The difference between residence permit and right of residence


Anuta Sjunghamn
Händer som håller varandra över en karta med ett flygplan i mitten
Have you wondered what the difference between residence permit and right of residence is?

Keeping track of the various concepts that have to do with migration is not easy. Some concepts are very similar and only differ in certain aspects, while other concepts deal with completely different things. Especially when it comes to residence permits and right of residence, many people wonder what the difference between them is. And what the benefits and obligations of each concept are.

Residence permit is a legal status non-citizens receive. When you get a residence permit in Sweden, you get the right to live and reside here. Your residence permit can be permanent or time-limited and only valid for a certain period of time. As long as you continue to live and meet the requirements for living in Sweden, your temporary residence permit can often be extended. The same applies if you have a permanent residence permit. However, if you move to another country or commit a serious crime, your residence permit can be revoked.

A permanent residence permit is in many ways very similar to having Swedish citizenship. In both cases, you can stay and work in Sweden for as long as you want and also vote in municipal and county council elections. However, you cannot vote in the parliamentary elections if you only have a residence permit in Sweden. You’re also not allowed to work as, for example, a police officer without Swedish citizenship.

So what is right of residence?

While a residence permit is something that non-citizens get to stay in the country, right of residence is something that citizens of the EU, EEA and Switzerland get. Thanks to the right of residence, anyone who is a citizen of the EU, EEA and Switzerland can move freely and work in other member states. Those who only have a residence permit do not have the same right to move freely to other Member States.

It’s important to remember that although the right of residence gives EU, EEA and Swiss citizens certain rights in other Member States, there can also be restrictions and conditions within those Member States. Make sure to check with the country’s embassy before you decide to travel or look for a job in another Member State.

Talk to a lawyer

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