Studying at universities or university colleges

If you are planning to study in Sweden at a university or a  university college for a period longer than three months, you require a residence permit. You cannot enter Sweden until the permit has been granted.

If you will work as an visiting researcher

A visiting researcher is a person who is qualified to pursue postgraduate studies based on studies at a higher education institution and who has been chosen to conduct research in Sweden. If you have been offered employment as a visiting researcher you need to apply for a residence permit for visiting researchers.

Learn more about how to apply for a residence permit for visiting researchers

If you are a citizen in a EU country, special rules apply.

Learn more about the rules for EU citizens

For studies that are shorter than three months, citizens in certain countries must have an entry visa.

Countries whose citizens require a visa for visits shorter than three monthsexternal link, opens in new window

Learn more about applying for a entry visa

Requirements for a residence permit

In order to obtain a permit, you must

  • have a valid passport
  • be admitted to full-time studies
  • be able to support yourself during the period for which you are applying for
  • have an comprehensive health insurance if you are admitted to studies for less than one year.

Make sure to extend your passport if it is about to expire – you cannot obtain a permit for longer than your passport's period of validity. You can only be granted a permit for the period of time that your studies in Sweden require.

Is your institution a university or a university college?

A list of institutions that count as universities or university colleges can be found on the website of Studyinsweden.

See if your institution counts as a university or a university college on studyinsweden.seexternal link, opens in new window

World Maritime University and Folkuniversitet are not recognized as universities or university colleges in Sweden. Nor are bible studies and similar religious studies or studies at a vocational school recognized as studies at a university or university college in Sweden.

Learn more about residence permit for studies at World Maritime University or Folkuniversitetet

If you are planning to study at upper secondary school or folk high school other rules applies.

Learn more about the rules for studies at upper secondary school and folk high school

You must be admitted

You should be admitted to full-time studies that require your presence at a university or university college. You cannot obtain a residence permit if you are not definitely admitted to the course. If you are obligated to pay tuition fees, you are not regarded as definitely admitted until the portion of the tuition fees that the university or university college takes in advance has been paid. The university or university college will notify the Swedish Migration Agency when the payment has been made.

You can only get a residence permit if you are going to study full time on a study programme or on courses. Full-time studies correspond to 30 higher education credits per term. You cannot get a residence permit for distance studies.

If you are going to study in Sweden as part of an education in another country, you cannot get a residence permit for studies unless you have been admitted to a university or university college in Sweden. Instead you can apply for a visitor's permit. If you are eligible for doctoral programme and have been chosen to do research in Sweden, you can apply for a residence permit as a visiting researcher in Sweden.

Read more about visitor's permit

Read more about residence permits for visiting researchers

You must be able to support yourself

For applications submitted to the Migration Agency before 1 Januari 2016 the support requirement is a minimum of SEK 8,010 per month. For applications submitted to the Migration Agency on 1 January 2016 or later the support requirement is a minimum of SEK 7,974 per month.

If you intend to study for one year or more you must show that you can support yourself for 10 months per year. See fact box below.

If you can prove that you have free accommodation and/or food through the university, university college or an organization working for international exchange, the amount per month can be reduced. The monthly amount is reduced by SEK 1,557.50 per month for free food and by SEK 1,557.50 per month for free accommodation. For applications submitted to the Migration Agency on 1 January 2016 or later the monthly amount is reduced by SEK 1,550.50 per month for free food and by SEK 1,550.50 per month for free accommodation.

You must show that you have funds for during the period for which you are applying for. You must show that you have your support secured by means of verification of your own bank assets, a scholarship or similar means of support, such as a study grant from your home country.

Your own bank assets are money in an account that belongs to you and from which only you and, if any, your spouse can withdraw money. It cannot be considered as your own assets if you share the account with, for example, your parents or a relative. Nor does the Migration Agency accept that a sponsor (such as a relative or a company) covers your support while you are in Sweden, unless the funds are deposited into your own account.

Examples of support requirements
Study period You must have at least Your husband, wife or common law spouse must have at least Support requirement per child
6 months SEK 47,844 kronor (6 x SEK 7,974) SEK 21,000 (6 x SEK 3,500) SEK 12,600 (6 x SEK 2,100)
12 months SEK 79,740 (10 x SEK 7,974) SEK 42,000 (12 x SEK 3,500) SEK 25,200 (12 x SEK 2,100)
13 months SEK 87,714 (11 x SEK 7,974) SEK 45,500 (13 x SEK 3,500) SEK 27,300 (13 x 2,100)

If you are admitted to studies for less than one year

You will not be registered in Sweden, which means that you will not be eligible for social benefits, if you are admitted to studies for less than one year. If you don't have insurance through your institution, you must have insurance through your country of origin or have a private insurance.

The insurance must be valid for the whole period that you will stay in Sweden, and must cover the costs for emergency and other medical care, dental care and hospitalization. The insurance must also cover the cost of a possible return journey home because of medical reasons.

More information about how to apply for a residence permit.

General permit validity periods

Study period

Permit validity period

One autumn term 1 August–31 January the following year
One spring term 1 January–30 June
Two terms, starting in the autumn term 1 August–30 June the following year
Two terms, starting in the spring term 1 January–31 January the following year
Longer period than two terms, starting in the autumn term 1 August–1 September the following year
Longer period than two terms, starting in the spring term 1 January–31 January the following year

The periods presented in the table are general. The validity period for your residence permit will be stated in your decision from the Migration Agency.

Last updated: 13 June 2016