Family reunification

Last updated: 24 4 2019

Children have the right to be with their family. This right is enshrined in the UN child convention, of which Sweden is a signatory.

Swedish authorities can help you find your family if you have arrived in Sweden without them. If your parents or other family members are in safety in another country, you can get help to travel there.

If your parents are not in safety in another country they may be granted residence permits in Sweden. For that to happen you must have been granted a temporary residence permit as a person eligible for protection. In some cases this may also apply for you if you have been granted a residence permit for humanitarian reasons.

What is family reunification?

Family reunification means that a family that has been split up can apply to be allowed to live together in Sweden with the person who has been granted a permanent residence permit or a three-year residence permit as a refugee.

Who is entitled to family reunification?

If you have a residence permit in Sweden your parents or siblings can apply to be reunified with you in Sweden.

In order for the Migration Agency to be able to examine whether your parents are entitled to move to Sweden you, as the person living in Sweden, must:

  • be unmarried and under 18 years of age,
  • have arrived in Sweden without your parents or another guardian, or have been left on your own after your arrival in Sweden,
  • have been granted a permanent residence permit in Sweden or a temporary residence permit as a refugee.

What rules apply?

If you applied for asylum after 24 November 2015 you will receive a temporary residence permit.

If you are granted a residence permit as a person eligible for subsidiary protection you will get a 13-month permit in most cases. Such residence permits normally do not allow your parents or siblings to be reunified with you in Sweden.

If you are granted a residence permit as a refugee your permit will be for three years, and in that case your parents may apply to be reunified with you in Sweden.

Once you have received a decision on your residence permit – what is the next step?

Your parents can submit an application from the country they are living in. The application can be made at the Swedish Embassy or on the Migration Agency's website.

When your family applies for family reunification they have to prove who they are. They need to show valid passports or equivalent identity documents.

Once your family has made its application, the Migration Agency will want to ask you questions in an interview, or in a letter or email.