Rules relating to citizenship are in Sweden regulated by the Swedish Citizenship Act of 2001. Matters concerning the loss and acquisition of citizenship are handled by the Swedish Migration Agency.
As a main rule, one must have habitually resided in Sweden for a continuous period of five years. Persons who are married to, a registered partner of or cohabiting with a Swedish citizen can apply for citizenship after three years. Stateless persons and refugees are only required to have lived in Sweden for at least 4 years.
It is a requirement to have conducted oneself well during the time in Sweden. This relates primarily to crime and debt.
Persons convicted of crimes can still become citizens, but must wait for a specific period depending on the sentenced received.
An application may be rejected if the applicant has not paid taxes, fines or other charges. Similarly, a failure to pay maintenance may also result in a rejection. Failure to pay private debt may also be a hindrance to become a Swedish citizen.
There are no formal language or civic integration requirements for ordinary naturalisation in Sweden.
Dual citizenship has been allowed in Sweden since 2001, and persons seeking to naturalise in Sweden do not have to give up their other citizenship. Persons who lost their Swedish citizenship due to the rules of the old regime may reacquire it by notification.
Children under 18 years old who have a permanent residence permit, right of residence or residence card in Sweden may naturalise by means of notification. The applicant must have lived in Sweden with a residence permit for settlement for three years or, in case of statelessness, two years. The notification must be signed and submitted by the child’s legal guardian(s).
The application fee for naturalisation is 1500 SEK.
Citizens of Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway may become Swedish citizens through notification. This is a simpler and cheaper (475 SEK) procedure. The notification is examined by the administrative board in the county where the person making the notification is registered as resident.
Some statistics on citizenship acquisitions per year in the period 2000-2016 can be explored through the online statistical database of Statistics Sweden.
For more information on the naturalisation procedure in Sweden, visit the website of the Swedish Migration Agency.
See also the country profile of Sweden on the Global Citizenship Observatory.