Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden

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five. extend visa in sweden

Now, this is a fun one!

As you all remember, I’m sure, I received an acceptance to my application of permanent residency in the fall of 2012. Exciting stuff. My initial residence and work visa expired then, so it was a relatively simple process of filling in some paper work, going in for a picture, and I was on my way!
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I have even had the time since then to apply for Swedish citizenship. This past fall I was eligible to apply for citizenship, and sent in the paper work promptly. As part of the information package one is to send to the Migration Board, I was asked to send in my passport.
This was a problem.
I needed my passport. For travel to Mexico. This, luckily, also turned out to be a relatively small bump in the road. I contacted the Migration Board by e-mail and quickly got a reply. It is fully acceptable to send a letter explaining why I would be keeping my passport, instead of my passport. The Migration Board would then contact me when they had opened my file, and needed my passport.
Here comes the next problem.
I received the request to submit my passport while travelling abroad. There’s a time limit on these things. I had to present my passport within two weeks, or risk my application falling through, and the possibility that it would be more difficult in the future to submit the same application. That’s not what you want. The day I returned from my trip to Chicago and Boston I sent in my passport. Even with the incredibly efficient post system of Sweden, I was nervous I would make the deadline.
Good news travels fast though, because within a month I had received my US passport back, with a confirmation of my new status as a Swedish citizen.
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I’d say that I went above and beyond on this one. What do you think?

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visa update

As part of my 25 before 25 list (I bet you all thought I’d forgotten about that) I wrote that I wanted to extend my visa in Sweden.

The good news is that all the paper work is filled out and sent in, and the non-refundable fee has been paid.

I guess there isn’t any bad news. Just that there was a fee, which I would rather not pay. But I would also rather not be kicked out of the country.

Technically my visa ended August 20th, 2012. On that date I’d had all of my paperwork sent in, so from that point on my file was “open,” which basically means they were reviewing it. While a file is open the applicant is allowed to continue to work/study/get free money in Sweden. (They give out free money in Sweden – I don’t actually get any, unfortunately – more on this later.)

I have heard back from migrationsverket (the migration board) since then. Evelina and I had a scheduled meeting in Norrköping in September. We decided not to go. I was a little nervous about that choice, but since we moved, that’s really not a convenient place to get to for us.

It’s not like we just didn’t show up. We requested to be moved to the office closest to the city we currently live in. This turned out to be a great choice. Once the paperwork was transferred, which I’m sure was a process as it seemed to take weeks, I received a letter in the mail. We no longer needed to show up in person and have an interview. Filling out three sheets would be good enough. On those three sheets were 5 questions. None of the questions required extra explanation. So I sent back a mostly empty sheet, with a couple boxes checked.

Sounds good to me!

The most recent update is that I have now heard back from the migration board closest to me, and I get to stay in Sweden! I have been granted permanent residency. Which is excellent, as far as I can tell, I now get to stay in Sweden for however long I’d like. I can move out of Sweden, and move back whenever I feel like it.

I mean I’m sure there are things you could do to get it taken away. But I don’t plan on doing any of those things. Intentionally. You can tell that to my lawyers.

Next step: trick them into giving me citizenship.

What about you? Tell me about a time in your life where you sent in a visa application? Did you also have to pay a non-refundable fee? Did you get your visa? If not, were you able to get that fee returned to you? Did you have to storm the embassy in order to do so? Details please.