Menu

Answers to frequent migration-related questions due to the Covid-19 situation in Lebanon

13 Jul 2020

Migration-related questions due to the COVID-19

Temporary travel ban

On august 27 the Government of Sweden decided to extend the temporary entry ban to the EU via Sweden until 31 of October. The aim of the entry ban is, as previously, to mitigate the effects of the spread of the virus and reduce the outbreak of COVID-19. The entry ban applies to all foreign citizens attempting to enter Sweden from a country outside the EU or Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. 

All travel to Sweden will not be stopped. The entry ban does not apply to Swedish citizens or people with residence permits or right of residence in Sweden. Nor will the entry ban apply to people who have particularly important grounds for travelling to Sweden.

Frequently Asked Questions

I wish to apply for a Schengen visa to Sweden, will the existing travel ban to Sweden affect a visa application?

There is currently a temporary entry ban to Sweden. The temporary entry ban began to apply on 19 March and initially applied for 30 days. The Swedish Government has decided to extend the entry ban until 31 October 2020.

If you consider applying for a Schengen visa, we strongly recommend you to wait until the entry ban is lifted. The Swedish Migration Agency has decided that visa applications to Sweden should, as a rule, be rejected. This is a result of the spread of the coronavirus and the Government’s ordinance to introduce a temporary entry ban to Sweden. The decision applies to people who are citizens of a country outside the EU. The decision will remain in effect as long as the Government’s decision on a temporary entry ban remains in effect or until further notice. The Embassy has not stopped the visa services. However, the decision does mean that the majority of visa applications will be rejected with reference to the threat to public health.

The entry ban does not apply to Swedish citizens or people with residence permits or right of residence in Sweden. Nor will the entry ban apply to people who have particularly important grounds for travelling to Sweden. Essential travel is still allowed for the following categories of travellers residing in those countries:

  • healthcare professionals, health researchers, and elderly care professionals;
  • Frontier workers;
  • Seasonal workers in agriculture
  • Transport personnel;
  • Seafarers;
  • Diplomats, staff of international organisations, and people invited by international organisations whose physical presence is required for the well-functioning of these organisations, military personnel, humanitarian aid workers and civil protection personnel in the exercise of their functions;
  • Passengers in transit;
  • Passengers travelling for imperative family reasons;
  • Third country nationals travelling for the purpose of study;
  • Highly skilled third country nationals (holders of national or European highly skilled migrant work permits) if their labour force is necessary from an economic perspective and the work cannot be postponed or performed abroad;
  • Family member of EU+ citizens regardless whether or not they are returning home;
  • Third country nationals residing permanently in an EU+ state.

Even if an applicant is exempted from the entry ban through one of the above categories, it does not mean that the visa will be granted. An application is not a guarantee for a granted visa. As always, the normal Schengen rules (visa code) apply for each individual application.

A visa is never a guarantee that the holder will be able to enter Sweden or the Schengen area. It is the Swedish Border Police that will determine whether the person meets the conditions for entering Sweden, this assessment will be made at the border control point. For more information of the current entry ban to Sweden please see the Swedish Police website:

https://polisen.se/en/the-swedish-police/the-coronavirus-and-the-swedish-police/travel-to-and-from-sweden/

  https://polisen.se/en/the-swedish-police/the-coronavirus-and-the-swedish-police/faq/

 Where can I find information about restrictions in place inside EU Member States and their gradual lifting of travel restrictions?

 You can verify whether and what restrictions remain in place intra-Schengen prior to your departure by consulting the EU’s website ‘Re-open EU’ (link).

As for detailed information on travel restrictions at external borders and measures taken at national level with regard to social distancing, testing requirements and restrictions of movement, you must verify the websites of the relevant Member State’s competent national authorities:  Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Ministries of Interior or Ministries of Health.

 I belong to one of the categories that could be exempted from the travel ban to Sweden, can I apply for a Schengen visa at VFS?

No, you need a pre-approval from the Embassy in order to book an appointment with VFS.

Send an e-mail to ambassaden.beirut-visum@gov.se and explain the urgency and in what way your trip falls under of any of the mentioned categories in the travel ban.

Have in mind that even if the Embassy finds that an applicant is exempted from the entry ban, it does not mean that the visa will be granted. An application is not a guarantee for a granted visa. As always, the normal Schengen rules (visa code) apply for all visa applications.

I have a valid Schengen visa. Does this mean I can now enter the EU without restrictions?

 No. Holding a uniform visa (meaning that it is valid for the entire Schengen area) never grants a right of entry as visa holders’ compliance with entry conditions are checked at the external borders. Likewise, all travellers are to respect any additional travel restrictions that might be in place within the EU+ states. 

 All travellers are strongly advised to verify whether and what restrictions are in place in the country of destination prior to their departure.

 For more information regarding the Swedish entry ban, kindly visit the below links:

https://www.government.se/press-releases/2020/08/extension-of-temporary-entry-ban-to-sweden-until-31-october-2020/

 https://polisen.se/en/the-swedish-police/the-coronavirus-and-the-swedish-police/travel-to-and-from-sweden/

Have the rules for applying for a short stay (Schengen) visa changed?

 The rules for applying for a short-stay (Schengen) visa remain unchanged. Consulates and external service providers will, however, have adapted practical aspects of access management, hygiene measures, payment methods etc. Applicants are advised to verify websites for information of the procedure to follow in advance.

 https://www.migrationsverket.se/English/Private-individuals/Visiting-Sweden/Nyheter/2020-03-26-Limited-possibilities-of-obtaining-a-visa-to-Sweden.html

Does the extended travel ban mean that you have stopped vise services? 

No, the decision does not mean that visa services have stopped. However, the decision does mean that the majority of visa applications will be rejected with reference to the threat to public health.

Can I enter Sweden with a national visa?

The entry ban does not apply to people who have a national visa for Sweden, if returning home.

Can I enter Sweden with a Swedish residence permit?

Yes, people who hold a Swedish residence permit are exempted from the entry ban.

The Swedish Migration Agency has asked me to book an appointment within 30 days. Does the corona situation affect when I will get an interview?

Yes. In order to limit the risk of contaminationfor visitors as well as Embassy staff and with respect for the measures in place by the Lebanese government, the Embassy is taking measures. The measure right now is to have limited services. Interviews are done, but in a limited way and with some delays. Please note that the covid-19 situation is known for the Swedish Migration Agency, why they are aware of some delays and the measures taken by the Embassy.

I live in Syria and need to collect my UT-card in Beirut. How can I receive my ut-card?

There are travel restrictions right now in the entire region. This means that all countries have closed their borders. You can´t leave Syria or enter Lebanon for the moment. You can either wait till the borders are open again or you can ask the Embassy to send the UT-card back to Sweden so that the referent person can collect it with a power of attorney.   

Please note that as long as there are border restrictions in the region and between the countries, it will be impossible to enter Lebanon. Not even having an appointment can change the national border restrictions. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last updated 29 Aug 2020, 12.25 AM