Swedish visa renewal and potential problems
We of course brought some Swedish Christmas traditions to the holiday festivities, but had a more American New Year’s Eve.
So, what does this have to do about Swedish visas? Well, it seems I could not return home with my expired visa. Here is the full story.
My visa to live/work in Sweden based on being with Johan, my sambo, expired the 25th of November. I applied for an extension in October and wasn’t too worried as it took only 6 days to be approved to live in Sweden after Johan sent in his information.
October and November came and went. We got a message from the migrationverket that they received the application and it was being reviewed.
About mid December there was no word about the Visa. We had our trip planned to visit my family long before all of this. So we decided to call the migrationverket. They found my application in the pile, we told them when our date was to leave for the USA. The agent said no promises, he would try.
Well, soon it was time to go to the USA. So I searched migrationverket about what to do while waiting for my visa. The website, in English, clearly states “We recommend that you stay in Sweden while waiting for a new decision, since it may be difficult to enter Sweden without a valid permit.”
Tickets to the USA are not cheap. We figured I might have trouble getting into Stockholm, and at worse I can hope on a plane to Prague while we figure this all out.
We were wrong.
Turns out I couldn’t even board the plane in Bozeman, Montana! We explained the situation to the nice gentleman at Delta Airlines. He said that without a proper visa, I must have a return flight within 90 days. Because if he lets me on board, and then Sweden does not let me into the country, it would be Delta’s responsibility, they would be fined $10,000 USD and they would have to fly me out of Sweden.
We tried purchasing a ticket back that was cheap, and it didn’t go through. I thought it was a sign from the Gods that I should stay and watch the 49ers play in the playoffs and potentially SuperBowl (American football thing).
Oh well, easy come easy go. Sure, we eat a $500 ticket, but I won an iPad while in Las Vegas from Sterkly, the affiliate network & software bundling, so we came out a little ahead 🙂 And Bozeman is pretty nice. Reminds me of Sweden. Less snow. More light. More mountains.
So the moral of the story? Don’t plan a trip around your visa renewal date.
Or if you do, make sure to get a ticket out of the country 90 days or less.