Officially known as the Kingdom of Sweden, this Scandinavian gem sits comfortably between Finland to the east and western Norway and north of Denmark. Sweden has been a member of the European Union (EU) since January 1995 and is also a member of many other international agencies and organizations including the United Nations (UN), the Council of Europe and the Nordic Council among others.
Sweden surpasses many of its fellow EU nation states in size claiming third place regarding land area, but with a total population of just over 10 million people. Largely rural however densely populated in “urban areas”, as such independently defined in Sweden as only 200 people, as opposed to the more commonly-accepted Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) definition which states that 50,000 people constitute an urban area.
This is not the only peculiarity from the northern European nation. From Swedish politics to cultural, gastronomical and natural phenomena, it is no surprise that Sweden is one of the 25 most visited countries in the world.
Sweden’s role in the EU
An economic crisis in the early 90s lead to various policy changes which promoted a referendum in Sweden to join the EU. In 1995 this became a reality and Sweden, along with the other previously neutral nations of Austria and Finland, became the 13th, 14th and 15th countries to join.
In 2002, a similar referendum rejected the proposal to join the Eurozone, therefore Sweden has since maintained the traditional currency: Swedish Krona. But in other elements, Sweden has participated and cooperated in many European policy implementations including the more recent travel visa waiver program for Europe: the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).
As has been the case in many EU nations in the recent years, Sweden has suffered from the recurring terrorist attacks plaguing Europe as well as an increased influx of immigration. With these social and domestic issues in mind, the new Sweden visa waiver is being developed to help control and regulate borders in order to improve the safety of the nation alongside contributing to a more secure Europe.
What to see and do in Sweden
With such a long, documented history and diverse flora and fauna in Sweden, tourists from all over can find something to fit their vacation wishes. Especially favored for outdoor activities despite common sub-zero temperatures in winter, there are endless acres of forests, themed cities, country trails, canals, lakes and tundra; all to be explored at leisure.
Most notably recognized for being one of the Viking’s home lands, Sweden offers an insight into this ancient community through museums, recovered battleships and treasured historic relics from the period in addition to Sigtuna, known as Sweden’s first town, established in 980 AD at the closing of the Viking era. Traveling through time, Sweden also allows visitors to see medieval villages, and cities and palaces from other epochs throughout history such as the open-air museum at Skansen, showing life from 1720 through to the 1960s. The city of Visby on the island of Gotland and the old town of Gamla Stan in Stockholm charm visitors with their medieval architecture and design.
Other attractions in Sweden include sightseeing in main cities, exploring the idyllic natural environment and witnessing some of Mother Earth’s marvels such as the midnight sun and the Northern Lights.
Traveling to and around Sweden is quick and easy to do with well-developed air, water and rail infrastructure and the simple Europe travel permit for Sweden that can be obtained by complying to the relevant ETIAS requirements corresponding with different travelers’ nationalities.
Visiting Sweden with the ETIAS Authorization
Tourists from eligible nations visiting Sweden from the year 2021 will have to present a Sweden ETIAS at border control in order to be allowed passage.
To be in possession of a valid visa waiver for Sweden, visitors must complete an online ETIAS application form which is quick and simple to fill out and will send a response within minutes to the applicant’s email address.
The ETIAS Visa Waiver Program for Sweden allows travelers to enter and travel around Sweden and other EU and Schengen zone countries as many times as they like during a 3-year period after applying just once, or until the corresponding passport expires.
ETIAS applicants must fill out an online form with their personal and travel details and answer a series of basic security, health and immigration questions. The finalized form will be screened by the ETIAS system and once the ETIAS fee has been paid online via credit or debit card, the approved visa waiver for Europe will be sent to the applicant via email.