After a year since I last visited Sweden, finally, I could say I am now officially a resident! Woohoo!
Well, sort of. Currently, I’m on a trial period with a temporary permit but I am hoping to change that in the near future. *crosses fingers* 🙂
To start with, I’d like to share with you guys the things my Swedish fiancé and I had to go through in order for me to get a Swedish residence permit card or UT card.
Well getting one in my experience was not as painstakingly difficult as when I was trying to get my Schengen visa, however it wasn’t like a walk in a park either. (If you’re from the Philippines like me, I’m sure you could easily relate to the hassles of acquiring a tourist visa with the tons of paperwork involve.)
As an initial step, I had to submit my application to this site: http://www.migrationsverket.se/English/Private-individuals.html . I remember going through a lot of essay questions that took me hours to answer and proofread. You really need to be serious with these things as the application isn’t for free nor the fee is refundable if your application gets denied.
After three days, I received an email from the Swedish migration board to make an appointment with the Swedish Consulate in Manila which I did.
I attended my personal interview last November 20, 2013 bringing with me my fiance’s personbevis and other documents I submitted online. The questions thrown at me were mostly about the things that have already been asked from my online application which did not surprise me. They also asked other questions like my fiance’s favorite food, color etc., and some important dates, places and the like. So I guess my tip would be to note even all the small details and be confident and honest in answering the questions. I’m sure that if you know your petitioner well, answering the questions won’t be a problem. After the interview, I was told I will be inform of the result within 5 to 6 months which was to my delight as I was expecting to wait for about a year as what was originally stated in the website.
Three months later, my fiance received an interview appointment from the Swedish migration board. I guess they need to check the authenticity of our relationship like how well we know each other so as to assess our situation well. I was a bit agitated that they might ask him questions pertaining to dates as I know for the fact that he’s not really good with dates. I prayed that he can pull this one off and he did to my relief. A few days after his interview, he received a mail granting approval of my permit. 🙂 At first, I was not fully convinced that I was actually granted one as I did not get notified thru email and had to confirm it with the Swedish consulate.
Last June 2014, I decided to proceed with the final step which is to have my biometrics done so I can get my UT card. In the case of Filipinos, it has to be done with the Swedish Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. I was suppose to go there with a friend but due to unfortunate events (i.e Martial Law in Thailand) , we decided to cancel the trip. *Boo hoo!* 🙁 I was given an option though to visit the Swedish embassy in Hong Kong or Singapore provided that I ask for an appointment first. Since I had been in Singapore a year before, I decided to rebook my trip for Hong Kong instead. And as luck would have it, I didn’t have to tour Hong Kong alone either as one of my friends agreed to meet me there. 🙂
I did my biometrics on my last day in Hong Kong. Wrong move. It did not go smoothly at all as they were having problems with the biometrics machine. Good thing they managed to fix it on the same day or I’ll have no choice but to rebook my return flight for additional fees. On a lighter note, the actual biometrics process was actually quite fast as they just need to have my photo and finger prints taken. Ridiculous as it may sound, yes, my fiance and I had to also pay for my flight+accommodation just to have my photo taken. I just thought of it as one last pleasure trip before moving to Sweden…
And then, after three weeks of waiting, I finally received my UT card. 🙂
And a month after that, I found myself waiting in Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Hungry, limping and tired but was also clearly bemused about why everyone in this country seem to be a lot taller than I.
Before I left for the Philippines, I attended the CFO Guidance and Counselling Program by booking an appointment online: http://www.cfo.gov.ph/ This deemed to be of importance as without the CFO certificate and sticker attached to my passport, even with my residence permit, I would not have been allowed to leave the country. I highly suggest that when choosing for an appointment date, it should be at least more than a week prior your scheduled flight. The CFO counsellor may ask for additional documents that would require you additional time to gather them. In my case, I had to return the following day to show my fiance’s mother’s personbevis as they were very particular in getting a document that shows his mother’s maiden name as well as another type of personbevis showing his marital status.