Family reunification is a recognized reason for the immigration of family members to a country where one or more family member already reside. If a person receives a permanent residence permit as a refugee or as an individual who needs subsidiary protection, then you may have the right to invite your family to that country. Family reunification is a step towards the settlement of refugees to live with their families.
The person who wants to invite his family to the country he should be residing and have enough income resources to provide financial support to the family and a standard house to live in. However, these requirements are not applicable in all case.
EU Citizen Family Members
As a family member of an EU/EEA citizen exercising their right of free movement,you can get a visa through a facilitated process to travel with your family member or to join him/her in Sweden.
Family members are:
Spouse/partner/common law spouse
The direct descendants (children) who are under the age of 21 or are dependents, and those of the spouse or partner.
The dependent direct relatives in the ascending line (e.g. parents) and those of the spouse or partner.
You can apply for a short-stay Schengen visa (type C) which will permit you to enter Sweden and the Schengen area.
Once in Sweden you should apply for a residence card for a family member of a EU/EEA citizen within three months for a Residence Card of a family member of a EU/EEA citizen.
Family Reunification for Refugees
If a person receives a permanent residence permit as a refugee or as an individual who needs subsidiary protection, then you may have the right to invite your family to that country. Family reunification is a step towards the settlement of refugees to live with their families.
The person who wants to invite his family to the country he is residing should have enough income resources to provide financial support to the family and a standard house to live in.
The maintenance requirement does not apply if you are a refugee or a person in need of subsidiary protection and your family members submit their applications within three months of the date on which you were granted a residence permit or protection status.
However, the maintenance requirement does apply if you and your family have the possibility to reunite in a non-EU country to which your family has a special connection. In addition, in order to be exempt from the requirement that their applications be submitted within three months of each other, couples must have started their relationship before entering Sweden, or the relationship must be well-established.
No maintenance requirement applies if a decision to reject the application for a residence permit would be contrary to a Swedish convention commitment.
The possibilities for your family to live with you in Sweden if you have a temporary residence as a refugee or as a person needing subsidiary protection is governed by different things. Some of the important points regarding residence permits are listed below:
have been granted a permanent residence permit
have been granted a temporary residence permit as a refugee or a person in need of subsidiary protection and have good chances of receiving a permanent residence permit.
Who can move with you?
Only your immediate family members can move with you if you have a temporary residence permit. Your immediate family members mean your spouse, children under the age of 18, registered partners, and cohabiting partners. Other family members and children who are above 18 are not eligible to move to Sweden or the EU on your behalf while you have a temporary residence permit. If you are under the age of 18, then your parents are counted as your immediate family members.
In case you have a permanent residence permit or you are planning to get married to a person in Sweden, then that person can apply on your behalf for the residence permit. Persons other than your immediate family members like parents or siblings can also move to Sweden with you.
Becoming a bank customer
You must always be able to identify yourself.
You can identify yourself with a valid Swedish identification document, such as a passport, a national identity card or a BankID. You can also identify yourself with a Swedish driving license.
If you do not have Swedish identification documents, you can identify yourself with a valid foreign passport or other photographic identification document that shows your citizenship. This must be issued by an authority or some other authorised issuer. Note that the bank may request that you also present other documents.
If you do not have valid identity documents, you must prove who you are and your citizenship by means of other documents from an independent and reliable source.
If you are a foreign student, you must always be able to identify yourself as above. You also need:
A residence permit or a visa (does not apply to EU citizens).
An admission decision confirmation from your university, showing the duration of your studies.
In certain cases, the bank can refuse you to open an account
The bank may not open an account if :
The bank cannot identify you in a sufficiently secure manner.
The bank determines that the reason you provided for wanting to open an account is inadequate.
The bank, by opening an account, would be acting in breach of a legal regulation or directive.
The bank may also refuse you an account if you have previously acted dishonestly towards the bank.
Bear in mind that…
You must be able to understand the bank’s questions and answer them.
You must also be able to understand the information that the bank gives you.
If you need someone to translate for you, you should bring such a person with you to the meeting with the bank.
The bank will ask you where your money is being sent from.
Your account and other bank services may not be used by anyone else unless an agreement for this is held with the bank.
The bank may ask you additional questions or stipulate other requirements.
If you have a driving license which was issued in an EU country is valid throughout your stay in Sweden. You can even exchange your driving license to Swedish license if you have permanent residence.
A driving license that was issued in non-EEA countries (excluding Switzerland and Japan) is valid for a maximum of one year in Sweden. It cannot be exchanged to Swedish license and If you want to continue driving in Sweden you will have to complete the risk education, and theory and practical examinations.
SCHOOLS IN SWEDEN
In Swedish preschools, play is a key component. There is a focus on basic values such as playing together, tolerance and consideration for others. Preschool is for children aged 1 to 5.
The year the child turns 6, he or she can participate in a non-compulsory preschool class (sexårsverksamhet) designed to help children meet future classmates and prepare for primary school without the stress of heavy studies or homework.
From the ages of 7 to 16, all children in Sweden are required to attend the compulsory school (grundskola), where they are taught a core group of basic subjects. Families can apply for before/after-school care for their children (fritids).
There is a charge for preschools and after-school care, but from the age of 6, all schooling in Sweden is free of charge and includes a hot lunch. Note, there is usually a fee for private schools and international schools.
PREGNANCY AND MATERNITY
In Sweden a parent is entitled to take parental leave until their child is 8 years old in order to take care of them. During the leave parents are paid allowance from (Försäkringskassan) in accordance with the law. www.forsakringskassan.se.
Parental benefit is money you receive to be able to be at home with your child instead of working, seeking work or studying. Parents are granted 480 days of leave per child. 390 of these days are income based and 90 days are at the minimum level. It is not your employer who covers the cost of your parent benefit but the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan).
The maternity clinic (MVC) mödravårdscentralen, is primarily for pregnant women. You go to the maternity clinic throughout your pregnancy to check that both the child and you yourself are doing well. Visits to the maternity clinic are free.
Child health centre
As a parent, you can get help here. At the child health centre, or barnavårdscentralen (BVC), you can get tips about your child’s development, breast-feeding, food and illnesses. When you come home after the childbirth, you can contact the child health centre yourself to make an appointment for a first meeting. The first meeting is often held at home. At the meeting the nurse tells you about the child health centre and looks to see how your baby is doing.
Children who live in Sweden start receiving a child allowance the month after their birth. The allowance is paid until the child turns 16.
Register with Försäkringskassan
You need to register with Försäkringskassan (the Swedish Social Insurance Agency) to qualify for benefits. Read more at www.forsakringskassan.se
You can get ID cards issued by tax agency. You need to visit one of the Skatteverket’s office and pay the fee i.e 400 SEK before you visit them.
To be able to apply for an ID card, you must be registered as living in Sweden (having received the personal identification number), be able to show a receipt for the application fee payment and be able to show who you are (prove your identity).
Payouts of unemployment insurance take two forms, a basic benefit or an income-related benefit.
Unemployment insurance is not a part of the social insurance system in Sweden. Unemployment insurance is connected closely to the trade unions but is legally independent. When you start working in Sweden, investigate which unemployment insurance fund (widely known as A-Kassa) is available.
In order to receive an income-based benefit, you must have been a member of a voluntary unemployment insurance fund (A-kassa) for 12 months and have worked (been employed) for at least six months. In addition, some trade unions offer additional insurance against loss of income.
Learn Swedish in Sweden
Depending on the location of your stay, there are different options for learning Swedish while in the country. More information at: www.sweden.se.
Folkuniversitetet offers Swedish courses at different levels.
Study associations also offer language courses and a wide range of other courses. See a list of study associations.
SFI-courses (Swedish for immigrants). Once you have become a resident in Sweden and have been issued a personal identity number (personnummer) you can contact your local municipality for information about Swedish lessons for immigrants (SFI). SFI is basic training in the Swedish language for adults who do not have Swedish as their first language. You can study SFI full-time or part-time. The training is free of charge.
Recognition of higher education qualifications
The European Commission has devised a system known as ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) . It allows for the transfer of higher education credits between European countries. The Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) evaluates foreign qualifications in order to provide support for people looking for work in Sweden, people who wish to continue studying, or for employers who wish to employ someone with foreign qualifications.
Figuring out the responsibilities of the different authorities isn’t all that easy. Who is responsible for what? Whom should you turn to with your questions, applications and concerns?
This guide gives you a brief overview of the different authorities and their main responsibilities.
Länsstyrelserna (the County administrative boards)
Landstingen (County councils)
Migrationsverket (Migration Agency)
Migrationsverket (Migration Agency) is the authority to turn to if you want to visit, live in or seek asylum in Sweden, or if you want to become a Swedish citizens. Migrationsverket is also responsible for the settlement of certain new arrivals and decides on compensation to municipalities and counties.
Skatteverket (Tax Agency)
Skatteverket (The Tax Agency) is in charge of tax matters but is also responsible for Sweden’s population register. Skatteverket does your folkbokföring (registration), You can als apply for a Swedish ID card
Arbetsförmedlingen (Public Employment Service)
Arbetsförmedlingen (the Public Employment Service) is mainly responsible for labor related issues. Arbetsförmedlingen has three main services for Newly arrived people :
Etableringspaket(for peple covered by the law 2010: 197)
Försäkringskassan (Social Insurance Agency)
Försäkringskassan (the social insurance Agency) is in charge for the social insurance in Sweden and their main task is to ensure you get the benefits and allowances you are entitled to. The social insurance covers everyone who lives and works in Sweden.
Försäkringskassan is not always the determining authority (the one taking the actual decision whether or not you are entitled to a benefit or allowance), but is usually the one who pays out the benefits and allowances. Newbie relevant benefits and allowances (among many):
Etableringsersättning(introduction supplement) Information in Swedish, English, Arabic, Dari, Tingrinja, Somali)
Etableringstillägg(financial supplement that can be added to the introduction supplement if you have children) Information in Swedish
Skolverket (National Agency for Education)
Skolverket (National Agency for Education) is the central authority for education in Sweden. They offer an English- language guide to the Swedish school system. They also process applications for teachers with foreign qualifications that wish to work in Sweden.
Jordbruksverket (Board of Agriculture)
Jordbruksverket is in charge of agricultural and horticultural matters in Sweden. They are the authority to turn to if you want to bring your dog or cat to Sweden.
Tullverket (Customs) is charge of the flows of goods in and out of Sweden. Check with Tullverket when bringing or shipping goods in and out of Sweden. They have a guide in English especially for Newbies.
Transportstyrelsen and Trafikverket are in charge of everything concerning driving licenses as well as other transport- and traffic-related rules and regulations in Sweden. If you want to find out more visit their common website – körkortsportalen –
Kommunerna (the Municipalities)
Kommunerna (the municipalities) fill an important and complex task in Sweden. They are responsible for the SFI teaching, Komvux (adult education) and samhällsorientering (social orientation). Yet, they are also responsible for the receiving and housing of Newbies covered by the law (2000: 1383), and shall if necessary provide practical assistance in connection with the settlement.
The municipalities are furthermore responsible for the financial support of Newbies who are not covered by law (2010:197). You belong to the municipality where you made your registration (folkbokföring).
Your municipality is in charge for:
Education (child care, preschool, school etc.)
Financial support for Newbies who aren’t covered by the law (2010:197)
Receiving and Housing of Newbies (covered by the law 200: 1383)
Länsstyrelserna (the County administrative boards)
Länsstyrelserna (the county administrative boards) represent the government in the county. Their task is to coordinate and supervise the work of the different actors and authorities and thereby ensure that national goals and objects are achieved. It is Länsstyrelserna’s task to ensure that the municipalities are prepared to receive Newbies, but also help the municipalities coordinate the SFI teaching and the society orientation.
Landstingen (the County councils)
Landstingen (the county councils) are in charge of everything concerning healthcare matters in Sweden.