Sweden is part of both the European Union and the Schengen Zone, making it easy for travelers from those regions to visit. For travelers from other parts of the world, the rules are quite straightforward, but it’s important to review the requirements well in advance to avoid any difficulties.

What you need to know about visas in Sweden

Citizens of the European Union may visit Sweden without a visa and may live, work and study in Sweden without a residence permit. Travelers from outside the EU may visit the Schengen Zone, including Sweden, for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your stay in the Schengen Zone.

Even if you do not need a visa, you may still be asked to show a return ticket valid within 90 days, a hotel booking or other confirmed accommodations, and proof of enough funds to support yourself during your stay. 

Woman pointing up to family while hiking in forest
A family appreciating nature in one of Sweden's beautiful national parks © Maskot / Getty Images

Staying longer in Sweden

If you are not an EU citizen and wish to visit Sweden or Schengen for up to 90 days, you may need a visa. Citizens of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and numerous other countries are exempt from this visa requirement for stays of up to 90 days.

Travelers who need a visa include citizens of most Asian and African countries, as well as a scattering of countries in eastern Europe and Latin America. Visit the Schengen Visa Policy web page for a handy world map showing visa requirements or consult the Swedish government’s list of countries whose citizens need visas to enter Sweden.

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Winter landscape in Riksgränsen, Kiruna, Sweden
Sweden is popular in winter as well as summer: Riksgransen in the Kiruna region © Mats Lindberg / Getty Images

Don't leave your Sweden visa arrangements to the last minute

If you need a Schengen visa, you should apply well in advance, but no earlier than six months before your trip. If your trip involves more than one Schengen country, you should apply for a visa through an embassy or consulate of the country where you will spend the most time. Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your stay, be issued within the last 10 years and have at least two empty pages. You also need to have emergency medical insurance valid for the duration of your stay. Full information about required documents for applying for a visa is available on the Swedish Migration Agency’s website.

Six-month visitor permits for Sweden

If you intend to stay in Sweden for more than 90 days you will need to apply for a visitor’s permit through the Swedish Migration Agency, unless you are an EU citizen. If you are already in Sweden you can usually apply for a visitor’s permit to extend your stay for another 90 days. If you know in advance that you intend to stay more than 90 days, you can normally apply for a six-month visitor’s permit before your trip rather than entering on a tourist visa for the first 90 days.

To apply your passport must be valid for at least 90 days beyond your planned visit, and you must be able to support yourself during your stay in Sweden and have a return ticket or sufficient funds to buy a ticket home. Other conditions may apply depending on your nationality and the purpose of your extended stay. See the Swedish Migration Agency’s website for full guidelines for applying for a visitor’s permit.

Red boathouses and sailing boats in Ven, Sweden, Bäckvikens hamn.
A small fishing village Bäckviken: with more time you can explore more of Sweden © Swedishnomad.com Alex W/Shutterstock

Entering Sweden from another Schengen country

When you enter Sweden from another Schengen country you typically do not have to pass through any sort of immigration check, but you must still have a valid passport or national identity card available to present to the authorities if asked. There is a border check on the Øresund bridge, so if you are entering Sweden from Denmark by road or train you must have your passport or national ID card ready for inspection. Other border checks may be implemented occasionally under special circumstances.

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