists who do ABA among other therapies. Be prepared for major acting out with this Move.

Jobs: check LinkedIn Jobs. Hundreds show up weekly in every region. Most Kommun hire only thru Arbetsförmedlingen referrals.

I did calm the consulate here in Seattle WA she has no clue and says the past 5 yrs she hasn't seen any US citizen Ms get uppehållstillstånd with in 6 months and some are denied due to not meeting maintenance requirements such as place to live and income

My husband will take a while to learn Swedish but has friends at restaurants that will offer him a job, he has no degree and been working random jobs here in USA. He is barely at 50% English now because he came from Middle East 8 yrs ago!! Lol so it's all on me and worse if we move to Sweden I will be the bread winner ... but I worry about the kids if going to Sweden is the right choice !

I am just Alone here in USA no family support or friends and been dealing with the kids for years now. It would be nice I have family in Sweden near us. And also my 16 yr old can go to University tuition free!

Waw $15k for the stuff I would have left it behind and bought new things 🤓

Not going to lie. This move has been really hard on my family. I had a heart attack less than one month after arriving. And because I have two kids who are not neurotypical that created ungodly stress levels, it took almost 2 years for them to write me back into the labor market. If we hadn’t had friends and family here to help a little, I would have been on the fastest flight back. It’s just hard.

It sounds like you have been a very strong, busy mom. Since your hubby is from Middle East, you definitely want to apply ASAP. The consulate can help you get it all together. And there is a ton of stuff to pull together. But call MV and see what advice they can share. It’s a complete mess here with all the asylum seekers and special needs kids from those families. THe social systems are extremely overloaded.

I would encourage you to make some plans with your family’s help. It takes a village to raise the kids!

Thank you for all the advice !
Hope you are better after the heart attack!?! I can only imagine doing stuff alone in Sweden takes time and patience.

It does take a village to raise kids my village has been broken since moving away from my family to USA. And with special needs kids it's like raising 10 kids !!
My brother's family is in CA but so far it's been difficult to reunite in one place.
As for my husband he has US citizenship and Iraqi citizenship and we have been married since 2009. Which reminds me I never registered our marriage in Sweden should I do that before applying for his residency papers? I was going to apply last week but I don't want to apply just to be denied if I have no place to rent yet. Do they need all this proof at the time I apply?
I wonder if they would accept my income source from USA if I continue to work longdistance as translator. I have been doing Arabic/ English interpreting and translation part time here in WA state as independent contractor and I could do that in Sweden as well. Currently I am certified in WA state.

I think the headache will be getting therapy set up for the kids and approval process (all over again). Even here in USA the waitlist is crazy for getting ABA I was on a waitlist for 2 years!! We barely got some therapy here and there such as OT, ST now some ABA.

What year did you move to Sweden ? Do you like your city? Where are you Uddevala?


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