Swedish authorities

Help from Swedish authorities abroad?

If you are a Swedish citizen, refugee or are stateless, and live in Sweden, you can receive help from Swedish embassies and consulates when you are abroad. If you find yourself in an emergency, for example if you are exposed to threats or violence, are forced to marry or to stay in another country without a passport or a ticket home, then Swedish embassies and consulates can help you by:

  • Providing advice and support.
  • Contacting relatives or by solving other problems.
  • Contacting a public counsel, doctor or interpreter.
  • Organizing a provisional or a regular passport.
  • Loaning you money for your journey back to Sweden.

But sometimes it can be difficult to get help, if, for example, the laws are different in the country you find yourself in. If you are a citizen of both Sweden and the country you are visiting, you are considered to be a citizen there, and it can be difficult for the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, embassies or consulates to help, since they have to abide by that country’s laws and regulations.  Something which is considered to be a crime in Sweden may not be thought of as such in another country. If the other country’s authorities do not want to co-operate, it can therefore be difficult for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help you get back to Sweden, for example.

Read more at: the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s webpage on honour crimes abroad. Please note that there is no panic button for leaving this page quickly.

Remember, this applies according to Swedish law!

You always have the right to say no to a marriage if you do not want to get married. It is illegal to threaten someone, for example through violence, to get married. The two people who are to be married must be present at the wedding and give their consent to the marriage. Swedish authorities can refuse to acknowledge a foreign marriage which has taken place under coercion. If you have already married however, it can be difficult to prove in court that this happened under coercion. It is therefore important that you say no to the marriage before it takes place, and remember that you have the law on your side.

You must be 18 years old to get married. People between the age of 16 and 18 may marry but permission must be granted by the county administrative board. If you are already married to someone, you may not marry someone else without first getting divorced. If you are already married, it is always possible to get a divorce in Sweden, but it may not be possible to get a divorce abroad.

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