Sweden & China

Visiting Sweden

If you want to visit Sweden and you are not a citizen of the EU/EEA, you may need a visa. A visa gives you permission to enter and stay in Sweden for a short period of time. It is valid throughout the Schengen area, but you should apply to the country that is the main destination of your journey.

Visa information

List of countries whose citizens need a visa to visit Sweden can be found here.

Visas can be granted for purposes such as:

  • Business visits
  • Participation in cultural or sporting events
  • Visits to relatives and friends
  • Tourism

When to apply/processing time

You can submit your application at the earliest six months before your planned visit. Apply as far in advance as possible, especially during the peak season (May-September). The processing time for a Schengen visa application is normally 15 calender days starting from the day the application was received at the Swedish Mission abroad. In some cases, the processing time may be extended to 45 calender days.

Validity of visa

A Schengen visa can be granted for between 1 and 90 days. You have to make use of these days within a given time frame (period of validity).

How many days you are allowed to stay in the Schengen area, and during which period, is stated on the permit attached to your travel document. Please note that the Swedish Mission Abroad adds 15 days of validity to your visa to make your time more flexible, in case you have to postpone your trip. However, you are still only allowed to stay in the Schengen area for the amount of days stated on your sticker.

If you need to travel to Sweden regularly you can apply for multiple entries. Such visas are valid for five years at the most. If the visa is valid for more than six months, you can stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days per 180 day period.

A visa does not automatically mean you can enter the Schengen area. Entry checks are always made at external border points. It is therefore a good idea to bring along copies of the documents you submitted when applying for a visa. Border controls may result in your being denied entry.

It is the Swedish Mission Abroad that decides whether you are to be granted a visa. In certain cases, the matter is referred to the Swedish Migration Agency for a decision.

Leaving biometrics

All visa applicants are required to provide their biometric data (fingerprints and a digital photograph) when applying for a Schengen visa. It is a simple procedure that only takes a few minutes.

When applying for the first time, all applicants will have to appear in person at the VFS Global or Swedish Mission Abroad. Biometric data, along with the data provided in the Schengen visa application form, will be recorded in VIS (Visa Information System) database and stored for five years. During this period, applicants have the right to refuse to retake biometrics. However, that if for some reason fingerprints are not found in VIS, applicants will have to visit VAC or the Embassy/Consulate to be fingerprinted again. 

VIS contains all Schengen visa applications and decisions made by any Schengen State. Therefore, fingerprints can be reused within this period.

You can read more about visa applications on the Swedish Migration Agency's website.


To improve our visa application service the Swedish Missions Abroad cooperates with VFS Global.

VFS Global handles visa applications as well as provides information and other kinds of services. In general, you need to present your visa application in person to VFS Global. You may also, if you have had your biometrical data collected in a previous application for a Schengen visa within the past 59 months, authorize a third party to submit the visa application on your behalf. Please visit the VFS Global website for detailed requirements.

When a decision on your application is ready, you collect your passport and your visa at the VFS Global application centre.

VFS Global charge a service fee per application (over and above the visa fee).

Visit the VFS Global website for the application centre’s address, opening hours and for other practical information.  

Schengen visa applications may only through prior appointment be submitted at the Embassy of Sweden in Beijing. To make an appointment at the Embassy of Sweden in Beijing, you need to send an e-mail to visa.beijing@gov.se with the following information: name, cellphone number, province of residence, which date you wish to apply. The same rules apply at the Consulate General of Sweden in Shanghai, send an e-mail to generalkonsulat.shanghai-visum@gov.se.

Please note the following:

  • The Embassy of Sweden in Beijing and the Consulate General of Sweden in Shanghai are not authorized to process Schengen Visa applications from non-Chinese nationals who do not legally reside in the People´s Republic of China and who lack justification for lodging an application here.
  • Residents of Mongolia may apply for a Schengen visa to visit Sweden at the VFS Global visa application center in Ulaanbaatar, please visit the VFS Global website for further information.
  • Some third country nationals are subject to consultation in accordance with Article 22 of the Schengen Visa Code. 

Rules and required documents

Read about the rules, which documents are required, and how you apply for a visa to Sweden at VFS Global website.


Most people have to pay a fee for their visa application, for more information regarding fees click here. 

Where to hand in your application

Residents of all provinces in China are encouraged to apply at one of the many offices of VFS Visa Application Centre.

Residents of Shanghai, Jiangsu, Anhui and Zhejiang can apply at the General Consulate of Sweden in Shanghai by appointment.

Residents of Hong Kong and Macau (including those holding Chinese passports) applying for a Schengen visa, where the main destination is Sweden, should apply at the Consulate General of Finland in Hong Kong.

Residents applying for a resident permit should do so at the Embassy of Sweden in Beijing or the Consulate General of Sweden in Shanghai.

For more information on how to apply for a resident permit, please see:

Be wary of other agents selling services

Please note that VFS Global is the only authorized external service provider collaborating with the Swedish authorities on applications for visas to Schengen.

It is not necessary to hire an agency/agent to help out with the visa application. It is perfectly acceptable, preferable even, to fill in the application and arranging the supporting documents by yourself.

Important information for all visa applicants

Read more
Last updated 10 May 2023