Visits, taking up residence and citizenship

EU citizens and right of residence

EU citizens who can support themselves have right of residence in Sweden. This means that you have the right to be in Sweden without a residence permit and can work or study here. An EU citizen who has lived in Sweden for five years without interruption has permanent right of residence. If you want a certificate of your permanent right of residence you can apply for one at the Swedish Migration Agency.

More information on right of residence and permanent right of residence.


If you want to study or take a doctorate at a university or higher education institution in Sweden for a period longer than three months and you are from a non-EU country, you must apply for a residence permit. If you want to study for a shorter period than three months, citizens of certain countries must have a visa to come to Sweden and study.

In order to receive a decision in time to start studying, it is very important that you apply for a residence permit immediately after receiving your admission decision. Residence permits for studies are limited in time. Even if your stay in Sweden has lasted several years, you may not normally take up residence in Sweden after your studies are completed. The permit must be complete and entered in your passport before your arrival in Sweden.

More information on rules regarding residence permits for studies

Swedish citizen

To become a Swedish citizen involves certain requirements. The person must be able to prove their identity, have turned 18, hold a permanent residence permit, have lived a certain length of time in Sweden and have led a law-abiding life. Children often become Swedish citizens in conjunction with their parents applying for citizenship.

The difference between a permanent residence permit and Swedish citizenship:

The most tangible proof of citizenship is the Swedish passport and that, as a Swedish citizen, you have an unconditional right to live in Sweden. Only Swedish citizens have the right to vote in general elections.

Only Swedish citizens can be elected to Parliament.

Only Swedish citizens can become police officers or military officers. There are also other professional groups that only accept Swedish citizens.

Working in other EU countries is also easier as a Swedish citizen.

Aside from this, foreign citizens who have a permanent residence permit and are a registered resident in Sweden have, in principle, the same rights and obligations as Swedish citizens.

Read more on the pages relating to citizenship

Last updated: 2015-10-21

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If you wish to ask the Migration Agency a question you can find our contact details under the heading Contact us.