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Frequently asked ques­tions about upper secon­dary level studies

On this page, you will find frequently asked questions and answers regarding residence permits for studies at upper secondary level for persons who have previously applied for asylum in Sweden. This concerns both the so-called law on upper secondary level studies, and the so-called new law on upper secondary level studies.

Questions and answers about how my residence permit is affected by the corona virus

No, according to the temporary law, you can obtain a residence permit for up to six months after you complete an education on an upper secondary level in order to find employment. The Swedish Migration Agency is not able to grant a residence permit for a longer period of time than that. This is in accordance with the law.

No, according to the temporary law, a person who is under 25 years of age must have completed an upper secondary education programme in order to be granted a permanent residence permit due to being able to support themselves as an employee or business owner. The Swedish Migration Agency is not able to make exceptions from that requirement in the law.

The main rule for residence permits for studies on an upper secondary education level is that the studies must be conducted full time. However, exceptions can be made if there are special reasons for it. Your studies being conducted only part time due to the spread of the corona virus could be considered special reasons for making an exception from the full time studies requirement. In this case, one requirement is that the studies are normally conducted on a full time basis, and that the switch to part time studies are due to actions that have been taken to reduce the spread of the virus.

The Swedish Migration Agency will make an individual assessment in each case.

When you apply for an extended residence permit, you need to submit a new individual study plan and a certificate from your school showing why you are currently studying part time.

Read more about extending your residence permit

Yes, you can extend your residence permit under certain conditions in order to complete your studies. When you apply for an extension of your residence permit you need to submit a new individual study plan, or an equivalent planning document, which shows what you are studying and when your education is expected to be completed. In addition, you also need to include a certificate showing why you did not complete your education as planned. If you will not be studying full time you need to explain why, for example that the courses you need to complete your studies are not offered full time.

One condition that needs to be met in order for you to be granted an extension of your residence permit is that you have actively participated in the teaching that has been conducted.

Read more about extending your residence permit

Read more about active participation

You can apply for an extension of your residence permit if you will not be able to complete your studies before your residence permit expires. When you apply you need to submit a new individual study plan, or equivalent planning document and a certificate showing why you will not be completing your education as planned. If you will not be studying full time you need to explain why, for example that the courses you need in order to complete your studies are not offered full time.

Please note that the Swedish Migration Agency can only grant a residence permit that is valid for 13 months for studies in the introduction programme in upper secondary school, in other words on a basic level, twice. After that the law states that you must proceed to an education on an upper secondary education level in order to obtain an extension of your residence permit. In other words, if you have already been granted an extension of you residence permit for studies in the introduction programme once, you cannot apply for an extension of your residence permit for the same education again. The Swedish Migration Agency cannot make exceptions from this rule.

Read more about extending your residence permit

Phone or email your school and ask them to send you the documents. They can send you the documents by post or email.

Read which documents you need so as to report that you are participating actively in your education

The Swedish Migration Agency will review whether you have actively participated in the education that is actually conducted.

When you report active participation you need to at first hand submit your individual study plan and an excerpt from the grade catalogue (or the equivalent for your form of school). If do not have a passing grade in one or more courses, or if the grades have not been set yet, you need to submit other documents showing that you have actively participated in your studies. If your school has not been able to offer courses during a certain period of time, or if some courses have not been completed according to the time plan, you can submit a certificate showing the reason for this.

Read more about active participation

Questions and answers about active participation

You have to report that you are participating actively in your studies if

  • you have a residence permit that is valid for more than 13 months
  • You have been given a residence permit under the temporary law on grounds of
    - studies at upper secondary level; or
    - other reasons, for example a need for protection, but have a longer residence permit specifically because you are studying at upper secondary level
  • a year or more has passed since you received your residence permit decision.

Read more about reporting active participation in studies at upper secondary level

You have to report that you are participating actively in your studies when a year has passed since you received your most recent decision on a residence permit for studies at upper secondary level. You will get a letter from the Swedish Migration Agency when it is time to send in your documents.

Read more about reporting active participation in studies at upper secondary level

If you are covered by the rules about active participation, you have to report that you are participating actively in your education when a year has passed since you received your most recent decision on a residence permit for studies at upper secondary level. You will get a letter from the Swedish Migration Agency when it is time to send in your documents.

Read more about reporting active participation in studies at upper secondary level

If you are studying at upper secondary school, special needs upper secondary school, municipal adult education (Komvux) or special needs municipal adult education (Särvux), you have, in the first place, to submit your individual study plan and an extract from records of grades. If you are studying at a folk high school you have, in the first place, to submit a corresponding planning document and you also have to submit your progress report and certificate of general eligibility if you have received these documents.

If you do not have a pass grade in one or more courses, or if your grades have not been set yet, you have to submit other documents that show that you have participated actively in your studies.

Read which documents you need so as to report that you are participating actively in your education

Your teacher or some other member of school staff can give you copies of the documents you need, for example grades or an individual study plan. You can ask the teacher or member of school staff to send the documents to you by post or email.

Read which documents you need so as to report that you are participating actively in your education

Call or email your school and ask them to send the documents to you. They can send the documents by post or email.

Read which documents you need so as to report that you are participating actively in your studies

You can send in documents that show that you have participated actively in the instruction included in your education and that you are completing your studies according to your individual study plan or corresponding planning document.

Read more about reporting active participation in studies at upper secondary level

If you do not send in any documents, you will get one reminder. If you still do not send in any documents showing that you are participating actively in your education, the Swedish Migration Agency can decide to revoke your residence permit. If your residence permit is revoked, you must leave Sweden. If you have been given a residence permit because, for example, you need protection (asylum), but the length of your residence permit depends on the fact that you are studying at upper secondary level, the Swedish Migration Agency can instead decide to change the length of your permit if you cannot show that you are participating actively in your education.

Read more about reporting active participation in studies at upper secondary level

If you have not been given grades yet, you have to send in other documents showing that you have participated actively in the instruction included in your education. The Swedish Migration Agency wants to see that you are expected to complete your education in accordance with your individual study plan or corresponding planning document.

Read more about reporting active participation in studies at upper secondary level

Questions and answers about extending residence permits for upper secondary level studies

The easiest way to apply for an extension is to apply online, using the e-service for extending a residence permit under the temporary law. To use the e-service you need an e-identification (e.g. BankID) and an e-mail address. You also need to have your documents available digitally.

If you are not able to apply online, you can print the application form and send it to the Swedish Migration Agency by post.

Regardless of whether you apply online or by mail you must submit appendices proving that you fulfil the requirements.

If you are a student at an upper secondary school, a special needs upper secondary school, in municipal adult education (Komvux) or special needs municipal adult education (Särvux) you must submit an individual study plan. Full-time students at folk high schools must submit an equivalent planning document.

The Migration Agency needs to know

  • that you have begun your studies
  • what type of programme you are studying
  • that you are studying full-time, or the reason for why you are studying part-time,
  • for how long you plan to study, that is, which date you plan to complete your studies.

If your individual study plan does not show all of this you can submit other documentation, for example a certificate from a doctor explaining why you cannot study full-time.

If you are studying at a vocational programme, your study plan must include information on the vocational orientation of the studies and that the purpose of the studies is that you will be able to work when you have finished your training.

Read more about extending your residence permit

You have to apply for an extension before the residence permit you have expires, but no sooner than two months before. It is not possible to log in to the online application to apply for an extension any sooner than two months before your current permit expires. However, you can prepare your application by reading up on the requirements and obtaining the documents that you need to amend to your application.

Read more about extending your residence permit

Yes, you can state several reasons at the same time when you apply for an extension of your residence permit.

If you still require protection, you can be granted a longer residence permit than you otherwise would have, if you also fulfil the requirements for a residence permit for studies at upper secondary school level.

If you do not fulfil the requirements for a residence permit for studies at upper secondary school level, you can still be granted an extension if you are still in need of protection.

If you no longer require protection, you can still be granted an extension if you fulfil all the requirements for a residence permit for studies at upper secondary school level.

Yes, under certain conditions, you may be granted an extension of you residence permit in order to complete your studies. You must submit a new individual study plan or planning document showing what you are studying, that you are studying full-time and when you plan on completing your studies.

You must also explain why you did not finish your studies in the planned timeframe. This may for instance be because you have been ill or that you did not pass all your classes even though you have been studying full time, and therefore need more time.

If any of the required information is not stated in your individual study plan or planning document, you must submit additional documentation.

Read more about extending your residence permit

If you were granted a residence permit in accordance with the so-called new law on upper secondary level studies you must show that you have begun your studies in order to be granted an extension of your permit. You can show this by submitting an individual study plan or an equivalent planning documentation.

The Migration Agency needs to know

  • that you have begun your studies
  • what type of programme you are studying
  • that you are studying full-time, or the reasons for you studying part-time
  • for how long you plan to study, that is, which date you plan to complete your studies.

If your individual study plan does not show all of this you can submit other documentation, for example a certificate from a doctor explaining why you cannot study full-time.

If you are studying at a vocational programme, your study plan must include information on the vocational orientation of the studies and that the purpose of the studies are that you will be able to work after you have finished your training.

Read more about extending your residence permit

Yes, if it is the first time that you are applying for an extension of your residence permit for upper secondary studies, then you can do so. If you are studying on an introduction programme at upper secondary school, you can get a residence permit that is valid for thirteen months. You can only get that kind of permit twice, irrespective of what the grounds were for your first residence permit.

Remember that studies on an introduction programme are not counted as completed studies, which are required to get a permanent residence permit in the case of a person who is under 25 years of age and is able to support themselves. To be able to apply for that in the future, you must first continue your studies at upper secondary level.

The Swedish Migration Agency cannot provide preliminary decisions regarding what changes to the content of the individual study plan or planning document can be approved. An individual review of the circumstances in the individual case is always done.

If you are studying in a so-called vocational package, the Swedish Migration Agency can only approve certain minor changes to the individual study plan. The changes to the study plan cannot be of the degree that the education has a new vocational orientation. Nor can you receive an extension of your residence permit for studies that involve supplementary studies of the education that you have completed.

If you are not studying in a so-called vocational package there is a higher probability that you can switch education. One condition is that you continue to study actively. If you do, the Swedish Migration Agency can approve major changes to the individual study plan (or equivalent planning documents). What changes can be approved are always assessed on an individual basis.

If it is primarily the time plan that is changed, in other words if you will not be able to complete your studies within the planned time and are applying for an extended residence permit for that reason, you need to submit a new individual study plan (or an equivalent planning document), in which the new estimated completion time is included. The Swedish Migration Agency will also need a certificate showing why you need more time to complete your studies. One condition that must be met in order for you to obtain an extended residence permit is that you have actively participated in the classes held by the school.

After completing your course of upper secondary studies, you may be eligible for a residence permit that is valid up to six months after the date on which you completed your studies. The purpose of this permit is to allow you time to find work. When applying for an extended residence permit for this reason you must submit documentation showing the date on which you completed your studies.

If there is not enough time for you to receive your graduation papers before you must submit an application for an extended residence permit you can instead submit documentation showing that you will soon complete your studies. Upon completion, you can supplement your application with new documentation showing that you have completed your studies.

If you begin working and are able to support yourself before this new permit expires, you may apply for a permanent residence permit. You must apply for a permanent residence permit before your temporary permit expires.

Apply for an extended residence permit here

Questions and answers about the so-called law on upper secondary level studies – in general

The so-called law on upper secondary level studies is not actually a law in its own right, but a part of the law (2016:752) on temporary limitations for granting residence permits in Sweden, the so-called temporary law. The temporary law applies until July 2021.

There are many factors which affect whether you may be entitled to a residence permit for upper secondary level studies. The rules are different depending on whether you are an asylum seeker or have a temporary residence permit that you want to extend. 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 was received.

Test if you meet the requirements

Read about how to apply for a residence permit for upper secondary level studies

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

If you are studying at a national programme at an upper secondary school or special needs upper secondary school, full-time in municipal adult education (Komvux) or special needs municipal adult education (Särvux), or at a folk high school, or a so-called vocational training package, you will be granted a residence permit which is valid for the planned duration of the programme and an additional six months. Therefore, the Migration Agency needs to know when you plan to complete your studies, so that we know which date to end your permit. Depending on how far you have come in your studies, and how long you have left, the length of the permit will be different.

If you are studying at an introduction programme at an upper secondary school, you can be granted a residence permit, which is valid for 13 months.

Yes, if you are granted a residence permit you often receive a work permit as well. This will be stated in your decision.

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

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

Questions and answers about the so-called new law on upper secondary level studies

It is no longer possible to apply for this residence permit. It was only possible from 1 July 2018 to 30 September 2018. These were the requirements to obtaining a residence permit under the so-called new law on upper secondary level studies:

  • You applied for asylum for the first time on or before 24 November 2015. Or you came to Sweden before 24 November 2015 and stated to the municipality you arrived at that you wanted to apply for asylum, but your asylum application was not registered until after 24 November 2015.
  • You were registered as an unaccompanied minor in the application and were assigned to a municipality that was to arrange your accommodation.
  • When you received the deportation decision, you were 18 years of age or older.
  • You had to wait more than 15 months to receive a decision.
  • You received your deportation decision on or after 20 July 2016.
  • You are studying, or have studied and intend to study at the upper secondary level in Sweden.
  • You must be in Sweden when you apply.

The Swedish Migration Agency checks if you have committed any crimes or if there is anything that indicates that you could be a security risk.

The Migration Agency will not check whether you are studying, or what you are studying, during the first permit period. However, when the time comes for you to apply for an extension of your residence permit, you must have begun your studies at an education programme that is subject to the law on upper secondary level studies in order to be allowed to stay in Sweden. You must show this by submitting an individual study plan or an equivalent planning document.

Yes, you can appeal the decision made by the Swedish Migration Agency and have your case reviewed in court. Information on how to appeal is provided in the decision. If you have a deportation decision that has gained legal force and can no longer be appealed, the main rule states that you must prepare to return to your home country, even if you apply to invoke an obstacle to enforcement. If you have a deportation decision that has not gained legal force, you may stay in Sweden during the time that your appeal is being reviewed in court.

Read more about impediments to enforcement

Questions and answers about the application

If you are a student at an upper secondary school, a special needs upper secondary school, in municipal adult education (Komvux) or special needs municipal adult education (Särvux) you must submit an individual study plan. If you are studying at a folk high school, you will need to submit the equivalent planning documentation. Your school will provide you with this documentation.

The Migration Agency needs to know

  • that you have begun your studies
  • what type of programme you are studying
  • that you are studying full-time, or the reason for why you are studying part-time
  • for how long you plan to study, that is, which date you plan to complete your studies.

If your individual study plan does not show all of this you can submit other documentation, for example a certificate from a doctor explaining why you cannot study full-time.

If you are studying at a vocational programme, your study plan must include information on the vocational orientation of the studies and that the purpose of the studies are that you will be able to work after you have finished your training.

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 level.

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

The documents you submit should show what sort of programme you are studying, that you are studying full-time and when you plan to complete your studies.

You will be able to apply for a residence permit for studies at upper secondary level when you apply for an extension of your residence permit.

Read more about extending your residence permit

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

Questions and answers about the studies

Studies at upper secondary level, meaning studies that may be grounds for a residence permit, include

  • introduction programmes at upper secondary school or special needs upper secondary school
  • national programmes at upper secondary school or special needs upper secondary school
  • full-time studies at upper secondary level at a folk high school
  • full-time studies at upper secondary level in municipal adult education (Komvux) or special needs municipal adult education (Särvux).
  • vocation-oriented training intended to facilitate establishment in the labour market given as part of an introduction programme at upper secondary school, a “vocational package”
  • full-time studies on an integrated vocational programme in municipal adult education (Komvux) or special needs municipal adult education (Särvux), a “vocational package”.

Read more about education on the National Agency for Education websiteexternal link, opens in new window

Yes, in most cases you have to study full-time at upper secondary level.

In certain cases, you may be granted a residence permit for part-time studies. You will then need to submit documentation explaining the reason for your part-time studies. For instance, if you are ill, have a disability or if you need to supplement a foreign education with individual classes. This may also be possible if you are studying most of your programme at upper secondary level but are taking one or a few freestanding courses at basic level. Part-time studies can also be accepted if you are studying on a vocational training programme at the same time as you are working. In such cases certain special requirements also apply to the employment.

Yes, if you are granted a residence permit that is valid for more than 13 months, you must report that you have actively participated in your studies once a year. The Migration Agency will contact you when it is time to make your report.

If you study at a upper secondary school or special needs upper secondary school, municipal adult education (Komvux) or special needs municipal adult education (Särvux), you must submit your individual study plan and excerpt from the grade catalogue. If you are studying at folk high school, you must submit the corresponding planning documents and you must also submit your study evaluation and certificate of basic eligibility, if you have received these documents. You can also submit other documents that show that you have actively participated in your studies.

If you either do not submit any documents or have not actively participated in your studies, the Swedish Migration Agency can reconsider the time for your residence permit or revoke the residence permit.

If you study at a national programme at an upper secondary school, you have completed your studies when you have a graduation certificate or a study certificate of at least 2500 upper secondary school credits.

Studies at upper secondary level in municipal adult education (Komvux) or special needs municipal adult education (Särvux), are considered completed when you have a study certificate of at least 2400 upper secondary school credits.

If you study a general course at a folk high school, you have completed your studies when you have a certificate of basic scope requirements equivalent to three years in upper secondary school.

A vocational training package is considered complete when you have finished your classes in accordance with your individual study plan. You can show this by, for example, submitting a study certificate or an excerpt from the schools grading system with an appendix stating for which vocational areas the studies are intended.

It depends on what programme you are studying. If you are studying at a vocational training package, you cannot switch programmes and keep the residence permit. If you are studying a different programme, you can switch programmes as long as you continue to study actively.

Questions and answers about the so-called vocational package

A vocational training package is a vocational education programme intended to facilitate establishment in the labour market which is given as part of an introduction programme at upper secondary school or as full-time studies on an integrated vocational programme in municipal adult education (Komvux) or special needs municipal adult education (Särvux)

Vocational training offered by other educational facilities are not grounds for a residence permit in accordance with the so-called law on upper secondary level studies.

The National Agency for Education has produced examples of national vocational packages. Studies on such packages are counted as studies at upper secondary level. Some schools also offer their own variants of vocation-oriented training. The annexes that you submit along with your application must clearly show that the training you are studying has the goal of enabling you to get a job in Sweden. It can also be the case that the training leads to certain vocational skills.

Since vocation-oriented training in upper secondary school and integrated vocational programmes in municipal adult education (Komvux) or special needs municipal adult education (Särvux) are adapted to your knowledge and needs, the individual study plan that you submit will be crucial in enabling the Swedish Migration Agency to see what programme you are studying. When needed, it can be supplemented with other supporting information from your school, a syllabus for example, that includes the objective of the programme. The Swedish Migration Agency will contact you or your school if we need more information.

If you are studying on an integrated vocational programme in municipal adult education (Komvux), you can get a residence permit for studies at upper secondary level if you study full-time. Your individual study plan should state that your studies are full-time. But there is a possibility for the Swedish Migration Agency to make exceptions when the vocational courses you are taking are combined with courses at basic level. It is all right for one or a few of the courses you are studying to be at basic level. If so, it is important that the annexes you send to the Swedish Migration Agency state why you need to study more basic courses.

The Swedish Migration Agency can make exceptions from the requirement of full-time studies at upper secondary level for a person studying one or a few courses at basic level. This can apply to you if you are studying Swedish as a second language. The exception from the requirement of full-time studies can also apply to you if you are studying Swedish for Immigrants (SFI). If so, it is important that this is also stated in your individual study plan.

The training has been completed when you have finished the training in accordance with your individual study plan.

In the same way as an individual study plan is an important basis for determining whether a training is a vocational package, an individual study plan is therefore an important basis for determining whether such a training has been completed.

You can show this through, for example, upper secondary certificates or extracts from records of grades with an annex stating which vocational area or areas the integrated vocational programme is intended for.

You need to show that you have completed your training if you want to apply for an extended residence permit to look for a job or if you are under 25 years and want to apply for a permanent residence permit because you are able to support yourself as an employee or self-employed person.

More information is available from the National Agency for Educationexternal link, opens in new window

Questions and answers about accommodation, financial support and health care

You are responsible for arranging your own accommodation.

Some people living at one of the Swedish Migration Agency’s accommodation centres were allowed to stay on there when they were given residence permits under the so-called new law on upper secondary level studies. At that time they were still registered at a reception centre and were allowed to keep their LMA card (asylum seeker card). A person who has a valid LMA card has the right to health care as an asylum seeker, even if they have a Swedish personal identity number.

If you have been discharged from your reception centre and no longer have a valid LMA card, you no longer have the right to health care as an asylum seeker.

If you have applied for a residence permit for studies for the first time after your application for asylum was refused, you are counted as a permit applicant, not an asylum seeker. This means that you are given health care on the same terms as third-country nationals who are in Sweden as tourists; the regions have to offer unsubsidised immediate (acute) health care if you are staying in the area of the region. In other words, you must yourself pay what the health care service says it costs.

If you have had a residence permit for studies at upper secondary level and have applied for an extended residence permit before that permit expired, you have the right to health care at the same price as people with residence permits or Swedish citizenship.

If you have applied for a residence permit under so-called law on upper secondary level studies or the so-called new law on upper secondary level studies and are also waiting for a decision in your asylum case or for it to be examined by a court, you are entitled to a daily allowance. It is paid by the Swedish Migration Agency.

Read more about daily allowance

You can apply for financial support from Swedish Board of Student Finance (CSN). If you are under 20, you may have the right to financial support called study allowance, and if you are over 20 you can apply for study support.

If you have difficulty supporting yourself, it is ultimately the municipality (social services) where you are that examines your right to income support.

Read more about financial support from CSNexternal link, opens in new window

Questions and answers about family

You have the possibility of being reunited with your immediate family if you have refugee status or status as a person eligible for subsidiary protection. To be able to be reunited with your parents you then are required to be under 18 years.

If your asylum application has been refused and you have been given an expulsion order, your family does not have the possibility of getting residence permits to move to you in Sweden, even if you are given a residence permit for studies.

Read more about residence permits for parents of unaccompanied minors

For your spouse/registered partner to be able to get a residence permit as your family member, the requirements are that

  • you have refugee status or status as a person eligible for subsidiary protection
  • you are both over 21 years (exceptions can be made if you have common children)
  • you have lived together before you moved to Sweden.

Read more about family reunification

Questions and answers about the residence permit card (UT card)

Your residence permit card will be sent to the address registered with the Swedish Migration Agency. It is important that you say what address you want the card to be sent to when you provide a photograph and fingerprints for the card. Your name must be on the door or the letter box. If the Swedish Migration Agency does not have a Swedish postal address for you, your residence permit card will be sent to one of the Swedish Migration Agency’s offices. You can collect the card there.

Bring your residence permit decision to the reception.

Last updated: 2020-08-26

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