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Sweden & South Africa

Apply for a Visa

If you want to visit Sweden and are a citizen of a country outside the EU, you may need a visa. For specific updated information relevant to the COVID-19 situation, please click on the picture.

Countries whose citizens require a visa

The Embassy of Sweden also processes visa applications for Estonia. The requirements are the same as for visas to Sweden.


In order to visit Sweden, you may need an entry visa.  An entry visa is a permit for a maximum of 90 days required for persons wishing to enter Sweden for a temporary visit.

From 12 July 2021 Schengen visa applications from South Africa, with Sweden as main destination, must be submitted at one of VFS Global’s Application Centers in South Africa (Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban), not at the Swedish Embassy in Pretoria.

Applications will be transmitted from VFS to the Swedish Embassy in Nairobi, which will from 12 July be the hub for all Schengen visa decisions in the region. Once a decision has been taken by the Embassy in Nairobi passports and decisions will be sent back to the relevant VFS office in South Africa. There will be an additional charge for the necessary courier service, compared to today’s service charges.

This change is part of Sweden’s regionalisation of migration cases to regional hubs, which is taking place across the globe. Please note that this means that the Embassy in Pretoria will not be able to accept any Schengen visa applications as of 12 July 2021.

The same visa regulation will apply as today. This means that a decision will be available within 15 days, unless there is an extra ordinary circumstance. A refusal can be appealed and will be decided by the same court as today, but the initial handling and re-consideration will be conducted by the Embassy in Nairobi.

Please also note that from February 2nd, 2020, applications can be lodged earliest 6 (six) months prior to the start of the intended visit and for seafarers in the performance of their duties, no more than 9 (nine) months before the intended date of departure.

Read more about the procedures, costs and changes on the Embassy of Sweden in Nairobi’s website: South African residents - Sweden Abroad

Due to the coronavirus and the temporary entry ban to Sweden, the Swedish Migration Agency has decided that the majority of visa applications will be rejected. This applies if you wish to visit Sweden and are a citizen of a country outside of the EU.

The extension of the temporary entry ban to Sweden has been extended until 31 October 2021 and easing of restrictions for more travelers.

For more information on the travel ban se following link; https://www.swedenabroad.se/en/about-sweden-non-swedish-citizens/going-to-sweden/temporary-ban-on-travel-to-sweden/


Negative COVID-19 test required for entry into Sweden

The Swedish Government has decided that foreign nationals will have to present a negative test result for ongoing COVID-19 infection upon entry into Sweden, regardless of where they are arriving from. The aim is to reduce the risk of spreading the new variants of the COVID-19 virus that have been detected in a number of countries. As a general rule, the test must not be more than 48 hours old. Foreign nationals aged 18 and older are subject to the test requirement, with the exception of certain categories of travelers so as to ensure that there are no unintended consequences.

The regulations entered into force on 6 February 2021 and will apply up to and including 31 October 2021. Please click on the link to read more: Negative COVID-19 test required for entry into Sweden - Government.se

The decision about negative COVID-19 test does not affect the period of validity of the temporary entry ban to the EU via Sweden, which still applies until 31 October 2021: Questions and answers about the entry ban to Sweden - Government.se

It is the Swedish border police you should contact in regard to entry into Sweden due to the travel ban.  See following link for more information questions and answers; https://polisen.se/en/the-swedish-police/the-coronavirus-and-the-swedish-police/faq/

See following link for  information from the Public Health Agency in regards to queries related to the Covid-19 https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/the-public-health-agency-of-sweden/communicable-disease-control/covid-19/

Contact your airline for requirements regarding PCR/ antigen test for Covid-19 traveling to Sweden from South Africa.


25 Mar 2020


Stay updated on the COVID-19 situation.