Visa gives you permission to enter and stay in Sweden for a short period. It is valid throughout the Schengen area, but you apply to the country that you are going to visit to, or if the visit includes more than one destination, or if several separate visits are to be carried out within a period of two months, to the country of the main destination in terms of the length of stay, counted in days, or the purpose of stay.
You can submit your application at the earliest six months (nine months for seafarers in the performance of their duties) and no later than 15 calendar days before your intended visit. Apply as far in advance as possible, especially during the peak season.
A visa can be granted for between 1 and 90 days. If the visa is for more than six months, you can stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days per each 180 days period. You can find more information and short-stay calculator here.
How many days you are allowed to stay in the Schengen area, and for how long altogether, is stated on the permit sticker attached to your travel document.
A visa does not automatically mean you can enter the Schengen area. Entry checks are always made at external border points. So it is 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.
If you know when applying that you will need to stay in Sweden for longer than three months, you should apply not for a Schengen visa but for a residence permit for a visit or a national visa, known as a ‘D-visa’. Such permits are decided in accordance with national Swedish rules. This means, for instance, that visa facilitation agreements do not apply and that visa decisions are not subject to appeal.
An application for a residence permit for a visit is always sent to the Migration Agency in Sweden, where the decision is taken. Consequently, the application period is longer than for a D-visa. If the application is granted, residence permits are usually issued for between three and twelve months.
If you have special grounds that are approved, you can obtain a national visa (D-visa) for longer than 90 days, but for a year at the most. A national visa gives you freedom of movement throughout the Schengen area, in the same way as a residence permit. You yourself decide how many times you want to enter the Schengen area during the visa’s period of validity.
If you are to be granted a residence permit for a visit or a national visa, the purpose of the trip must be to visit Sweden, not to settle there. You must have the means to support yourself throughout your stay, and you must possess either a return ticket or enough money for your return journey. Medical travel insurance is not compulsory, but it is advisable, since medical costs can be high.