The Swedish Upper Secondary School Act
If you have a residence permit for studies at upper secondary level, you can apply for an extended residence permit if you wish to look for work upon completion of your studies. If you have a job, you can apply for a permanent residence permit.
The regulations on being able to get a residence permit for studies at upper secondary level or the equivalent ended on 20 December 2023. At the same time, the regulation on being able to get a residence permit to continue studying at an introductory programme also ended. It is therefore no longer possible to be granted a residence permit residence permit for studies at upper secondary level.
The regulations on an extended residence permit to look for work upon completion of studies at upper secondary level or a permanent residence permit upon completion of studies will gradually expire between 2024 and 2025.
Under the Upper Secondary School Act, you who have a residence permit for studies at upper secondary level can apply for
- an extended residence permit to look for work upon completion of studies at upper secondary level
- a permanent residence permit because you can financially support yourself after studies at upper secondary level.
You must use the e-service for an extension to apply for an extended or a permanent residence permit. It is important that you apply for an extended or a permanent residence permit before your current permit expires, although no earlier than two months beforehand.
If you have an extended 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 upper secondary school for pupils with intellectual disabilities, 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.
Extending a residence permit to look for work upon completion of studies at upper secondary level
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 you have a 13-month residence permit for studies at an introductory programme, you cannot be granted an extended residence permit to look for work, as an introductory programme does not count as completion of studies.
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.
You may need to show your passport
As a general rule, in order to be granted a residence permit to look for work after your upper secondary school studies, you need to have a passport. The Swedish Migration Agency will then need to check your passport before a decision can be made. You will then need to visit one of the Swedish Migration Agency's service centres to show your passport.
If you need to show your passport, we will contact you with information on how and when to do so.
Residence permits can never be granted for longer than the validity of your passport.
If you do not have a passport and cannot obtain a passport within a reasonable amount of time, you can get a residence permit anyway. The fact that you cannot obtain a passport within a reasonable amount of time must be due to circumstances beyond your control, such as the fact that there is a very long waiting time at your country's embassy to issue passports. The fact that it is difficult, inconvenient or expensive to obtain a passport from your home country are not sufficient reasons for being exempted from the requirement of having a passport.
If you begin to work
In most cases, if you are studying at an upper secondary level, 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.
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.
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 granted a residence permit
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.
If your application is refused
If your application for a residence permit to look for work upon completion of your studies at upper secondary level, or for a permanent residence permit, is refused, and you do not meet the requirements for a residence permit on any other grounds either, you must leave the country.
If you already have an expulsion order, the previous expulsion order normally applies if your application for an extension is refused, and this generally means that you have to leave Sweden. A case officer will explain to you what applies in your case.