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Sweden & Serbia

Visiting Sweden

If you want to visit Sweden and you are a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA, you may need to apply for a visa. A 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 is the main destination for the journey.

List of countries whose citizens require visas to visit Sweden

Since December 19th 2009, nationals of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia who are holders of a biometric passport are able to travel without a Schengen visa. The visa free travel includes short-term trips up to 90 days within ever six months for business, study or tourism purpose. Click on the following link in order to calculate the travel days remaining under a Schengen short-stay visa. The visa free regime does not allow for living or working in the EU. For long-term studies, longer than 90 days, a residence permit is required.

The new rules does not apply to Serbian citizens holding biometric passports issued by “Koordinaciona Uprava“ (Coordination Directorate) in Belgrade for persons residing in Kosovo under UNSCR 1244/99. Holders of these passports need to have a valid Schengen visa for travelling to the Schengen area.

Bear in mind that Kosovo citizens (holders of Kosovo passport) are to apply for Schengen visa either at the VFS.Global office in Pristina or at the Embassy of Sweden in Skopje.

In case they are not visa-free, the family members (spouses/registered partners, dependent (grand)parents (in-law), (step)children of up to 21 year of age or other dependent members of the household) of EU/EES nationals are exempted from paying the fee when applying for visa at the Embassy. The visas are to be issued as soon as possible and on the basis of an accelerated procedure. More details and definitions can be read in the EU Directive.

Avoid other people selling services

Please note that the embassy has nothing to do with sellers outside the premises of the embassy who offer services for payment. No sellers can influence either the processing period or the decision.

Visas can be granted for such purposes as:

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

You can submit your application at the earliest three months before your planned visit. Apply as far in advance as possible, especially during the peak season. Usually, you get a decision within two weeks.

N.B. In some cases the Embassy is required to consult the other Member States and their central authorities during the examination of applications lodged by nationals of specific third countries or specific categories of such nationals. This means that the processing time may take longer.

A visa can be granted for between 1 and 90 days. You have to make use of these days within a given time frame of 180 days at the most (period of validity).

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.

If you need to travel to Sweden often, you can ask to be given several entries. Such visas are valid for five years at the most. If the visa is for more than six months, you can stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days per 180 days´ period.

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.

It is the embassy or consulate that decides whether you are to be granted a visa. In certain cases, the matter is referred to the Swedish Migration Board for a decision.

Read more about visa applications on the Swedish Migration Agency website.

Swedish Migration Agency website

Visits longer than 90 days

If you know when applying that you will need to stay in Sweden for longer than 90 days, you should apply not for a Schengen visa but for a residence permit for a visit. Such permits are decided in accordance with national Swedish rules. This means, for instance, that visa facilitation agreements do not apply.

An application for a residence permit for a visit is always sent to the Migration Board in Sweden, where the decision is taken. If the application is granted, residence permits are usually issued for between three and twelve months.

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.

Basic information about: Visiting Sweden

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