Moving To Sweden on A Sambo Visa: My Experience
As I write this post, it has almost been a year since I moved to Sweden to be with my partner! I am soooo happy that we have finally closed the gap after the 3 longest years of our lives being apart. Before I tell you all about my experience, I want to say that this is purely my personal experience and to take it with a grain of salt. Everyone’s love story and visa journey are different. This is not professional advice by any means, it is simply an account of how I got a sambo visa to move to Sweden.
For context, I am from Australia (Non-EU) and applied for a sambo visa (partner visa) to move to my partner in Sweden and have been in a relationship since mid-2017. We had never moved in together or been defacto before applying for this visa. At the time of applying we had been together for around 2 years. We also had lots of proof up our sleeves to prove that our relationship is real.
Swedish Sambo Visa or Partner Visa
This is the visa I applied for. You can find most of the information you need on Migrationsverket. This visa is specifically for people wanting to move on the basis to be with their family/partner. The process was quite straightforward and done completely online. I suggest that you do the application online as it will process MUCH faster.
My Visa Timeline
|Jul 2019||Applied for Sambo Visa with an online application|
|Sep 2019||Emailed more evidence of the relationship|
|Jan 2020||Invitation for an Interview|
|Feb 2020||Interview took place|
|Feb 2020||Visa GRANTED! (2 days after my interview!)|
|Mar 2020||Flight to Sweden (….well this never happened because of COVID )|
|Jun 2020||Moved to Sweden!|
OMG! The partner visa was so CHEAP. I think it cost me around $250 Australian dollars at the time. To compare for my partner to get a similar visa to Australia it costs upwards of $8-9000 Australian dollars! So it was definitely the easier choice for me to move to Sweden.
Preparing Visa Documents
Now, it’s been a while since I applied for the visa, so I don’t remember every single detail. From memory, I complied:
- Identification documents
- Unmarried certificate (something to show I am not married)
- A written statement stating the relationship
- Travel receipts and flights
- Social proof (i.e. invitations, events attended together with friends etc)
- Bank transfers (i.e for hotels, bookings etc)
It’s important to include as much information and documentation as to help support your case. Make sure you have everything clearly labelled and organised. If a case officer sees a messy application, it will take them a lot longer to understand and go through it.
The interview took place at the Swedish Embassy in Canberra. Luckily, I was able to travel as this occurred one month before COVID forced us into lockdown. I flew from Brisbane to Canberra for an interview. The interview was quite easy as they ask you questions based on what you have provided in your application. They just want to make sure the relationship is real – especially if you have never lived together.
The one thing that caught me off guard though was questions about his family. I had only met one of my partner’s brothers and not the other three. Quite frankly, I forgot all their names. The interviewer did seem fine about this, though, just make sure you remember stuff about your partner’s family!
After 2 days I got my visa granted! Woohoo! I was so lucky to get it granted so quickly. I honestly think it was because I had a fairly easy case and the fact that I am from Australia. I say this because in a lot of Facebook groups (concerning obtaining a sambo visa) other countries had varying waiting times, I’m talking like 1.5-2+ years from certain countries.
Australian citizens do not receive a residence card straight away, whereas most countries need their fingerprints and collect their residence card before they arrive in Sweden. When I arrived in Sweden I visited Migrationsverket, got my fingerprints and photo taken to then receive a residence card the next week.
I was unable to enter Sweden in mid-March because of corona. This is where my luck disappeared! I was scheduled to fly one week after borders closed in Australia and Sweden. It was a major setback, but in June 2020 Sweden allowed family (partners) of Swedish citizens into the country. As soon as a found out, I booked a ticket for the next week.
Hopefully, this excerpt of my experience can help you out and a little and put you at ease. It was a gruelling process and our patience was wearing thin. Everything was so worth it, though.