Questions and answers on residence permits for upper secondary school education

Questions and answers on the law relating to upper secondary school education – in general
  • For how long does the law on upper secondary education apply?

    The new law is valid from 1 June 2017. The law will be valid for as long as the law (2016:752) on temporary limitations for granting residence permits in Sweden is valid; that is, until 19 July 2019.

  • What is required for me to be given a residence permit for upper secondary education studies?

    There are many factors which affect whether you may be entitled to a residence permit for upper secondary education studies. The rules are different depending on whether you are an asylum seeker, have a temporary residence permit that you want to extend, or have had your asylum application rejected. The rules also vary depending on whether you are an unaccompanied minor, what upper secondary course you are studying, and, in some cases, when your first application for asylum is received.

    Here, you can test whether you meet the requirements

  • How long can I get a residence permit for if I study at an upper secondary school?

    The duration of the residence permit depends on, among other things, the length of your course and whether you are studying on a national program or an induction program. A residence permit can be granted for four years or thirteen months. You can also get a residence permit that is valid for six months after the course is completed.

  • Does the law on upper secondary schools apply to unaccompanied minors only?

    No, young persons coming to Sweden together with their families may also apply for a residence permit on the grounds of their upper secondary school studies. It also applies to people over the age of 18 but under 25.

  • My application for asylum was rejected and I study in upper secondary school, can I get a residence permit?

    No, if you have had an application rejected or received a decision on expulsion or deportation, you are not covered by the law on upper secondary education.

    If you have received a decision on expulsion or deportation that cannot be enacted before you turn 18 as you have no reception arranged for you in your country of origin, then you can apply for a residence permit for upper secondary studies. In order to be eligible for such a residence permit, your first application for asylum must have been submitted on or before 24 November 2015.

Questions and answers about the application
  • I have applied for asylum and am studying at an upper secondary school. What do I need to do to add certificates of upper secondary school education to my application?

    If you have already had your asylum investigation, the Migration Agency will ask you to support your case by submitting your individual study plan if you are studying at upper secondary school level.

    If you have not had your asylum investigation, you may bring your individual study plan to the investigation. Your school will provide you with your individual study plan.

  • I have a temporary residence permit on the grounds of study and am studying at an upper secondary school. What should I do now?

    You will be able to apply for a residence permit for study at an upper secondary school when you apply to have your residence permit extended. You cannot be granted a new temporary residence permit before the period of validity of the residence permit you now have expires.

  • I have received a decision on expulsion or deportation with deferred enforcement. I am studying at an upper secondary school - what should I do now?

    If your first application for asylum was registered on or before 24 November 2015 and you have received a decision on expulsion or deportation with deferred enforcement, then these regulations will apply to you. In such case, you will need to visit an application unit or a reception unit in order to register your application.

  • I have received a letter of acceptance from a school. Can I apply for a residence permit for upper secondary studies now?

    No, you need to have already started your studies at the time you apply for a residence permit.

  • What certificates do I need to provide as proof that I am studying at an upper secondary school?

    If you are studying at an upper secondary school or a special needs upper secondary school, you will only need to submit your individual study plan. If you are studying at a folk high school, an adult education centre (Komvux) or undertaking special needs education for adults (Särvux), then you will need to submit your programme documentation. Your school will provide you with this documentation.

    If you are not currently studying but intend to begin your studies, then you must submit certificates which prove you have previously studied in Sweden. If you have already been accepted on to an upcoming course of study, then you must also submit your letter of acceptance.

Questions and answers about the studies
  • What counts as studies at the upper secondary level?

    Studies at upper secondary level covers:

    • introduction programme at an upper secondary school or special needs upper secondary school
    • national programme at an upper secondary school or special needs upper secondary school
    • vocational training within an introduction programme at an upper secondary school
    • full-time studies at upper secondary level at a folk high school
    • full-time studies at upper secondary level at an adult education centre (Komvux) or a special needs adult education centre (Särvux)
    • full-time studies on a vocational course at an adult education centre (Komvux) or undertaking special needs education for adults (Särvux)
  • Do I have to study full-time?

    Yes, in most cases you have to study full-time at upper secondary level. Residence permits for part-time study are only granted in exceptional cases; for example, in the case of illness, disability or if the course supplements an overseas educational course.

  • Do I need to achieve certain study grades for me to retain my residence permit?

    Yes, if you are granted a permit that is valid for more than 13 months, then you must provide an annual account of your active participation in your studies; for example, by submitting attendance reports or certificates. If you are unable to do this, the Swedish Migration Agency may review the length of your residence permit or withdraw it.

  • If I don’t manage to complete the course within the time planned, can I extend my residence permit in order to complete my studies?


    Yes, on certain conditions, you may be granted an extended residence permit to complete your studies. If you are studying on a national program, you must show you have been actively participating in your studies.

  • Can I remain in Sweden after I have completed the upper secondary course?

    After completing your course of upper secondary studies, you may apply for an extension. If you have completed your studies, you may apply for a six month residence permit, which gives you time to find work in Sweden. If you are able to support yourself from income from work or your own business, you may apply for a permanent residence permit.

Questions and answers about my family
  • Can my parents come to Sweden when I have received my residence permit for study at an upper secondary school?

    You will be able to be reunited with close family members if you have refugee status, or if you have the status of a person who is eligible for subsidiary protection, and provided also that you applied for asylum on or before 24 November 2015. In order to be reunited with your parents, you will need to be under 18 years of age.

    If your application for asylum has been rejected and you have received a decision on expulsion or deportation, then your family members are unable to obtain residence permits to move to Sweden, even if you have a residence permit to study.

  • Can my wife/husband/registered partner be included in my residence permit if I get a residence permit for studies at an upper secondary school?

    In order for your spouse/registered partner to be included in your residence permit, it is a requirement that:

    • you have refugee status, or the status of a person who is eligible for subsidiary protection, and that you applied for asylum on or before 24 November 2015 at the latest
    • you are both over 21 years of age (exceptions can be made if you have children in common)
    • you lived together before moving to Sweden.