If you become a citizen in Sweden, you acquire the same rights as all other Swedish citizens.
A state can grant certain special rights only to its citizens and can, to a certain extent, discriminate against non-citizens in relation to citizens, without this constituting discrimination. It is, for example, permitted to only give citizens the right to vote in parliamentary elections.
In recent years, it has also been shown that, in special situations, countries can also close their borders and only allow the country's own citizens to enter the country.
There are different ways to become a Swedish citizen – for example by birth, by adoption, by declaration, by application or by regaining citizenship.
You can find information below about the requirements you must meet and what you must do to become a Swedish citizen in the different situations.
Swedish citizenship at birth
It is the parents’ citizenship that determines the citizenship of a child at birth in Sweden - and in the other Nordic countries.
If your child has a Swedish parent and was born after 1 April 2015, the child automatically becomes a Swedish citizen, regardless of where in the world he or she was born.
If your child was born before 1 April 2015 in another country than Sweden, and the child has a Swedish father and a foreign mother, and the parents are not married to each other, the child does not automatically become a Swedish citizen. In order for the child to become a Swedish citizen, the child’s father must submit a declaration of Swedish citizenship for the child.
Your child can also become a Swedish citizen if the parents later get married to each other and the child is under 18 and unmarried.
Swedish citizenship by adoption
If you are a Swedish citizen and you adopt a child that is under the age of 12, the child automatically becomes a Swedish citizen upon adoption if the child is adopted through a decision in Sweden or in another Nordic country. If the child is adopted through a foreign adoption decision that is approved in Sweden by the Family Law and Parental Support Authority (MFoF, Myndigheten för familjerätt och föräldraskapsstöd) or if the adoption is legally valid in Sweden. the child becomes a Swedish citizen.
A child that is 12 years of age or older at the time of adoption can become a Swedish citizen by application.
Register Swedish citizenship when your child is born abroad
If you are a Swedish citizen and permanently resident abroad, and your child is born in that country, the child does not have to be registered in Sweden from birth. This means that the child will not be assigned a Swedish personal identity number.
Instead, you can register your child’s first and second name through an application for children born abroad by submitting Form SKV 7750 to the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket). You can find forms and other valuable information for new parents on the Swedish Tax Agency website.
Register your child’s citizenship in another country when he or she is born in Sweden
If you or your child’s other parent are citizens of another Nordic country, and live in Sweden when your child is born, contact the embassy of the applicable country in Sweden to register your child’s citizenship of that country.
The embassy can give you detailed information about how to register your child as a citizen of the applicable Nordic country, and may issue a passport of that country to your child.
You must present a birth certificate (födelsebevis) and your marriage certificate (äktenskapsbevis), or a certificate of parentage (bevis på föräldraskapet) if you and the other parent are not married.
Swedish citizenship for Nordic citizens
As a citizen in a Nordic country, you can become a Swedish citizen by declaration (anmälan), by application (ansökan), or by regaining citizenship.
You must satisfy certain conditions to become a Swedish citizen.
When you submit a declaration (anmälan) about becoming a Swedish citizen:
- you must be at least 18 when you notify the County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen) that you wish to become a Swedish citizen.
- you must have lived in Sweden for at least five years leading up to the date you notify the County Administrative Board that you wish to become a Swedish citizen.
- you must not have been sentenced to prison or similar during those five years (however, there are exceptions for people who are 18 or 19 years old).
It is the County Administrative Board that processes declarations about becoming a Swedish citizen. You must therefore submit your declaration about Swedish citizenship and a population registration certificate (which may not be older than two months) for you and your children (if any) to the County Administrative Board in the region in which you live.
You can order a population registration certificate from the Swedish Tax Agency or download it from the Swedish Tax Agency website. The subject stated on the population registration certificate must be “Application for Swedish citizenship”.
You must pay a fee to submit a declaration about citizenship for adults and young people aged 18-20. The fee must be paid to the County Administrative Board in the region in which you live. The County Administrative Board in your region can explain how you pay the fee. Once the payment is registered, processing of your application can begin.
There is no fee for children under 18 who are included in the parent’s/guardian’s declaration.
Do not send your passport to the County Administrative Board.
If you satisfy the conditions, you become a Swedish citizen. The County Administrative Board will then send a certificate of Swedish citizenship to your home address and a copy to the Swedish Tax Agency.
As a Nordic citizen you can apply for Swedish citizenship by submitting an application - i.e. you apply to become a Swedish citizen. You send your application to the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket), which processes citizenship applications.
When you apply to become a Swedish citizen:
- you must be able to prove your identity.
- you must be at least 18.
- you must have been living in Sweden for at least two years.
- you must have conducted yourself well.
If you are the parent or guardian of a child, you may submit a declaration to the County Administrative Board that the child is to be a Swedish citizen.
If both parents/guardians want to become Swedish citizens by submitting a declaration to the County Administrative Board, or by applying to the Swedish Migration Agency, their unmarried children who are under 18 automatically become Swedish citizens.
If one of the parents/guardians submits an application or declaration to become a Swedish citizen, their unmarried children who are under 18 become Swedish citizens if:
- the parent/guardian has single custody.
- the parents/guardians have shared custody, and one of the parents is a Swedish citizen.
How do I regain Swedish citizenship?
If you, for some reason, have been been released from or have lost your Swedish citizenship, you can in some cases regain it by submitting a declaration to the County Administrative Board where you live.
You can find informaion about how to regain your Swedish citizenship and which forms to submit on the website of the Swedish Migration Agency.
How do I regain citizenship in another Nordic country?
If you were previously a citizen of another Nordic country, but lost your citizenship when you became a Swedish citizen, in certain cases you may regain your original citizenship.
If you have previously been a Danish citizen, but lost this because you became a Swedish citizen, you may, under certain circumstances, regain Danish citizenship through declaration and become a Danish citizen again.
Information is available in Danish on the website of the Ministry of Immigration and Integration.
If you have previously been a Finnish citizen, but lost this because you became a Swedish citizen, you can submit a declaration. If you satisfy the stated conditions, you become a Finnish citizen again.
You can find more information about regaining Finnish citizenship on the website of the Finland Embassy in Stockholm.
Contact the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration (Útlendingastofnun) for information about how to regain your Icelandic citizenship.
If you have previously been a Norwegian citizen, but lost this because you became a Swedish citizen, you can submit a notification. If you satisfy the stated conditions, you become a Norwegian citizen again.
See the website of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (Utlendingsdirektoratet) for information about how to recover your Norwegian citizenship.
Swedish citizenship for non-Nordic citizens
If you are a citizen of a non-Nordic country and want to become a Swedish citizen, you must apply for Swedish citizenship through the Swedish Migration Agency.
All the Nordic countries permit dual citizenship. Sweden has allowed this since 2001, Finland and Iceland since 2003, Denmark since 2015, and Norway since 2020.
This means that you can now be a citizen of one or more Nordic countries at the same time. If you gain citizenship in another Nordic country, you retain your original citizenship.
When you have dual citizenship, you are entitled to order a passport in the countries in which you have citizenship.
You can find information about prices and formal requirements for becoming a citizen and about how to obtain a passport from the website of the relevant authority in each country.
All Nordic countries also allow a child to have more than one citizenship at birth. However, the Nordic countries have regulations stipulating that the child may automatically lose their citizenship if the child has not lived in the country before their 22nd birthday.
Rights and obligations regarding Swedish citizenship
Swedish citizenship brings certain rights and obligations.
For example, only people with Swedish citizenship have the right to vote and stand as candidates in elections to the Swedish Parliament (Riksdagen).
Swedish citizens may be conscripted to National Service, can get a Swedish passport, and are entitled to consular assistance abroad.
In general, you must be a Swedish citizen to represent Sweden in sports.
In addition, certain positions in the public sector and in the Police Service and the Swedish Armed Forces require that you are a Swedish citizen.
However, for most other rights and obligations, e.g. social insurance, entitlement to compulsory education, and tax matters, citizenship is of no or very little significance. This generally depends on where you live and/or work.
The website of the Swedish Migration Agency has more information about rights and obligations regarding Swedish citizenship.
Benefits and disadvantages of dual citizenship
None of the Nordic countries will take your citizenship from you if you become a citizen of another country, nor should you submit any application to your former country’s authorities to retain your citizenship in the country in question.
You have the same rights and obligations in relation to your two countries as all other citizens in each country. If you are a citizen of several countries, it is up to you to find out what rights and obligations you have in your other home country.
Benefits of dual citizenship include the right to free entry in several countries, the right to work or study in several countries, the right to pass on several countries’ citizenships to your children, the right to own property in some countries, and the right to vote and be elected when elections are held in two or more countries.
You have an absolute right to live and work in the countries in which you are a citizen, and you have the right to vote in the national parliamentary elections. However, Danish citizens must live in Denmark to have this right. You can be elected to parliament, become a police officer, or be employed in the military or other professions that require the country’s own citizenship.
You are entitled to hold several passports, one from each country in which you are a citizen. Remember to always enter and leave a country using the same passport.
Disadvantages include the risk of not being able to access diplomatic protection from one country while staying in the other country, you may be called on for military service in several countries, and the risk that family law in several countries may conflict with each other.
In principle, you are entitled to consular assistance and help from the authorities in both countries where you are a citizen. However, it can be difficult for a country's authorities to help you if you are staying in the other country where you also have citizenship.
As a citizen of a Nordic country, in principle you are subject to military service in that country. If you are a citizen of a country with conscription, you may be required to do military service. This obligation may apply even if you reside in another country and have obtained an additional citizenship. You may therefore be called up, for example in connection with a visit to your other country in which you hold citizenship. However, according to the Nordic countries' agreement, a person with dual citizenship in the Nordic countries must complete military service in the country where he or she resides.
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NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.