Swedish citizens have been able to travel to the United States of America without a visa since October 1989 when Sweden got accepted into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Simplifying the immigration process for Swedish travelers has since helped both countries. For Swedes, tourism and short-term business became more accessible, and much of the workload related to immigration was removed for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
In 2009 DHS implemented the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), doing the act of applying for the U.S. travel authorization even more efficient. That is because the ESTA can only be applied for online which means an application can be made from anywhere with an internet connection. An approved ESTA application grants visitors a stay for up to 90 days for the purpose of business, tourism (including medical purposes) and for attending non-credit study programs. An ESTA can be used multiple times in the 2-year period it is valid. A tourist visa is required if a person is traveling to the U.S. for other reasons than stated earlier, or for a longer duration than 90 days. Tourist visas still require a visit to a U.S. Embassy.
- The total amount of visitors from Sweden: 607 993
- Approved ESTA applications: 554 600
- Students and exchange visitors: 13 499
- Temporary workers and family-related applications: 19 425
- Diplomats and other official representatives: 5 301
- Other types of visitor categories: 978
The main airport of note for international travel in Sweden is Stockholm-Arlanda Airport. From Stockholm-Arlanda Airport you can fly to New York and Los Angeles. Airlines such as AirFrance, Emirates, KLM, United Airlines and more operate out of Stockholm-Arlanda Airport. Hop on a bus or train to the airport from Stockholm central. There are both public and shuttle bus routes available - more details here. There are also train options including direct services and commuter train - more details here.
Gothenburg Landvetter Airport offers flights to major European cities like Amsterdam, London, and Paris where you can fly onwards to the U.S. Travel to the airport by car, taxi, shuttle or bus. Four bus services operate to the airport - more details here.
Stockholm-Skavsta Airport similarly offers flights to major cities so you can fly onwards to the U.S. In fact, Stockholm Skavsta Airport has 47 direct flights to destinations all across Europe for your convenience. The airport is located near Nyköping, 100km from Stockholm. There are options to drive, taxi, train, bus and shuttle to the airport with different companies offering services.
Flygbussarna Airport coaches operate a service between Stockholm and the airport - more details here. A cheaper option is the local bus service (No. 515), which will take you from Nyköping city center to the airport.
Another option is the neighboring country, Copenhagen Airport, Denmark. The country’s airport offers the largest international airport in Scandinavia, so this is another option to consider for flying to The U.S. from Sweden.
You can get direct flights to a whole host of U.S. cities from Stockholm-Arlanda Airport including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Newark.
The airlines that fly direct to the U.S. include SAS, Aer Lingus, American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines and more.
For non-direct flights, more options become available. You can fly non-direct Sweden to Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando and more.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has since December 2018 strongly encouraged Swedes to apply for an ESTA no later than 72 hours prior to departure. However, it is still advisable to apply for ESTA as soon as you know that you are traveling to the U.S. or at the same time as you are booking flight tickets. Should your ESTA application for some reason be denied, then more time is needed as you need to apply for a tourist visa which entails queuing up at the nearest U.S. Embassy.
Swedes can apply for ESTA online
The ESTA is valid for two years for visitors from Sweden
Swedes can stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days with an approved ESTA
Sweden’s overstay rate is only: 0.26%