Travel to Sweden from outside EU during the corona outbreak (updated 2020-08-14)

On March 17th the Swedish Government decided to restrict non-essential travels to Sweden across an external border, meaning from other countries than the EU/EEA, except the UK or Switzerland. The decision is currently in effect until August 31st 2020.

The Swedish Police Authority does not issue any kinds of pre-approvals or notifications, nor does it process individual cases by telephone or e-mail. It is not possible to apply for an exemption in advance. The decision in each individual case will be made upon arrival at the border control point based on the presented documentation.

In accordance with EU’s recommendation to gradually remove entry restrictions, the Swedish government decided on July 2nd to prolong the entry ban until August 31st. At the same time further changes to the exceptions were made. In addition to EEA* citizens, foreigners residing in a list of select countries, were also exempted from the entry ban, in addition to the already existing exemptions. The Swedish government decided on August 13th to once again update the list over select countries, a change which comes into effect on August 15th.

These countries are assessed to be low-risk in terms of contagion. Exemptions will be based on residence in one of the countries, not citizenship. This means that foreigners who can document that they reside in any of these countries, will be allowed to enter Sweden if they do fulfill the entry requirements given in the Schengen Border Code and the Visa Code. The selection of included countries which are considered to fulfill the criterias of exemption, is evaluated on a regular basis and the list will be updated every other week. Questions regarding the selection or evaluation should be posed to EU and the Swedish government.

Current countries of exemption:

  • Australia
  • Georgia
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Uruguay

Previously Serbia, Montenegro, Algeria and Morocco were on the list, but these countries have been removed since they are no longer assessed to fulfill the exemption criterias.

Exemption will also be made for the following cateogries:

  • Foreigners who are coming to Sweden to study.
  • Highly skilled professionals, if the job can not be postponed or be done remotely.

Swedish Police can not guarantee that it will be possible to enter Sweden at a specific future date, as the situation is changing and regulations will be adjusted according to the current state. Updates will be published continuously at the Swedish government’s website in English and their Questions and answers – temporary entry ban to the European Union via Sweden.

The rapid spread of the Corona virus within the EU is a matter of international concern that requires coordinated action. Member States have responded to the call to restrict non-essential travel to the EU.

EEA*

= EEA countries include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

Switzerland and the UK  are not part of the EEA, but are included in the term EEA* on this page. Citizens of these countries, as well as citizens of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican, are included in the term EEA*-citizen.

A new regulation, under the Act on the Protection of International Threats to Human Health, was decided on March 17 to mitigate the effects of the Corona virus outbreak and reduce its spread. The decision came into effect on March 19 and was initially in effect for 30 days, but was further prolonged till August 31th 2020. Rules and application can change over time, it is the traveler’s responsibility to get updated information from official sources on a regular basis, such as the Swedish government’s website and this site.

Travel ban from countries outside EEA*

As a general rule, foreigners who are not EEA* citizens, travelling to Sweden from a non-EEA* country will be denied entry and rejected. This will mainly affect travels to Swedish airports and sea ports, since Sweden does not have any land borders to a country which is not part of EEA*. There are exemptions for a select number of identified countries outside EEA*.

Travels inside EEA* are not affect

Travels from another EU country such as Denmark or Finland, a country that is part of the EEA such as Norway, or from the UK and Switzerland, hereafter referred to as EEA*, will not be affected.

However, since 2015, Swedish Police has the option to perform border control at an inner border: Temporary border controls. 

When the temporary ordinance makes exception for citizens of certain countries, are both EU and EEA citizens, as well as citizens Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican, included in the term of EEA* citizen. One of the changes made from July 4th 202, is that EEA* citizens are exempt from the entry ban and are allowed to enter Sweden regardless of residing here or not.

Swedish citizens and certain close relatives are not affected

Swedish citizens will always be allowed to return to Sweden. EEA* citizens and individuals holding residence permits or class D visas in an EEA* country, are also allowed to enter Sweden. Exceptions to the entry ban may also be made for foreigners who have particularly important reasons for traveling to Sweden.

All decisions are made by the Border Police at the Border Crossing Point

The Swedish Police Authority is responsible for applying the legislation and is developing uniform and legally sound procedures for how to do so on an ongoing basis. How exemptions are to be applied will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

All decisions regarding the application of exceptions will be made upon arrival at the border crossing point, and the Swedish Police Authority is not able to issue any kind of certifications or pre-approval notes in advance. It is not possible to apply for an exemption via post, e-mail or telephone.

Frequently asked questions

No questions regarding individual cases or general application will be answered by the Border Police or 114 14, such questions are instead referred to the published Frequently asked questions. Operator answering 114 14 will have access to the same information which is provided on this website.

Information in Swedish:

Så påverkas resandet till Sverige från länder utanför EU/EES av coronapandemin

Frequently asked questions in Swedish

Excemptions from the entry ban

Except for Swedish citizens, the following individuals or groups are exempted from the entry ban and are allowed to enter Sweden:

  • Citizens of another EEA state, the UK, Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican,
  • have the right to reside in Sweden or another EU country.
  • Individuals holding a residence permit or right to reside in Sweden or another EEA* state, holders of a national (class D) visa for Sweden or a national (class D) visa valid for more than three months in another EEA country, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland or the Vatican.
  • Individuals with documented family connection, such as spouse, common-law partner, partner or child, to a Swedish citizen, EEA* citizen or foreigner holding residence permit or national (class D) visa in Sweden or an EEA* country. More information about which family connections are included by the exemption, can be found in Frequently Asked questions. It is not required for this category of foreigners  to hold a residence permit. A visa, however, is required if the foreigner comes from a country where a visa is mandatory to enter Sweden under normal circumstances. 
  • Foreigners who resides in one of the exempted countries.

Exceptions based on need or function

Exceptions can be made for foreigners with particularly urgent personal needs or who are to perform essential functions in Sweden, such as

  • healthcare professionals, and certain other professions in related areas, read more in Frequently Asked Questions
  • individuals working with the transportation of goods
  • merchant seamen working on cargo or passenger lines,
  • people travelling for urgent family reasons. More information about this is defined, can be found in Frequently Asked Questions.
  • family members of Swedish citizens working for a Swedish company, a Swedish government agency or an international organization abroad, if the employer is calling home the employee and/or his or her family members.
  • individuals working in international organizations or who are invited by such organizations and whose presence is needed for the operation of the organization, military staff, aid workers or staff working with civil defense
  • military staff
  • individuals entering Sweden for studies
  • highly skilled professionals, if the work can not be postponed or be done remotely
  • Foreigners who are going to work within the agricultural, forestry or gardening industry, will be allowed to enter Sweden if they can present proper documentation supporting the purpose of the journey.

Frequently asked questions

No questions regarding individual cases or general application will be answered by the Border Police or 114 14, such questions are instead referred to the published Frequently asked questions. Operator answering 114 14 will have access to the same information which is provided on this website.

Information in Swedish:

Så påverkas resandet till Sverige från länder utanför EU/EES av coronapandemin

Frequently asked questions in Swedish

Exempted countries        

In addition to EEA* citizens, foreigners residing in specific countries are exempted from the entry ban and will be allowed to enter Sweden even if they do not reside in or are moving to Sweden. In order to be included in this exemption, it is required to document residence, not citizenship, in one of the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Georgia
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Uruguay

Individuals residing in these countries will be allowed to enter Sweden if they also fulfill the entry requirements according to the Schengen Border Code and the Visa Code.

The countries assessed to fulfill the conditions for exemption, is continuously evaluated and the list will be updated every other week. Please contact EU and the Swedish government with questions concerning the selection.

Asylum

The right to asylum is not affected by the decision. If a person wishes to seek asylum at the border then they will be allowed to do so. Read more about asylum in the Swedish Migration Agency’s Website.

Legal basis

Please note that the same legislation as previously, i.e. the Schengen Border Code, will first and foremost apply for the crossing of borders. This means that valid travel documents must be carried in the form of a passport or national ID card, as well as a valid visa, if needed. It is primarily the traveller’s responsibility to prove their right to enter, based on citizenship or on the current exemptions.

The traveler need to verify his or her right

It is up to the traveler to verify his or her right to entry, both based on the Schengen Borders Code and the temporary entry ban. It is the individual's responsibility to present sufficient documentation.

For questions regarding the legal framework and regulations, please refer to the Swedish Governments press release of August 3rd or the Swedish government's FAQ page in English, as well as the Schengen Borders Code and the Visa Code.