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Sweden & South Africa

Basic facts

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. It is valid throughout the Schengen area, but you apply to the country that is the main destination for the journey. The Embassy of Sweden also processes visa applications for Estonia. The requirements are the same as for visas to Sweden.

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 (April to September). Normally you get a decision within two weeks.

You can only be granted a visa for a maximum of 90 days within an 180-days period. How many days you are allowed to stay in the Schengen area, and for how long altogether, is stated on the permit sticker attached in your passport.

If you need to travel to Sweden often, you can ask to be given a long validity visa with several entries. Such visas are valid for five years at the most. You can still only stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days per six-month 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 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.

Read more about visa applications in the menu on the left and on the Swedish Migration Agency website.

Swedish Migration Agency website