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I am a non-EU national with a 3-year research job offer from a Swedish company. I am eligible for and have applied for a residence permit as a visiting researcher, which is being processed at the moment (the status of my application displays "decision pending"). As far as I understand this "visiting researcher" permit is different from a proper residence permit and more akin to a D-type "long stay" visa.

At the same time, I hold a C-type Schengen visa that is valid for 6 more months. I have traveled a few times with this visa, to Sweden and to other countries. I have never overstayed, and I will not do so.

My question is: During the period in which I am waiting for the result of my "visiting researcher" application, am I allowed to enter Sweden as a tourist? Will entering negatively impact the evaluation of my application?

I will appreciate if I can be pointed to a written document or web page that provides conclusive information about this, or personal anectodes from those who have been in a similar situation.

I am asking this because I have been told on the phone by an official employee that "it is forbidden for one to enter the country while their residence permit application is being processed, and one's permit application can be rejected as a result of doing so." However, when I asked for a written source confirming this information, they merely pointed me to the Migrationsverket website without specifying a specific page; and even when I reviewed the website rigorously, I could not find this information. Can it be possible that this is an outdated piece of information?

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    @pnuts I did have a short discussion with them, adding the information you suggest. They did not budge, and I did not want to press further and escalate. – mbaytas Jan 10 '17 at 14:16
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    I doubt it is actually forbidden. What is (often) forbidden is applying for some residence permit after entering on a short-stay visa (i.e. without long-stay visa). In that case, the permit would be refused and you would be forced to leave the country before applying for the right visa/permit. But your situation is different as you have already applied for the permit. This could be the source of the confusion. You will probably need to leave and go back to your country of origin to pick up the permit or visa from the consulate where you lodged the application. – Relaxed Jan 10 '17 at 14:46
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    Note however than even if it's not forbidden, you could still conceivably be refused entry, in particular on the grounds that your intent to leave the country cannot be ascertained (since you have in fact already manifested your intent to stay longer than what's allowed under a short-stay visa). – Relaxed Jan 10 '17 at 14:47
  • @Relaxes this is easily mitigated by not flying directly into/out of Sweden when coming from outside the Schengen area – JonathanReez Jan 10 '17 at 15:13
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    @JonathanReez breaking the rules without being detected is still breaking the rules. – phoog Jan 10 '17 at 15:18
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On the personal anecdotes side

I have personally applied for tourist visas to Sweden for other people WHILE the person in question simultaneously has some kind of long-term visa application in the works. Such as waiting for a residence permit (move to relative) decision and visiting as tourist during the decision time.

I've been the sponsor and in the application very clearly specified the reason and openly explaining the situation:

Due to the unknown length of time before a decision will be made on the [non-tourist application] ... would like to request a tourist visa for visiting in the meantime.

and

Should the mentioned [non-tourist application] require personal attendance at the Swedish embassy [applicant] will immediately return there.

So far successfully getting the applications for additional tourist visa approved and entering/exiting Sweden. The actual non-tourist permits have also been granted.


Background

This became "necessary" due to the extreme waiting times in getting decisions from Migrationsverket in 2015-2016 due to the influx of refugee cases to Sweden. Resulting in "estimated time to decision 6-24 months", which of course makes planning anything impossible.

People simultaneously entering on tourist visas doesn't seem that far-fetched then, even if it might technically be against the rules. I was told by Migrationsverket officials that this was not the way to do it, "The applicant must be reachable in the country of original application submission during the application processing time." and "The sponsor must be reachable in Sweden during the application processing time.". Maybe exceptional times made them realize the long waiting times required some allowances.

Again, this is purely personal experience (two cases), with no references to written rules. I am submitting it because the question requested "personal anecdotes".

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    Great answer, thank you. May I ask if you have notified Migrationsverket of the visit using the tourist visa during the evaluation period? The wording of your answer suggests you explained the situation when applying for the visa, but not notified Migrationsverket of the entry/exit. Is this the case, and if it is not, how (through which department/channel) did you notify Migrationsverket? – mbaytas Jan 11 '17 at 0:37
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    @mbaytas No, we did not specifically notify Migrationsverket of the entry/exit beyond the tourist visa application itself. In one case the applicant was called for an interview at the embassy during the stay in Sweden and had to cut the tourist visit short in order to attend that meeting. When replying to the interview request also did not specify the applicant was in Sweden, however did mention that the applicant was Not in the country of origin, which is technically against the verbal rules I was given. Again all went well. – Alendri Jan 11 '17 at 1:49
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I am asking this because I have been told on the phone by an official employee that "it is forbidden for one to enter the country while their residence permit application is being processed."

Tourist visas are under the authority of the Schengen Visa Code and there's nothing there about the impossibility of entering a given country while your resident permit is pending. I therefore presume the employee in question simply misunderstood your question and pointed out that your visa is not valid until it's been processed by the Migrationsverket. Traveling on other visas is a wholly different situation.

Will entering negatively impact the evaluation of my application?

If you want to be extra-sure your application won't be affected, simply fly into Sweden from a different Schengen state. There's currently no centralized database of entries and exits from the Schengen area, so there's no (easy) way for Swedish officials to even know you were inside the country.

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    @mbaytas answer updated – JonathanReez Jan 10 '17 at 14:59
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    @JonathanReez the strategy of entering Sweden from another Schengen state is deceptive and risky if the applicant is indeed required to remain abroad while the application is pending. If the applicant comes to the attention of the police for any reason, such as being the victim of a crime, the residence permit application could be jeopardized. – phoog Jan 10 '17 at 15:15
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    @Tor-EinarJarnbjo the wording there can be interpreted to mean that having applied by itself does not grant one the right to enter. Also, no consequences are specified. I'm looking for official documents or anectodes that clarify and detail the situation. – mbaytas Jan 10 '17 at 15:29
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    @Tor-EinarJarnbjo Still difficult to see how that would work or to reconcile it with the logic of the Schengen system. Member states certainly cannot arbitrarily deny entry or decline to recognise the validity of selected Schengen visas outside of the procedures defined in the Schengen borders and visa codes, otherwise the whole thing would be completely empty and those procedures would be close to useless. – Relaxed Jan 10 '17 at 15:40
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    Issuing an actual ban is theoretically still possible but that would mean recording the person in the relevant databases and ensuring their visas would be cancelled should they present themselves to any Schengen external border (not only Sweden). Sweden surely can't do that for each applicant who happens to hold a valid short-stay visa… And what about people who don't need short-stay visas? – Relaxed Jan 10 '17 at 15:41

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