USA and the UK
Visa Guide: How to Move from Sweden to the U.S.
Sweden’s essentially agrarian society was under more pressure due to the country’s rapid population expansion, and the country’s immigrants found greater economic opportunities in the US. The three states with the highest number of Swedish citizens are California, Illinois, and Minnesota.
Due to immigration, the population group in the US of Swedish extraction have grown exponentially over the years. Therefore, the reason there are over 3.5 million people who are of Swedish descent in the US is not far-fetched.
Overview of the Visa Application Process from Sweden to the US
Know Your Visa Type
You must first identify the visa type that best suits your travel plans. For instance, you may choose a Family-Based visa to join a relative who is already residing in the US, while obtaining an Employment-Based visa will suit your job pursuit in the US.
You are required to obtain the specific application form (typically accessible on the US Department of State website) of the visa you choose and fill it out with the required details to obtain your visa. Your visa processing fee must be paid after you have applied; these processing fees are usually different according to the purpose of travel they serve.
You must attend a visa interview at the US embassy in Stockholm. After the interview, a decision will be made regarding the application you have submitted. Also, the processing time it will take to arrive at a decision will depend on the type of visa you applied for.
However, note that for short stays in the US, Swedish citizens are not required to obtain a US visa before they enter the country. You are required to stay in the US for a minimum of 90 days visa-free.
This is because of the agreement (Visa Waiver Programme) the US and Sweden have. This waiver allows Swedish citizens to visit the US visa-free for short study, tourism, medical treatment, business, etc.
You are required to meet other requirements, though you do not need a visa. They include:
Valid US ESTA
You must provide a current Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) which is issued by the Department of Homeland Security. This document is a simplified waiver designed for Swedish citizens and citizens of some other countries.
The ESTA allows for multiple entries into the US and is valid for 2 years from the date it was issued to you or until the expiration of your passport. It also allows its holder to stay in the US for up to 90 days.
The ESTA will not allow you to engage in full-time employment or long-term studies in the US. But regardless of your age as a Swedish national, you can use the US ESTA for business, tourism, transit purposes, etc.
You are required to come along with your passport to ease the process of your identification as a Swedish national. Note that Swedish passports are exempt from the 6-month limit under a country-specific agreement as they can be used for the duration of stay in the US as long as it is still valid.
Different Types of Visas Available for Individuals from Sweden
Swedish citizens can obtain any of the below visas to immigrate to the US:
- EB2 Visa
- F-1 Visa
- H-1B Visa
If as a Swedish national, you can show your outstanding ability in the arts, sciences, business, education, or sports, you may also be eligible to apply for a visa as a person with extraordinary abilities to relocate to the United States.
This form of residence visa has the primary benefit of allowing foreign applicants to relocate to the US based on their exceptional ability in a variety of disciplines. This visa does not require them to make specific financial investments, particularly in the case of company migration.
It is important to remember that this kind of visa falls under the category of non-immigrant residence permits; yet, if you choose to remain in the US, it can be extended. As a holder of this visa, you may potentially be eligible for US citizenship provided you meet certain requirements.
Eligibility for the EB2 Visa
To qualify for this visa you are required to meet this eligibility criteria. Some of them include the following. You are required to:
- Be a member of organisations or associations in the field that require classification.
- Have written several works for magazines, newspapers, and other publications of that kind.
- Have received both nationally and internationally recognised awards or prizes.
- Have contributed to a crucial role for establishments and organisations.
Swedish students who want to study in the US are eligible for the F-1 visa. Undergraduate, graduate, and programmes for language or vocational training fall under this category. You must be admitted to a U.S. educational institution that has been certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP) to be eligible for an F-1 visa.
Note that the schools certified by the SEVP are not only universities. Other schools certified by the SEVP encompass even seminaries, universities, private elementary schools, language programmes, or conservatories.
Additionally, you need to prove that you have the resources to pay for your education. Usually, the F-1 visa is issued for the length of your academic programme, plus any Optional Practical Training (OPT) that you choose to participate in once your studies are over.
Eligibility for the F-1 Visa
All Swedish students who want to pursue their educational careers in the US must meet the following eligibility criteria to qualify. You must:
- Have applied and been accepted into an educational institution certified by the SEVP.
- Have registered as the institution’s full-time student.
- Be enrolled in English courses that lead to proficiency in the language or be proficient in English.
- Reside outside of the US at the time of your application.
- Have connections to Sweden. This must show you intend to go back to Sweden once your studies are complete.
- Show that you have enough funds to cater for your financial needs while in the US.
Swedish professionals in industries like IT, engineering, and healthcare frequently choose this visa, which is intended for skilled workers in specialised sectors. Usually, you need a bachelor’s degree or comparable job experience in a particular subject to be eligible.
Your US employer has to sponsor you and provide proof that your particular skill set is needed for the role. Typically, H-1B visas are issued for a maximum of 3 years at first, with the option to extend it for an additional 3 years and make your total stay up to 6 years in the US.
Eligibility for H-1B Visa
Swedish citizens who want to obtain the H-1B visa specifically designed for skilled workers must meet the following eligibility criteria. They include:
- Evidence of your bachelor’s degree or a comparable experience in the relevant discipline.
- Proof of having a legitimate offer of employment from a US company for a position requiring specialised knowledge.
- A lack of qualified US applicants for the role must be proved by your employer.
Specific Requirements and Documentation
There are certain requirements you must meet to apply for the above-mentioned US visas. The following include some of the specific requirements:
- Visa application forms and passport. Fill out your visa application form with the required details. You must also submit your valid Swedish international passport.
- Educational certificates or qualifications. The type of visa you are applying for will largely determine whether you must prove your educational background or not. Transcripts, diplomas, and certificates can all be examples of your educational certificates or qualifications. A professional qualification or academic transcript may be needed for some visas, such as the H-1B skilled worker visa.
- Evidence of employment or job offer. You must obtain a formal work offer letter from a US employer to be eligible for Employment-Based visas like the H-1B. Your role, pay, and the specifics of your employment should all be covered in this letter. You might also be required to submit supporting documents for the job offer, such as transcripts of your schooling, work experience, and pertinent certifications.
- Evidence of financial support. Several visa categories typically require applicants to show they can cater for themselves when they enter the US. To prove you have enough funds as an applicant, you must show your bank statements. Besides that, if you have a sponsor for your US visa (especially for the US Family-Based visa), your sponsor can present an affidavit of support, boldly stating that your financial expenses while you are in the US will be fully taken care of.
- Health Certificate. Some kinds of visas will require you to carry out a medical examination by a doctor authorised by the US authorities. This requirement is highly needed from all applicants because the US authorities want to be sure you do not have communicable diseases that could cause a threat to public health.
- Police Clearance Certificate. Some visas require you to prove that you do not have criminal charges against you, which could have caused you to find a means to depart Sweden. Besides that, the US government only wants to allow people of good character to enter the country. Individuals of questionable character or who are believed to pose a threat to law and order in the US are not allowed into the country.
Note that the visa type you choose will determine the needed requirements to include in your application. However, if you do not know the visa type to choose or the requirements you must provide in your US visa application, do not hesitate to get in touch with us at IAS.
For more information on how to immigrate to USA from Sweden, the requirements needed, or other services we offer call us today on +1 844 290 6312 or message us online.
Tips for a Smooth Transition
It is ideal to begin your application as early as possible because the immigration process involves several rigorous stages and can take much time. Therefore, applying very early will help you have spare time to gather your documents and bring additional documents if required.
You must assemble all required documents for your visa application and also ensure that your documents in Swedish are translated into English by a legalised translator and duly notarised. If you are invited for an interview ensure you are there on time.
Before the interview, it is ideal that you come along with the required documents for proper assessment by the immigration officials. Also, prepare for possible visa interview questions that require accurate answers regarding the documents you have presented. Our immigration lawyers at IAS can help you to prepare for US visa interviews, you can reach out to us on +1 844 290 6312 or message us online.
Be open-minded to accept the new ways of life in the US. When you understand the customs in the US it will help make your adaptation in your new environment easier.
Know Your Visa Type
You must understand that US visa types serve different purposes. There are Student visas, Employment-Based visas, Family-Based visas, and so on designed to meet specific travel purposes for different individual situations.
Also, these visa types have categories that have specific restrictions and eligibility criteria. You can check out these US visas on the website of the US Department of State.
You must understand what brings you to the US and how long your stay duration would last. Also, you should know if you want to move to US from Sweden on a temporary trip or wish to permanently relocate to the US.
Understanding the visa duration will help determine whether it suits your travel plan in the US because some visas offer paths to permanent residency or citizenship while others do not.
Speak to an Immigration Lawyer
You may need the assistance of an immigration lawyer from IAS to help you make the best US visa decision. That being said, our immigration lawyers at IAS are well-versed and updated with the latest changes in the US immigration law.
Our immigration lawyers will help you choose the visa type or category that best fits your travel goal and situation. Additionally, we will guide you to apply appropriately for your visa to avoid the risk of a refusal.
Six-Month Rule/Interview Exemption
A general rule when travelling on the visa waiver programme is that the applicant’s passport must be valid for up to 6 months beyond the expiration of the visa. However, this rule does not apply to Swedish citizens due to the agreement between Sweden and the US.
The agreement exempts Swedish citizens from the 6-month rule and allows them to enter the US provided their passport will be valid throughout the US visa. Also, some applicants are exempted from attending visa interviews, such as applicants for certain exchange visitors, first-time students, and first-time employment visas.
There are other things considered regarding how to migrate from Sweden to the United States. They include:
If you have a unique medical condition, you may be required to include them in your visa application. This is why some visa applications require you to take a medical examination.
Additionally, in your visa application, there are several documents you must include. As a Swedish citizen applying for a US visa, your criminal history in Sweden must be able to convince the US authorities that your presence in the country would not pose a threat to law and order.
Therefore, if you have a bad criminal record, you must include additional documents to prove that those issues have been rectified. It is ideal that you seek expert guidance from an immigration lawyer who already knows how these cases are handled.
Our immigration lawyers at IAS can help to look into your individual criminal history and suggest the best way to assist you in making a compelling application. Call us on +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online for a quick response.
Addressing the Situations
You must take action to handle special situations effectively. First, you must present all required documents in your application and do not forge any documents. This is especially important for applicants who have unique medical conditions, criminal histories, or even previous denials.
To show that you are committed to following US immigration laws, you must be transparent and follow the process appropriately. Secondly, while handling complicated matters, it is highly recommended that you seek legal counsel. Speaking with an IAS attorney can boost your likelihood of a successful application and offer priceless insight.
Finally, be ready to provide any additional documentation that may be needed, such as waivers, character references, or medical records, depending on your situation. Applications that are well-prepared and documented have a higher chance of obtaining favourable consideration.
The US visa process in Sweden is rigorous and requires the right approach. If this is your first time applying for a US visa from Sweden, you may not know the visa type that best suits your situation or the necessary documents to provide.
This is why it is ideal to engage one of our friendly immigration lawyers at IAS to help you throughout your visa application process. It is best to have an expert by your side to relieve you of the stress and anxiety that come with the rigorous processes involved in the US visa application.
We can help you gather your required documents and even assist you in preparing for your visa interview at the US embassy. Call us today on +1 844 290 6312 or message us online.
Last modified on November 9th, 2023 at 6:41 am
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It typically takes about 3 weeks to process your US visa from Sweden. However, administrative processes and other factors may elongate your visa processing time.
Yes, you can bring your family when immigrating from Sweden to the US on a Family-Based visa, provided you prove your relationship with them by presenting birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.