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Sweden – Brexit and U.K. Nationals’ Right to Stay in Sweden

Sweden–Brexit & U.K. Nationals’ Right to Stay in Sweden

Sweden’s government introduced a bill regarding rights for British nationals in Sweden following Brexit on 16 June 2020. The bill supplements the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement concerning rights for British citizens to live and work in Sweden, and to travel to Sweden.

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Sweden’s government introduced a bill regarding rights for British nationals in Sweden following Brexit on 16 June 2020.1  The bill supplements the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement concerning rights for British citizens to live and work in Sweden, and to travel here.

WHY THIS MATTERS

The implementation of the new government bill would result in a requirement for all British nationals, and their family members, already staying in Sweden (under the Withdrawal Agreement) to actively file an application with the Migration Agency in order to legalise their stay in Sweden after 31 December 2020.

The deadline for submitting an application must be at least six months from the end of the transition period; the length of the deadline period has not yet been decided. However, the government bill does suggest that individuals who apply for the new residence status will keep their rights during the entire processing time of the application.

No application fee will be charged for this type of application.

Some Key Details of Status of British Citizens in Sweden: Transition and Post-Brexit

In the Withdrawal Agreement, the U.K. and the remaining European Union (EU) member states agreed on a transition period during which British nationals essentially kept the rights that they had as EU nationals.3  The transition period will end on 31 December 2020.  During the transition period, British nationals will be able to stay, live, and work in Sweden without requiring a work or residence permit. 

The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement gives EU member states an option to require British citizens, and their family members, who are residing in an EU country at the end of the transition period (under the Withdrawal Agreement) to apply for a new type of residence status (article 18.1).  After the transition period, the new residence status will give such individuals the same right to live and work in the EU country as they previously had as EU nationals.  Sweden’s government intends to implement this article. 

The Swedish Migration Agency has been assigned to handle applications for the new residence status and issue permits for those who are currently covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.4

Generally, for British citizens who do not reside in Sweden prior to the end of the transition period, but want to live or work in Sweden, Brexit means that they will be treated as other third country nationals.  Hence, they will have to apply for a work/residence permit prior to their arrival in the country. 

British citizens will not have to apply for a visa to enter Sweden and they will be allowed to stay here for periods up to three months with no other requirements than to hold a valid passport or national ID card. 

However, in order to perform work in Sweden a work permit will be required also for shorter stays.

FOOTNOTES

1  For the text and status of the legislation (in Swedish), see:  https://data.riksdagen.se/fil/2C4E6D9A-EA42-45F8-A554-EF234984060E.

2   For more on the EU-U.K. Withdrawal Agreement, see: https://ec.europa.eu/info/european-union-and-united-kingdom-forging-new-partnership/eu-uk-withdrawal-agreement_en.

3  For other Brexit reports in GMS Flash Alert, see: https://home.kpmg/xx/en/home/insights/2015/09/flash-alert-brexit.html .

4  For the text and status of the legislation (in Swedish), see:  https://data.riksdagen.se/fil/2C4E6D9A-EA42-45F8-A554-EF234984060E

RELATED RESOURCE

This article is excerpted, with permission, from “Post Brexit – right to stay in Sweden,” in TaxNews (24 June 2020), a publication of the KPMG International member firm in Sweden.  

*  Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not offer immigration services or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.

 

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Sweden.

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