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Resi­dence permit for upper secon­dary level studies for those who have applied for asylum

If you are 17–24 years old, are studying at upper secondary level and have applied for asylum in Sweden, you can get a residence permit for upper secondary studies in certain circumstances.

You can apply for a residence permit for studies at upper secondary level when you apply for asylum for the first time or when you apply for an extended residence permit.

In certain cases you can get a residence permit for studies at upper secondary level if you have applied for asylum, but have not been judged to have grounds for protection. This applies to you if you are under 18 years and your application is refused, but you are unable to return to your country of origin, for example because no reception has been arranged for you there.

Requi­re­ments for a resi­dence permit for studies at upper secon­dary level

  • You have attained 17, but not 25 years (in some cases 18 but not 25).
  • You are studying on a programme at upper secondary level that is covered by the so-called law on upper secondary level studies.

Test whether you meet the requirements in our guide

Programmes and courses covered by the so-called law on upper secon­dary level studies:

  • 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 for unaccompanied minors on the National Agency for Education websiteexternal link, opens in new window

Full- or part-time studies

To be able to get a residence permit for studies at upper secondary level, you are required, in most cases, to study full-time at upper secondary level.

In certain cases you can get a residence permit even though you are studying part-time. If so, you need to submit documents that explain why you are not studying full-time. This applies, for instance, if you have an illness or disability of if you only need to supplement a foreign education with freestanding courses.

The Swedish Migration Agency can also make an exception from the full-time rule 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 in municipal adult education (Komvux) or special needs municipal adult education (Särvux) part-time and are working at the same time. In such cases certain special requirements also apply to the employment.

Active parti­ci­pa­tion

If you get a residence permit that is valid for more than 13 months, you have to make a report each year that you have participated actively in your studies. The Migration Agency will contact you when it is time to make your report.

If you study at an 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 an 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.

If you have not received a passing grade in one or more courses, or if the grades have not been set yet, you must submit other documents that show that you have actively participated in your studies. If you do not submit any documentation, or if you have not actively participated in your studies, the Migration Agency can reconsider the time of your residence permit or revoke the residence permit.

How to apply

If you have applied for asylum for the first time, you say, in connection with your asylum investigation, that you have begun studying at upper secondary school, or the equivalent. Bring certificates that show that you are studying when you come to your asylum investigation or send them to the Swedish Migration Agency within two weeks after your asylum investigation.

Docu­ments you have to submit

When you apply for a residence permit for upper secondary studies, you have to send in

  • your individual study plan from upper secondary school, special needs upper secondary school, municipal adult education (Komvux) or special needs municipal adult education (Särvux), or
  • a corresponding planning document from a folk high school.

The Swedish Migration Agency needs to know

  • that you have started your studies
  • what type of programme you are taking
  • that you are studying full-time or the reason why you are studying part-time
  • how long your programme lasts, i.e. the date when your programme ends.

If any of this is not stated in your individual study plan or planning document, you can supplement it with other documents, for example a doctor’s certificate or another document that explains why you are not studying full-time.

If you are studying on a vocational training programme, a ”vocational package”, it is important that your study plan states what vocational orientation your programme has and that the purpose is to enable you to work after completing your education.

Exten­ding a resi­dence permit for studies at upper secon­dary level

You can state studies at upper secondary level as grounds when you apply for an extension if

  • you have attained 17, but not 25 years
  • you have previously applied for asylum
  • you have a temporary residence permit that expires within two months
  • you are studying on a programme at upper secondary level that is covered by the so-called law on upper secondary level studies.

You can state several reasons for staying in Sweden when you apply for an extended residence permit.

If you are given an extended residence permit for the same reasons as before, for example if the Swedish Migration Agency makes the assessment that you still need protection, you can, if you are studying at upper secondary level, get a longer residence permit than you would otherwise have been given.

If you cannot get an extended residence permit for the same reasons as before, you can, in certain cases, still get a residence permit if you meet the requirements for studies at upper secondary level.

You can also get an extended residence permit, if you now have a residence permit on account of studies at upper secondary level but need to have more time to complete your studies.

If you are studying on an introduction programme and have a thirteen month-long residence permit, you can only get a thirteen month-long residence permit for studies on an introduction programme one more time, after that you must move on to another programme to be able to extend your residence permit again.

When you apply for an extended residence permit because you need to have more time to complete your programme, you have to send in a new study plan or equivalent planning document. You also need to explain why you did not have time to complete your programme as expected. This can, for instance, be because you have been ill or because you did not pass all your courses despite full-time studies and you therefore need to have more time. The Swedish Migration Agency also needs to know when you are expected to complete your programme. If this is not stated in your study plan or planning document, you have to submit another certificate saying this.

Read more about extending your residence permit

Continued residence permit after completing your studies

Frequently asked questions about extending temporary residence permits

Frequently asked questions about the Upper Secondary School Act

After you have applied

If we need more information from you, we will contact you and ask you to supplement your application.

After the decision

The Swedish Migration Agency often sends its decision by what is called simplified notification. Sometimes you get a letter with a summons to a meeting where a case officer explains the decision to you.

Simplified notification means that the Swedish Migration Agency will send the decision via regular mail to the address you have given us. The next day we send another letter to the same address informing you that we have mailed a decision. We do this in order to minimize the risk of an error. In this way the Migration Agency considers that you have been informed of the decision (were notified) two weeks after we sent it to you. After that you have three weeks to appeal the decision.

If the address you gave us cannot be used and you are registered with the Swedish population register, the decision and the control letter will be sent to the address listed as your home address in the population register.

Also remember to check your mail on a regular basis.

If you are given a resi­dence permit

If you applied for a residence permit for studies at upper secondary level when you applied for asylum for the first time, you will be discharged from your reception unit. If you have been living in the Swedish Migration Agency’s accommodation, you will be discharged and have to move when you are told about the decision. If you have been living in your own accommodation, you will be discharged one month after the Swedish Migration Agency has taken its decision. You no longer have the right to a daily allowance and your bank card stops working. So it is important that you take out the money on the card before you are discharged from the Swedish Migration Agency. If you are under 18 years, it is the municipality where you live that has full responsibility for you. If you are over 18 years, you must arrange accommodation by yourself.

If you are studying at upper secondary level, you may have the right to study support.

Read more about how you can get a study grant on the CSN websiteexternal link, opens in new window

If you get a residence permit, you will be given a residence permit card as proof that you have a permit to be in Sweden. Even if you have had a residence permit card before, you must come to the Swedish Migration Agency to be photographed and fingerprinted again to be able to get a new residence permit card.

Read more about residence permit cards

When you have been given a temporary residence permit for the first time, you have to register in the population register at the Swedish Tax Agency as soon as possible. If you are under 18 years, you have to do so along with your custodian or guardian. When you go to the Swedish Tax Agency, bring your residence permit card and a valid identity document. If your identity document is being held by the Swedish Migration Agency, you can ask to be given a copy of it. The copy has to be signed by a person at the Swedish Migration Agency who certifies that it is a true copy of the original.

You do not need to contact the Swedish Tax Agency if you get an extended residence permit.

Information about how to register at the Swedish Tax Agencyexternal link, opens in new window

Permits of diffe­rent lengths

How long your residence permit is valid for depends in part on whether you are studying on a national programme or an introduction programme, how long your programme is and how far you have come in your studies.

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 a thirteen month-long residence permit for studies on an introduction programme twice. Then you must move on to another programme to be able to get an extended residence permit again.

If you are studying on a national programme at upper secondary school or special needs upper secondary school, full-time at upper secondary level in municipal adult education (Komvux) or special needs municipal adult education (Särvux) or at a folk high school, or a “vocational package”, you get a residence permit that is valid for the planned length of the programme plus a further six months. This is why the Swedish Migration Agency needs to have a planned final date for your studies to use when we decide how long your residence permit will be valid for. So depending on how much time you have left on your programme, the length of your permit period will vary.

After your studies

When you are finished with your studies, you may have the right to stay in Sweden for up to six months to seek employment.

If for some reason you have less than six months left on your residence permit when you finish your studies, you can apply for an extended residence permit to seek employment. You can then receive an extended residence permit so that the combined permit period is six months from the date that you finished your studies. When you apply for a residence permit, you must send in your diploma or a certificate that shows what date you completed your studies.

If you have such little time left on your current residence permit that you must apply for an extended residence permit before you receive your diploma, or equivalent certificate, you can instead send in a certificate that shows that you will soon finish your studies. When you have finished your studies, you must supplement your application by sending in a new certificate showing the date that you finished.

Read more about extending your residence permit

Read more about permanent residence permits as an employee or a self-employed person

If you begin to work

In most cases, if you are studying at an upper secondary level, you receive a residence and work permit that means that you have the right to work alongside your studies. After your studies, you may have a right to a permanent residence permit if you have a job or have started a business that you can support yourself on.

When you apply for an extended residence permit, you state that you want to have a permanent residence permit since you can support yourself. In your application, you must show that you have a job or that you have started a business that you can support yourself on before your residence permit expires.

If you are under 25, you must show that you have completed your upper secondary level education to be able to apply for a permanent residence permit. You must also fulfil a number of other requirements to be granted a permanent residence permit as an employee or a self-employed person.

Read more about permanent residence permits as an employee or a self-employed person

Family

You have the possibility of being reunited with your immediate family when you have been given a residence permit for studies at upper secondary level if you have refugee status or status as a person eligible for subsidiary protection. To be able to be reunited with your parents you must be under 18 years.

If your asylum application has been refused and you have been given a refusal-of-entry or expulsion order, then, in most cases, your family does not have the possibility of getting residence permits to move to you in Sweden. This applies even if you get a residence permit for studies at upper secondary level.

Read more about how your family applies for residence permits to move to you

If your appli­ca­tion is refused

You can have your application for a residence permit for studies at upper secondary level refused but still get a temporary residence permit if you are judged to have grounds for protection. If you do not have grounds for protection and do not meet the requirement for a residence permit on the ground of studies at upper secondary level, or some other ground, either, you must leave the country.

If you already have an expulsion order, but were allowed to stay with a residence permit under the so-called new law on upper secondary level studies, for example, then the previous expulsion order normally applies if you have your application for an extension refused, and this generally means that you have to leave Sweden. A case officer will explain to you what applies in your case.

New law on upper secon­dary level studies

In 2018 many young people whose application for asylum had been refused and who had had time to attain 18 years of age while waiting for their decision, were able to apply for residence permits for studies at upper secondary level under the so-called new law on upper secondary level studies. The last date for applying for a residence permit under the new law on upper secondary level studies was 30 September 2018, but the individuals who were given residence permits under this provision can now apply for an extended residence permit to stay in Sweden and continue their studies.

If you were give a residence permit for studies at upper secondary level for thirteen months under the so-called new law on upper secondary level studies, you can apply for an extended residence permit in the same way as other people studying at upper secondary level. It is important that you apply for an extension before your present residence permit expires, and you must show that you have begun your studies in order to be granted an extension of you permit.

If you are studying on an introduction programme, you can get a residence permit that is valid for a further thirteen months. You can only get an extended residence permit for studies on an introduction programme once, after that you must move on to another programme.

If you are studying on a national programme at upper secondary school or special needs upper secondary school, or at upper secondary level in municipal adult education (Komvux) or special needs municipal adult education (Särvux) or at a folk high school, or a “vocational package”, you can get a residence permit that is valid for the length of the programme plus a further six months.

Read more about extending your residence permit

If you were living in any of the Swedish Migration Agency’s temporary accommodation when you were given a residence permit under the so-called New Upper Secondary School Act, you have been allowed to stay on there and have also had the right to financial support. This right to accommodation and financial support will end soon. You will get a decision saying that you must move and arrange accommodation on your own. The Swedish Migration Agency will start sending out these letters on 31 January 2020. You will be given information from your reception unit about what you have to do to return your debit card and LMA card, for instance. This also applies to you if you were allowed to stay on in the Swedish Migration Agency’s temporary accommodation when you were given a temporary residence permit on account of practical impediments to enforcement.

Frequently asked questions about the law on upper secondary level studies

Last updated: 2020-08-28

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