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Sweden Citizenship by Descent

Sweden Citizenship by Descent

Foreign citizens from all over the world can move to Sweden by applying for various types of visas that can be transformed into residence permits and later into Swedish passports. In order to obtain citizenship in Sweden, a person must live here for a specific period of time which often depends on his/her current nationality.

Apart from migrants, there is also the category of persons who can obtain the status of citizen directly. Known as Sweden citizenship by descent, this option is available for people with Swedish origins, provided that they can prove their ties to the country.

Below, our immigration lawyers in Sweden explain how you can obtain citizenship by descent. We are at your service for support in preparing for immigration.

The main ways of obtaining citizenship in Sweden

There are several ways through which foreign citizens can acquire Swedish citizenship. Moreover, the country has a special naturalization scheme for citizens of neighboring Northern countries who can obtain citizenship here by filing a notification with the Swedish Migration Agency.

For other persons, the following options are available:

  1. citizenship by birth or descent is the first and foremost way of obtaining Swedish citizenship;
  2. citizenship by adoption enables the adopted children of Swedish citizens of becoming themselves citizens of this country;
  3. citizenship by naturalization or application which is the main pathway through foreign citizens can acquire Swedish passports through residency;
  4. citizenship by legitimization which is an option for foreign citizen marrying Swedish ones.

 Citizenship by descent in Sweden is the simplest way of acquiring a passport, as it only implies proving the ties a person has with citizens in this country.

If you are interested in moving to Sweden, our lawyers are at your disposal with information on the immigration legislation of this country, including on how to get a permanent residence visa.

Before getting a permanent residence permit, you must hold a temporary residence permit for 3 years. Self-employed individuals and refugees with valid residency permits are excluded from this rule. If you intend to move and apply for residency in Sweden, you can rely on our tailored immigration services.

Our immigration lawyers also have a good understanding of the Employment Law, as it helps us assist our clients better. We can advise on labor contracts between local companies and foreign workers, as well as how such an agreement can help you acquire a Swedish residence permit. Contact us if you need tailored relocation support.

Who is eligible for Sweden citizenship by descent?

According to the Citizenship Act, not all persons automatically qualify for citizenship by descent in Sweden. So, here are those who do:

  • a person whose mother is a Swedish citizen;
  • a person who is born in Sweden and whose father is a Swedish citizen;
  • a person whose father is a Swedish citizen and is married to his/her mother (who can be a foreigner);
  • a person who was born in Sweden and whose father is dead but was a Swedish citizen at the that time;
  • a person whose father is dead, but was a Swedish citizen and married to a his/her mother at the respective time.

What should be noted is that Sweden citizenship by descent can be passed on by mothers starting with July 1979.

If you need assistance in applying for citizenship by birth in Sweden, our law firm can help you trace your roots and file your request with the Migration Agency.

Swedish citizenship comes with various advantages for foreign citizens who meet the requirements to obtain a passport. Among these, voting rights and the possibility to travel to many countries without a visa. The Swedish passport ranks 4 in the most recent statistics in terms of visa-free travel, so here is a major benefit of becoming a citizen of this country.

Obtaining citizenship by descent in Sweden automatically

Over time, the legislation has suffered various changes, and according to the latest, children born after April 1st, 2015, will automatically be granted Sweden citizenship by descent no matter his or her place of birth provided that any of the parents is a Swedish citizen.

There is also an exception to this rule: a child born abroad before this date and who has a Swedish father and foreign mother who are not married to each other will not automatically be recognized as a Swedish citizen. Persons found in this situation, however, can obtain citizenship by notification, to be more specific, if the father files a notification for Swedish citizenship. The main condition to acquire Sweden citizenship by descent this way is for the child to not have turned 18 of age.

Our immigration lawyers in Sweden are at your service with detailed information on how to apply for citizenship by birth under the conditions presented above.

Documents to file for obtaining citizenship by birth in Sweden

The following documents must be filed when seeking to obtain Sweden citizenship by descent:

  • the notification form issued by the Swedish Migration Agency;
  • a certificate of paternity (if the request is filed by the father);
  • proof of the parent being a Swedish citizen;
  • the child’s birth certificate.

Other documents can be requested, which is why we recommend you discuss them with our Swedish immigration lawyers.

According to a report submitted to the Swedish government, new citizenship requirements would take effect on January 1, 2025. The report states that candidates must exhibit civic education abilities as well as strong Swedish language proficiency. So, if you are planning to apply for citizenship in Sweden, you can rely on our specialists to speed up the process.

Migration statistics in Sweden

According to the latest statistics, the migration flow in Sweden in the past few years was on an ascending trend in terms of immigration, as it can be seen below:

  • the highest number of foreign citizens entering Sweden was registered in 2016, when around 163,000 persons migrated here;
  • in 2019, the number of foreign citizens entering the country was 115,805;
  • in 2020, more than 82,500 moved to Sweden.

For guidance in obtaining Sweden citizenship by descent, please contact our lawyers.