The fundamental difference between an EU-citizens and a non EU-citizens possibilities to move to Sweden is that the EU-citizen does not have to submit an application for a residence permit to the Migration Agency in order to have a legal right to be in Sweden. The reason to this is because the EU-citizen is protected by the freedom of movement, which is a basic principle guaranteed in the EU. For a non EU-citizen who is a family member to an EU- citizen living in Sweden, there is a possibility to apply for a residence card which is on the basis of EU-law and not national Swedish regulation. The following is considered a family member:
Cohabiting partner, spouse or registered partner.
- Unmarried children under the age of 21.
- Children over the age of 21 if they dependent on you for financial support.
- Parents who are financially dependent on you.
- Another family member who is dependent on you for their subsistence or is part of your household or if you are required to take care of the family member for serious health reasons.
A requirement in order to be eligible for the above is that the EU-citizen, to whom the non EU-citizen has family ties to, has the right of residence. Such a right is established for the EU- citizen if he/she is working, is self-employed, studies or has sufficient financial means to support the both of you.
The non EU-citizen which the Migration Agency assesses has a right of residence, will receive a residence card which is valid for five years. Once the two of you have lived together in Sweden for five years under the assumption that you as the non EU-citizen have had the right of residence during the whole period, you will be able to apply for the permanent residence card.
The non EU-citizens right to live in Sweden is as previously mentioned based on the fact that the EU-citizen has a continuous right of residence by continuing to work, being self-employed etc. In addition to this, the relationship between the EU-citizen and non EU-citizen must have continued for the whole five-year period of the residence card in order for the non EU-citizen to be eligible for the permanent residence card. There are however exemptions to the above in which the non EU-citzen retains the right of residence. Such a situation can occur if the marriage ends by divorce or if cohabiting partners stop living together. The non EU-citizen can retain the right of residence if the marriage or relationship before that had lasted for a minimum of three years in which one of these years was in Sweden.