General Information About Visas to Visit Schengen Countries

A Schengen visa is required for persons of certain nationalities who wish to visit the Schengen countries. A complete application must be submitted to the Embassy at least 15 days before the intended visit and can not be lodged earlier than three months before the start of the intended visit.

> List of foreign citizens who require a visa for Sweden

Updated warning: Avoid people selling services for family reunification
The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs has been informed that there might be individuals falsely representing the Swedish Migration Agency or the Embassy in certain countries. These individuals are claiming that it is possible e.g. through payment, to obtain an earlier appointment for an interview at the Embassy or that the applicants needs to pay an additional fee for booking an interview at a specific Embassy - sometimes even using official letterheads and pretending to be officials. Please note that the Swedish Embassies and Consulates General have nothing to do with any individuals who offer services for payment. All appointments for interviews for family reunification are made through the Embassies and are free of charge.  Please see Swedish Migration Agency webpage for more information.
Please contact the Embassy if you have any information that people are falsely representing Swedish authorities or if you suspect that somebody is trying to sell you services for additional charges

From April 2016 the Embassy in Washington started to outsource a part of the Schengen visa process through a partnership with VFS Global. From May 25, Visa applications for travel to Sweden can be submitted to the five VFS Office locations in the USA listed below. To book an appointment at any of the five locations, call (347) 329-2738.

Washington DC
1050 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 500, Washington DC 20036
New York
750 Third Ave, 9th Floor, Suite 9127, New York 10017 (Please note that this VFS office is not located at the Consulate General of Sweden in New York)
564 W Randolph Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 200, Chicago IL 60661
San Francisco
505 Montgomery Street, 11th Floor, Suite 1139, San Francisco 94111
700 Milam Street, Suite 13000, Houston, TX 77002

The Embassy of Sweden in Washington, DC will continue to represent Iceland and Finland in the greater Washington D.C. area in regards to visa applications. Applicants for visas to these countries should also apply through VFS Global in Washington D.C. VFS Global charges an additional service fee of USD 33 per application (This is in addition to the normal application fee). All appointments shall be scheduled through:

From May 15, applications for visa through Norway will not be possible. All applications should go through one of the VFS offices listed above and Sweden will process the application.

The biometric data is stored in the Visa Information System (VIS), an IT-system that allows Schengen States to exchange data. For more information visit:

Appointments should be scheduled through:

When you arrive for your appointment, the application including all forms and supporting documents must be complete. If you arrive with an incomplete application the visa officer will reschedule your appointment.

Visa applications may no longer be submitted at the Swedish consulates in the U.S.

Applicants that have submitted the biometric to the VIS system and received a Schengen visa are able to send in the application by regular mail to VFS Global (no email). The previous Schengen visa has to be included in the application as a notarized copy if it's not in the passport that has been submitted.

How to know if the biometric has been submitted to the VIS system?

If applied for a Schengen visa before May 16, 2016, your visa should state VIS on the visa sticker remark field.

If applied for a Schengen visa after May 16, 2016, the statement VIS on remarks has been removed from the visa sticker.

All submitted biometrics from May 16, 2016 has been submitted to the VIS system. The biometrics are saved for five years. Although data will be registered for five years in the system, in individual cases it might be necessary to appear personally again for an interview during the examination of your application.

Please choose from these categories of visa:

  • Tourist Visa
  • Visa for Business or Conference
  • Transit Visa (airport only)
  • Student Visa
  • Visa for Visiting Family and Friends

Please note that the new application form (119031) must be signed in two places, the first refers to the application (No. 37) and the second is the Schengen consent that follows.
> Application form 119031

The Embassy of Sweden in Washington represents Iceland in the greater Washington, DC area with respect to Schengen visas. Applicants for visas to these countries should apply at the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, DC.

The Embassy of Sweden in Washington represents Finland in regards to visa applications from residents in Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland. Applicants in these areas should apply for visas to Finland at the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, DC. Finnish visa applicants residing in all other states are advised to contact the Finnish Consulates General in Los Angeles or New York depending on the jurisdiction.

> Link to the Finnish consulates' jurisdictions

Please note
that the Embassy of Sweden will apply its own procedures for issuing visas.

The requirements for a Schengen visa stated on our website also apply for visas to Iceland. For a visa to Finland this form should be used as the invitation.

NOTE: Visa applications accepted by appointment only. You must read the guidelines listed on their website before submitting queries.

The Embassy of Sweden also accepts applications for residency and/or work permits for Iceland. For instructions and application forms, please visit the website of the Embassy of Iceland in Washington, DC. Please follow their guidelines and make sure the application is complete before submitting it to the Embassy of Sweden.

Do I need a visa to enter Sweden and Iceland?
U.S. citizens visiting for fewer than 90 days are not required to obtain a Schengen visa. The Schengen member states maintain a list of countries whose citizens must obtain a visa to enter the zone.

How long does it take to process a visa application?
In most cases, once a complete application has been submitted, a visa can be issued in 15 days. We do not expedite visa applications.

Who decides my case?
In most cases, the Embassy of Sweden decides whether to grant a visa after reviewing the application in acordance with the Schengen regulations. If the Embassy has reason to believe that you intend to settle in the Schengen zone, it will reject your application.

My visa has been issued by the Embassy of Sweden. Can I use this visa to make a side trip to Finland or Germany?

Yes, you can. In Sweden, entry visas are governed by the rules of the Schengen Agreement. Under the agreement, visas issued by the Embassy of Sweden are also valid for Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

What if my application is turned down?

Since April 5, 2011, it's possible to appeal a decision on an entry visa. At the same time, the decision to reject an application for an entry visa will require justification. This means that you will get information in the decision as to why your application was rejected.

If you received a decision you are not satisfied with, you can submit a written appeal no later than 3 weeks from the day you received the decision.

How to appeal

In your appeal, write down which decision you are not satisfied with, and why and how you want it to be changed. If you have any documents that you didn’t submit earlier, you can supplement your case with them. Your appeal should be submitted to the Swedish mission abroad (embassy or consulate) that made the decision. The Swedish mission abroad will verify that the appeal came in on time and will go over the case again. If more than 3 weeks have passed, the appeal will be rejected; in that case you will have to submit a new application.

If the Swedish mission abroad changes the decision

The decision can be changed if new information comes in. In that case you will be notified, and the entry visa placed in your passport.

If the Swedish mission abroad does not change the decision, it will be forwarded

If the appeal came in on time and the authority that made the decision sees no reason to change the decision, the case will be forwarded as soon as possible. Your application, the decision, and all other documents submitted in the case will be sent by courier to the Administrative Court in Göteborg. The Administrative Court will then make a decision and notify the Swedish mission abroad, who in turn will notify you.

NOTE: An entry visa does not automatically entitle the holder to enter the Schengen area. A decision is made every time the traveler passes through a border control, as travelers must have (1) proof of sufficient funds to support themselves for the duration of their stay and for their return, (2) travel medical insurance, and (3) documents indicating the purpose of their visit.

If you intend to visit several Schengen countries you should apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country that is your main destination.

If you intend to visit several Schengen countries but do not have a main destination you should apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country which is your first point of entry.