Frequently asked ques­tions about residence permits for 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.

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

No, 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.

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 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 for former asylum seekers and their fami­lies. 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, 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

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 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 for studies at upper secondary level, or a residence permit for other reasons, for example a need for protection, but you 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

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

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 the studies

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.

The Swedish Migration Agency can also make exceptions for a short study break if you are on sick leave or parental leave. This normally requires that you have started your studies, and that you intend to resume your studies at least part-time after a short and temporary break.

It is not possible to specify an exact time limit for what counts as "a short and temporary break". The Migration Agency will make an individual assessment and take into account factors such as the length of the planned education, the length of the break and how much time you have left to study after your break.

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 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

Last updated: 2021-09-02