Marriage in Sweden

LGBTQI FactsRFSLPhoto: Mathilda Piehl

Since 2009 Sweden has a gender neutral marriage legislation, which means that same sex couples can get married under the same conditions as opposite sex couples. As a foreign citizen without residency in Sweden you can, in some cases, also get married in Sweden.

Requirements and procedures when getting married

You don’t have to live (have residency) in Sweden or have a Swedish citizenship to get married in Sweden. If neither of the two have Swedish citizenship or residency in Sweden, they need have residency (or one have citizenship and the other one have residency) in a country where same sex partnership or marriage is legal.

Inquiry into impediments to marriage

Before a couple can marry, the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) must conduct an inquiry into impediments of marriage (hindersprövning). The couple must file a written request to the Swedish Tax Agency. Application forms, unfortunately only in Swedish, can be found at the Agency’s website.

According to Swedish law, the following are considered impediments to marriage:

  • being under the age of 18 (the County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen) can grant an exception from this rule)
  • being married or registered as partner to a person other than the one you are about to marry
  • being closely related to the person you’re going to marry; a linear direct ascendant or descendant or a full sibling. Adopted siblings are considered full siblings by the law, but can get permission to marry from the County Administrative Board, to marry.

When the Swedish Tax Agency has made the inquiry you get a certificate showing that the inquiry is completed and, if all goes well, a marriage certificate. The certificate is valid for four months from the date of certification. The certificates are to be given to the official conducting the marriage ceremony.

Foreigners not living in Sweden

If the couple are foreigners not living in Sweden, they may only get married if both of them have a legal right to marry or register a partnership according to the law of the state were they have residency or citizenship. It’s sufficient if both of them have residency, or one of them has citizenship and the other one has residency, in a country were the couple have a legal right to marry or register a partnership.

If one of the them is a Swedish citizen or have residency in Sweden, they may marry in Sweden even if the other spouse has residency or citizenship in a country were it’s illegal for same-sex couples to get married/register a partnership.

The person without a formal connection to Sweden must (in connection with the submission of the written request for an inquiry into impediments of marriage) provide information about place of birth, country of origin, citizenship, sex, marital status and, if needed, submit a deed of separation or a death certificate of a former partner.

In cases where none of the prospective spouses have a formal connection, both of them must submit either:

  • a marriage license issued by a competent authority in their state of citizenship or residency, or
  • a certificate showing the applicable rules of law in each of their states of citizenship or residency and a certificate showing their marital status. The certificates are only valid when issued by a competent authority in the state to which they apply, or by a competent homeland authority in Sweden (such as an embassy or other equivalent authority).

None of the certificates may be older than four months.