How to Apply for a Sweden Schengen Visa from the UK

How to Apply for a Sweden Schengen Visa from the UK

The Nordic country of Sweden is a rich cultural destination with breathtaking scenery. Progressive and peaceful, Sweden’s long history provides plenty of incredible landmarks, architecture, and museums to choose from.

Sweden conjures images of flat pack furniture from IKEA or modern casual styles at H&M. Maybe you think Swedish meatballs or Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring a masterful goal. In truth, Sweden is all this and much more.

The capital Stockholm is known as the “Venice of Scandinavia,” and is where you can visit the majestic Stockholm Royal Palace, tour the historic Vasa Museum, or learn about the history of the Nobel Prize at the Nobel Museum. During the summer, long hours of daylight make this a fantastic place for venturing outdoors. Sweden is truly a wondrous destination that attracts tourists from all corners of the world.

Sweden Entry Restrictions in Response to Coronavirus

In early 2020, Sweden joined its Schengen country neighbours in closing its borders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has not yet opened for non-essential travel or to travellers who do not meet their certain exemptions. You can read more about these exemptions on the Swedish emergency information website. Travellers who can present a UK vaccine certificate are exempt from the ban on entry to Sweden and the COVID-19 test requirement.

Only travellers covered by at least one of the exemptions can travel to Sweden from outside the EU/ EEA, and must also present a negative COVID-19 test not more than 48 hours old.

Fully vaccinated UK citizens can enter Sweden without the need to test or self-isolate if you received your second vaccine dose more than 2 weeks before you arrive in Sweden and your vaccine is approved by the European Medicines Agency.

You must provide proof that you have been fully vaccinated. Children under 18 years accompanying fully vaccinated adults are exempted from all travel restrictions, including testing.

If you are not fully vaccinated, you will need to provide proof you are exempt from the current travel ban under another exemption and you must present a valid test not more than 48 hours (or proof that you are exempt from the testing requirements). You can find this information on the Swedish Police website.

Sweden, like other Schengen countries, updates its restrictions regularly depending on the current situation so it’s best to check with the restrictions close to your travel date to know the updated measures and requirements before you travel. You should check on the latest news regarding restrictions, quarantine or whether a test will be required either from reliable news sources, the Swedish emergency information website, or the UK government website one to two weeks before your trip.

Who needs a visa to travel to Sweden from the UK?

Travelling to Sweden for EU/EEA Citizens

Sweden is a Schengen country, which allows for free movement between 26 EU and EFTA states (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland). A uniform Schengen visa issued by one of the Schengen states is valid for travel within the whole Schengen area.

Travelling to Sweden Post-Brexit for UK Citizens

The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:

  • you can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training
  • if you are travelling to Sweden and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days
  • for long-stay visits, to work or study, for business or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Swedish government’s entry requirements.
  • if you stay in Sweden with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit

At Swedish border control, you may need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. You may also need to:

  • show a return or onward ticket
  • show you have enough money for your stay

There are separate requirements for those who are residents of Sweden. If you are resident in Sweden, you should carry proof of residence as well as your valid passport when you travel. You should also check your passport’s validity when you travel and renew it if you don’t have enough time on it. Your passport must be:

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave Sweden or any other Schengen country
  • less than 10 years old

Travelling to Sweden for Other Third-Country Citizens

Many non-EU nationals who reside in the UK are still required to get a Schengen visa to travel to Sweden.

Citizens of the following countries residing in the UK and planning to visit Sweden are required to get a Swedish visa in order to be able to enter Sweden.

Afghanistan Algeria Angola
Armenia Azerbaijan Bahrain
Bangladesh Belarus Belize
Benin Bhutan Bolivia
Botswana Burkina Faso Burma/Myanmar
Burundi Cambodia Cameroon
Cape Verde Central African Republic Chad
China Comoros Congo
Cote D'iviore Cuba
Dem. Rep. Of Congo Djibouti Dominican Republic
Ecuador Egypt Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea Ethiopia Fiji
Gabon Gambia Ghana
Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana
Haiti India Indonesia
Iran Iraq
Jamaica Jordan Kazakhstan
Kenya Kosova Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan Laos Lebanon
Lesotho Liberia Libya
Madagascar Malawi Maldives
Mali Mauritania Mongolia
Morocco Mozambique Namibia
Nepal Niger Nigeria
North Korea Northern Mariana's Oman
Pakistan Papua New Guinea Philippines
Qatar Russia Rwanda
Sao Tome And Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal
Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa
Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname
Swaziland Syria Tajikistan
Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste
Togo Tonga Tunisia
Turkey Turkmenistan Uganda
Vietnam Yemen Zambia

The main requirement if you plan to apply for your visa from the UK is that you must have a UK residence permit valid for at least another 3 more months beyond the date you plan to leave Sweden or the Schengen Area.

Before starting a visa application, or getting a flight to Sweden, make sure to check whether you need a visa to Sweden or not.

If you have a 3-month UK visa you can extend it for 3 more months in order to be eligible to apply for a Sweden Schengen visa from within the UK. You must apply for an extension before your visa expires and while you’re still in the UK.

What are the requirements for extension of a UK Leave to Remain?

When you decide to apply for an extension you must make sure you comply with several situations:

  • You must require an extension of the same visa type you currently have
  • You should apply for an extension at least 8 weeks before the existing visa period expires
  • You must have not been part of any criminal activity or you must have not broken any UK law or immigration law during the entire period of stay in the UK
  • You have to provide the biometric information, such as the fingerprints and recent photographs for yourself and any dependents when applying for the extension
  • You must have not been in breach of immigration laws while having a valid UK visa

Note: You can stay in the UK until the decision about the extension is taken, but only if you have applied within the visa period.

Steps to Applying for a Swedish Schengen Visa from the UK

 Step 1: Know Your Visa Type and Validity

To apply for a Schengen visa to Sweden in the UK, you first need to know the type of visa you require and how long the visa will be valid. There are two types of visa that you can apply for, which one you need will depend on the duration of your trip and your reason for travelling to Sweden:

  1. Short-stay (Schengen) Visa – valid for up to 90 days (in a 180-day period) for the purposes of tourism, business, visiting family/friends, conference, EEA/EU national family member
  2. Residence and work permits (Long stays) – you should apply for this kind of visa if you want to live in Sweden for more than 90 days for employment, family reunification, study, research etc.

You will then be issued either a single entry, double-entry, or multiple-entry visa for up to 5 years based on the information you provide in your visa application.

It is important to choose the correct Schengen visa type to apply for depending on your trip so that you have the best chance of having your application approved. Find out more about the different types of Schengen visas in our blog post: Schengen Visa Types – All You Should Know When Applying for a Schengen Visa.

Schengen Visa Types According to Purpose of Travel

On the visa application form, you will be prompted to indicate the purpose of your travel to the Schengen territory. Here are some purposes to help you apply for the correct visa:

  • Tourism – This is the most popular purpose of travel to Schengen Countries. Applicants, who intend to travel purely for tourist purposes, i.e. sightseeing, leisure, and experiencing their culture, architecture, foods, and much more, need to indicate this on the application form.
  • Business – If you intend to travel for business purposes, i.e. visiting a business/company for meetings, recruitments, training, or any other work-related activities, then you need to indicate Business the purpose of your travels. Every Business visa application has to be confirmed by an invitation letter from a business/company based in Sweden, if not, you will be required to apply as a Tourist.
  • Airport Transit – Certain nationalities have to apply for an airport transit visa in order to be allowed to make a stopover at an airport in a Schengen Area, without entering the Schengen Country. You need to indicate airport transit as the purpose of travel on your application form.
  • Transit – This is similar to the above-mentioned purpose of travel, popular among sea travellers that need to stop over at the seaport of one of the member states.
  • Visiting Family or Friends – If you need to visit and stay with your family or friends that legally reside in the Schengen Area, you can then indicate this as your purpose of travel. You’ll, however, be required to provide a letter of invitation among other documents.
  • Study – Students wishing to attend any type of educational institution in the Schengen area need to indicate this on their application. They can either choose to apply for a short term 3-month Schengen study visa or National Visa (category “D”) if they plan on being in the country longer.
  • Medical – Indicate this as your purpose of travel if you are travelling to any of the member states of the Schengen territory to seek medical treatment. This visa will allow you to get the medical care you need at any medical institution for a period of 90 days within a 180-day period.
  • Official Visit – Tick this as your purpose of travel if you are travelling to the Schengen region in an official capacity.
  • Cultural, Sports, and Film Crews – this visa is for people wishing to travel to a Schengen member country for the purpose of attending a cultural, sports, or religious event or they are part of a film crew. The applicant should be part of the event, i.e. a performer at a concert, or a writer presenting their book at a book event, or an athlete participating in a sports event and not only as a mere audience.
  • Other – If the purpose of your travel does not fall under any of the mentioned categories, you’ll have to choose the “other” option on the application form. You will, however, be required to specify the purpose of your visit in a few words.

Step 2: Identify where to make application and book an appointment

To apply for a Sweden visa, you must book an appointment with the Swedish Embassy in London at either the Swedish Embassy of London or the VFS Centre.

Book your Swedish visa appointment by sending a letter along with the following documents:

  • Passport copy
  • UK residency permit
  • Stamped Addressed Envelope (SAE)

You should apply for a Swedish visa at the appropriate Swedish Embassy/Consulate or Swedish visa application centre in the UK if:

  • Sweden is the only Schengen country you plan on visiting
  • Sweden is your main destination (the country you will be staying the longest in)
  • Sweden is the first Schengen country you are visiting (when spending an equal amount of days in Sweden and another Schengen country)

In case you plan on staying in Sweden for more than 90 days you must apply for a residency permit, not a Swedish Schengen visa.

If you are not a resident in the United Kingdom you should apply at the Swedish Embassy/Consulate/VAC in your home country of residence.

Step 3: Complete your application form

The Schengen Visa application form contains questions about you including:

  • Name and surname
  • Date and place of birth
  • Nationality
  • Sex and marital status
  • National Identity number
  • Passport number
  • Home address and email
  • Purpose of trip
  • Question regarding previous trips to Schengen, if any
  • Intended date of arrival in Schengen area you are visiting, and the intended period of stay
  • Cost of travelling and remaining in Schengen area you are visiting, who will cover them, etc.

Make sure your answers are correct and that they comply with the information in the rest of the documents. Complete the form, print it twice, and sign both copies at the end.

Find out more about how to complete a Schengen visa application form in this blog post.

Step 4: Prepare your documents

The following list of documents are required in order to obtain a visa to Sweden in the UK:

  • A valid passport or Travel document. Please make sure:
    • Your passport has been issued within the previous 10 years,
    • Your passport has 2 full blank pages, one for the visa stamp and an additional spare page,
    • Your passport will be valid for at least three (3) months after the date you exit the Schengen Area.
  • A valid UK residence permit or another form of Identity Card.
  • The UK residency permit must be endorsed in the actual passport (or on a new biometric ID card)
  • The UK residence permit must be valid for at least another 3 more months beyond the date you plan to leave Sweden.
  • One Swedish Schengen Visa application form filled out completely and signed by the applicant.
  • One recently taken passport format photo with a blank background and where all your facial features are clear, which must be glued to the application form. Applications with stapled photographs will be rejected.
  • A cover letter explaining the purpose of the visit to Sweden
  • Biometric data (applies only if you haven’t provided biometric data within the last 59 months):
    • Fingerprints
    • A copy of the passport bio page where the photo is included.
      Note: Children under the age of 12 are exempted from providing fingerprints.
  • Proof of travel arrangements:
    • Round trip flight/travel reservations or other proof of intended transport
    • Complete itinerary of your visit to Sweden (if several Schengen States will be visited or if the trip covers several Schengen States and non-Schengen countries).
  • Travel Insurance stating that you are covered in case of a medical emergency and repatriation not just in Sweden but in the whole Schengen zone (minimum coverage of € 30,000).
    • Holders of diplomatic passports and family members of EU/EEA citizens are exempted from providing proof of travel medical insurance
  • Proof of accommodation in Sweden:
    • Evidence of a hotel booking or rental agreement, or
    • Invitation from your Swedish host (family member, friend) with a copy of their passport
  • Proof of financial subsistence:
    • A recent statement of UK bank account for the last three months that shows funds of at least 50€ (40£) per day spent in Sweden,
    • Traveller’s cheques, or
    • Proof of sponsorship
  • Certificate of criminal record of the home country showing that candidate has no open crime case involvement
  • Proof of paid Sweden visa fee

Note: Photocopies of the original documents should also be submitted and documents should not be more than one month old.

The documents listed above are documents required in all cases, regardless of the purpose of your visit in Sweden.

Additional documents required based on your employment status

For employees:

  • Employment contract
  • Current bank statement of the latest 6 months
  • Leave permission from the employer
  • Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary

For the self-employed:

  • A copy of your business license
  • Company bank statement of the latest 6 months
  • Income Tax Return (ITR)

For foreign students in the UK:

  • Proof of enrollment
  • No-objection certificate from school or university

For retirees:

  • Pension statement of the latest 6 months

If unemployed and married to an EU citizen:

  • A recent (less than 3 months old) Confirmation of Employment letter from their spouse’s employer stating the position held within the company as well as the starting date,
  • Spouse’s valid passport
  • An officially translated marriage certificate. The translation must be in English or Swedish and must be certified as a true copy by the Embassy of the country where the marriage took place or by the Legalization Bureau of the Foreign Office in UK

Requirements for children under the age of 18

Parents or an adult guardian are required to accompany their underage children to the application centre at the Embassy of Sweden in London. Also, minors who are granted a Swedish visa are not allowed to travel to Sweden by themselves. They should be accompanied by an adult during their stay in Sweden.

Required documents for visa application for underage children

  • Birth certificate
  • Sweden Schengen Visa application form should be signed by both parents.
  • Family court order, in cases where only one parent has full custody over the child.
  • Certified copies of ID/passport of both parents
  • A notarized parental authorization to travel to Sweden, signed by both parents/guardians, if the minor will be travelling alone with another person.

All documents provided should be legalized and be in of the of the following languages:

  • English
  • Swedish

Step 5: Attend your appointment

The visa interview is a meeting between you and the consular officer/interviewer. During this interview, the consular officer will ask you several questions about you and your intended trip. You will also be submitting the required documents throughout the meeting, to the interviewer.

The visa interview is a meeting between you and the consular officer/interviewer. During this interview, the consular officer will ask you several questions about you and your intended trip. You will also be submitting the required documents throughout the meeting, to the interviewer.

Find out more about the Schengen visa interview here: Schengen Visa Interview Questions and Answers and How to Prepare for it

Sweden Schengen Visa Fees for UK Residents

The fee must be paid upon submitting the Swedish visa application. After you complete this payment, you will receive a receipt, which shows that payment has been made, which must be offered amongst other documents of the application dossier. You will have to pay a Sweden visa fee in order for your application to be processed. Find out about the Schengen visa fee in our blog post: Schengen Visa Fees – How Much Does a Schengen Visa Cost?

Sweden Schengen Visa Fee Exemptions

You may be exempted from paying the Swedish Schengen Visa fee if you belong to any of the following:

  • Children younger than 6 years of age
  • Spouse/family member of an EU/EEA national
    Documents required for exemption:
    • Original Marriage Certificate, or
    • Civil Partnership Certificate
    • Original full Birth Certificate
    • EU/EAA national’s passport
  • Invited researchers from third countries travelling for the purpose of scientific research
    Documents required for exemption:
    • Invitation letter from the Swedish institution
    • Letter from the University/organization in the UK
  • Representatives of non-profit organizations aged 25 years or less participating in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events organized by non-profit organizations.
  • Persons travelling for the purpose of study or educational training and are accompanied by teaching staff such as school pupils, undergraduates and postgraduates
    Documents required for exemption:
    • A letter from the school principal/dean that states that the trip is an obligatory part of the school/college programme.

Sweden Schengen Visa Fee Discounts

For nationals of countries that have a visa facilitation agreement with the EU visa applications cost only 35 € (29.70 £). Nationals of countries that are granted visa discounts for Sweden are:

  • Albania*
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina*
  • Georgia*
  • Moldova*
  • Montenegro*
  • North Macedonia*
  • Russian Federation
  • Serbia*
  • Ukraine*

*Note: This only applies to those nationals who do not hold a biometric passport.

Step 6: Receive your visa

Sweden Visa Application Processing Time in the UK

You can apply for a Sweden Schengen Visa 6 months before your planned trip. Depending on the nationality of the applicant, the processing time may take at least 15 days from the day of application. In some cases when required documents are missing from the application, this process may take longer.

Therefore, to avoid unwanted complications, the Swedish Consulate General in London advises that you provide all required documents and submit your application at least 20 workdays (4 weeks) before the day you leave for Sweden.

Sweden Schengen Visa Application Decision

If your application for a Sweden Schengen visa is approved, it will be stamped on your passport and you can visit Sweden and any country in the Schengen area for the duration of your visa. Find out how to read your Schengen visa sticker in our blog post: How to Read Your Schengen Visa Sticker.

If your application is rejected, it would have been for a specific reason.

What are common Sweden Schengen visa rejection reasons?

There are several reasons why your Sweden Schengen visa application could be rejected. Some common Schengen visa rejection reasons include:

  • Marriage certificate missing – if you are applying for a visa for family reasons, you may have to prove family ties. This is why you must provide a marriage certificate
  • You applied for the wrong visa – it is your responsibility to apply for the correct visa depending on how long you are going to Sweden for and your reason for travelling there
  • It is not clear that you plan to return to the UK – it must be clear that you intend to return to the UK before the visa expires. If the visa staff have doubts about this, your visa will be rejected
  • The purpose of your trip cannot be established – the reason why you are planning to go to Sweden must be made clear. You can do this by providing specific documents like a full itinerary, work contract or invitation letter, etc.

You need to make sure that you submit the required documents and answer your visa interview well in order to get the best chance of having your visa application approved.

Read more on how to avoid visa rejections here: Visa refused: 9 Common Reasons Why Visas Get Rejected.

What if my Sweden Schengen visa is rejected?

If you receive a negative answer in your Sweden Schengen visa application, this does not mean you cannot ever travel to Sweden. You have two options:

  • File an appeal for a Sweden Schengen visa rejection if you believe that the decision to deny you a visa is unjust. You should have a strong basis for your complaint. You can appeal this decision by writing an appeal letter for a Sweden Schengen visa rejection.
  • Reapply by correcting the mistakes you did in your previous application. Or improve your situation in order to comply with the eligibility criteria for a Sweden Schengen visa.

Sweden Schengen Visa Extension

A person visiting Sweden on a Schengen Visa can extend their visa if they have legitimate reasons. This could be for either of the following reasons:

  • Late entry
  • Humanitarian reasons
  • Force majeure, and
  • Important personal reasons

The decisions to approve a Schengen visa extension request are handled case by case.

Sweden Schengen Visa Extension Process

The overall process of extending your Swedish Schengen visa will involve:

  • Determining whether you have a justified reason to request an extension
  • Submitting all the necessary documents. These include a valid passport that has the Schengen Visa used to get in the Schengen area stamped in it, one passport-sized photo, proof of financial subsistence, Schengen Visa Insurance that covers the extension duration, and all the documents that justify your reason for an extension
  • Paying visa fees where applicable
  • Attending a visa interview if necessary
  • Waiting for the approval

You need to make sure to read your Schengen visa sticker carefully so that you do not overstay your visa and avoid the penalties that come with doing so, which can include anything from a fine, deportation from the Schengen zone, and even being outright banned from the area.

Read more about the step by step process involved in extending your Schengen visa in our blog post: Overstaying in the Schengen Zone? Here’s How to Extend Your Schengen Visa.


Frequently Asked Questions About Sweden Schengen Visas

How long does it take to get a Schengen visa for Sweden?

You can usually get your Swedish Schengen visa within 15 days, if everything in your application is in order. It might take longer if there is a problem with your application or the immigration officer needs more time to look over your application.

You can also get a premium Schengen visa to get your Sweden Schengen visa within 24 to 48 hours, which includes personalised advice from an expert immigration adviser, with IaM’s premium Schengen visa service.

Can I travel to Sweden visa-free with my BRP?

If you are a national of a third country without a visa-free scheme with the EU, you will need to get a visa to travel to Sweden or any other Schengen country. You should also remember to bring your biometric card with you for your return to the UK.

Is a Sweden Schengen visa easy to get?

Yes, it is easy to apply for a Sweden Schengen visa. You can apply for the visa online or use immigration services like IAM to make the process even simpler for you and have a higher chance of your application being accepted.

Can I work in Sweden with a Schengen visa?

No, the Schengen visa is a permit for tourism, business, visiting family and friends, or other purposes. You will need to apply for a work visa if you plan to work in Sweden.

How much bank balance is required for a Sweden Schengen visa?

It depends how long you want to stay in the country. Sweden requires at least 50€ (40£) per day.

What is the best currency to take to Sweden?

Sweden's currency is the Krona so you can bring some with you in your trip if you are planning on bringing cash. However, it's important to note that not all shops or vendors accept cash payment, so you should also bring a credit or debit card with you for your purchases in the country.

Tip: You may be asked if you want to charge your credit or debit card in Krona or your local currency. Charging purchases in your local currency will be more beneficial to you when it comes to the exchange rate.

Are you ready to apply for your Swedish Schengen visa? Is there anything we missed or anything you need clarification on? Comment below.

IaM can help with your visa application to the United States, the UK & other countries

If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.


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