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I'm an Indian citizen working and residing in Malaysia. I am moving to Sweden for a job. I remember that when I moved to Malaysia from India I got a single entry visa to enter Malaysia because Indian passport rarely offers visa free entry. In fact whenever I travelled to a foreign country I always got a visa stamped on my passport whether even if it was a tourist visa.

So I thought something similar maybe needed to enter Sweden. I confirmed this thoroughly with my Swedish immigration consultant and I was told that since I'm a resident of Malaysia (working here and have a valid work permit) I do not need a entry visa to enter Sweden (even though my Work/residence permit will be cancelled around the end of my stay in Malaysia) and my Swedish Work and residence permit approval letter is the proof of my entry.

But talking to other people I got conflicting answers. Anybody here has experience or idea about this? Does the fact that you're residing in another country prevent the need for such a visa when you'd need it in your home country? Things become even more confusing during pandemic when every form of travel involves issues.

I also checked that the Swedish Embassy in Malaysia doesn't do any Visa related work at all. So that was another indication that I may not need any transit visa.

To summarise, I have my Malaysian work permit (which the Swedish immigration consultant told is the proof of my residence in Malaysia even if it is cancelled by the time I arrive in Sweden), Swedish work and residence permit approval letter from Swedish Migration Agency and Indian passport. Being an Indian citizen, travelling without a visa still feels a bit strange to me. I just fear that at the airport I am told otherwise. Any idea, input, suggestions are welcome. Thanks!!

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  • Have you contact Embassy of Sweden in Thailand? what did they said?
    – Pratibha
    Aug 21 at 2:56
  • @Pratibha No I've not contacted yet. It is weekend so I can only contact them on Monday. Thanks!
    – varunkr
    Aug 21 at 3:39
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Malaysian citizens are visa exempt in the Schengen zone. You are, as you know, not a Malaysian citizen, and (unless you have a diplomatic passport) your so-called immigration consultant seems not to know his or her business. You certainly need a visa or a residence permit. No airline will let you board a plane bound for the Schengen area with only a "work permit approval letter."

The embassy of Sweden to Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur, doesn't handle visas, not because there's nobody in Malaysia who might need a visa, but because any such people are supposed to apply through the embassy of Sweden to Thailand, in Bangkok. Presumably this is a cost saving measure.

Note that one link on that page points to a list of countries whose citizens require a visa. India is of course on that list. Maybe you should send it to your immigration consultant.

The links on the Swedish embassy sites are a bit confusing, but it looks like Sweden has stopped granting sticker-in-the-passport visas to people in your circumstances and is instead granting work permit cards directly to overseas applicants. So rather than a sticker in your passport, they'll mail you a work/residence permit as a separate card, which you can use in lieu of a visa:

If you are granted a permit
Permit card for you if you applied from abroad
If you are granted a permit, you receive a permit card as evidence that you have the right to be in Sweden. The card is a certification that you have permission to be in Sweden and contains your fingerprints and a photo of you, among other information.

If you come from a country where you need a visa to travel to Sweden, you need the permit card to travel to Sweden. You will therefore be photographed and submit your fingerprints in connection with your application. When the permit card is ready, the embassy or consulate-general will hand out or send it to you. Note that it can take up to four weeks after you have received your decision to manufacture the card and deliver it to the embassy or consulate-general. When you travel into Sweden, you must present the card together with a valid passport.

If you come from a country where you can travel to Sweden without a visa, you must present a copy of your permit decision when you travel. Once you have arrived in Sweden, you must book an appointment to submit fingerprints and be photographed at the Swedish Migration Agency. At the visit, you must be able to present your passport. When the residence permit card is ready, it will be sent to your address in Sweden.

Note that "come from" here does not refer to the country from which you are traveling but rather to your country of citizenship.

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  • Thanks for the reply. Yes this card you mention is the Residence Permit Card. It is the step to complete after getting the permit approval letter. I was told that I can get it done in Sweden (Malaysian citizens can as u mention above). But it doesn't look like that is the case based on my findings since yesterday. Thanks again!!
    – varunkr
    Aug 21 at 3:41
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    Just to add the approval letter is a Work and Residence permit approval letter and not just Work permit approval letter. Although I do not think that changes anything.
    – varunkr
    Aug 21 at 4:08

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