Permanent residence permit in accordance with the Swedish Upper Secondary School Act

In accordance with the Swedish Upper Secondary School Act, you may be granted a permanent residence permit upon completion of studies at upper secondary level if you can support yourself financially as an employee or a self-employed person. The rules for being granted a permanent residence permit in accordance with the Upper Secondary School Act are the same as the rules in the temporary law that was in force until 19 July 2021.

The Upper Secondary School Act is a temporary law, and the possibility of applying for a permanent residence permit under its rules will expire in 2025.

The rules on permanent residence permits in the Upper Secondary School Act apply to those who have or have had one of the following residence permits under the temporary law:

  • residence permit for studies at upper secondary level
  • residence permit with refugee or subsidiary protection status, with a longer permit period because they studied at upper secondary level
  • residence permit with refugee or subsidiary protection status, or due to impediments to enforcement or particularly or exceptionally distressing circumstances, and have studied as part of an introductory programme at some time during the temporary law’s period of validity
  • residence permit to look for work upon completion of studies.

You are also subject to the rules in the Upper Secondary School Act if you are granted an extended residence permit under the Upper Secondary School Act in order to complete your studies or to look for work upon completion of studies.

The Swedish Migration Agency can make a decision on a permanent residence permit at the earliest on the day after your temporary residence permit has expired. Bear in mind that you must apply for an extension before your temporary permit expires, although no earlier than two months beforehand. If you apply too late, you are not allowed to work while awaiting a decision.

To be granted a permanent residence permit, it is a requirement that you

  • have a temporary residence permit in accordance with the temporary law or the Upper Secondary School Act
  • can support yourself financially as an employee or a self-employed person
  • can show that you have completed a study programme at upper secondary level or an equivalent foreign study programme if you are under the age of 25.

In order for the Swedish Migration Agency to be able to assess whether you can support yourself financially on your income, you will have to answer questions about your housing costs and your travel costs to and from work. Regardless of whether you are supporting yourself financially as an employee or a self-employed person, you must therefore attach documents showing your housing costs.

There are also various additional requirements, depending on whether you are supporting yourself financially as an employee or a self-employed person. You can combine your incomes from multiple jobs, multiple companies of yours or from both employment and self-employment. If you wish to combine incomes from multiple jobs, all jobs must meet the requirements set out below.

Requi­re­ments for a perma­nent resi­dence permit as an employee

To be granted a permanent residence permit as an employee, it is a requirement that

  • you have a temporary residence permit under the temporary law
  • you have sufficient income to support yourself (you can add up sources of income from several jobs and/or your own companies)
  • your terms and conditions of employment must be at least on a par with Swedish collective agreements or what is customary in the profession or industry (terms of employment include salary and insurance policies)
  • your employment is permanent. This means that you have permanent employment or an agreement on at least two years of employment from the date on which the Swedish Migration Agency makes a decision on your application
  • you have started your employment and your employer has notified the Swedish Tax Agency that you are working there, no later than when the Swedish Migration Agency examines your application
  • you are able to present a special license, ID or permit to practise your profession if the profession so requires
  • if you are under 25 years of age, you must show that you have completed upper secondary education or the equivalent foreign education
  • your employment must not be subsidised by any kind of government grant, such as an introduction job
  • your employment is considered legitimate.

To show that you meet the requirements made of you as an employee, you must attach a large number of documents.

Read about how to apply and which documents you must attach

For the Swedish Migration Agency to be able to grant a permanent residence permit, it is a requirement that the employment and the employer are considered to be legitimate. The Swedish Migration Agency may therefore examine the employer’s ability to pay the promised salary. An application may be refused, for example, if the employer has tax liabilities or debts with the Swedish Enforcement Authority. New business startups, companies in certain sectors and companies that have a high number of employees with work permits are examined particularly closely.

Read more about the requirements on your employer

Requi­re­ments for a perma­nent resi­dence permit as a self-employed person

To get a permanent residence permit as a self-employed person, you must be able to prove that you are the person who is running the company, who has main responsibility and owns at least half of the company. You also need to show that your company’s finances are stable and that you can support yourself and will be able to do so for the next two years. The Swedish Migration Agency will conduct a financial assessment of your business activities.

To show that you meet the requirements as a self-employed person, you must attach a large number of documents.

Read about how to apply and which documents you must attach

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

Your permanent residence permit is valid as long as you live in Sweden. You will receive a residence permit card as proof that you have a residence permit. The card is not an identification document or a travel document. You can travel in and out of the country, but if you leave Sweden you must have a valid passport and your residence permit card in order to re-enter the country. You should also save your notification of the decision to grant you a permanent residence permit. You will find this useful if you need to contact other government agencies.

You do not need to apply for an extension of your residence permit but the residence permit card is only valid for up to five years. To get a new residence permit card you must visit the Swedish Migration Agency to be photographed and to have your fingerprints taken again.

Read more about residence permit cards

The resi­dence permit can be withdrawn

Your permanent residence permit can be withdrawn if you gave a false identity when you applied for the residence permit, or if you knowingly lied or failed to mention something that was significant for your residence permit.

If you are convicted of a crime, the court can decide that you should be deported. The Migration Agency will then withdraw your residence permit. Your residence permit can be withdrawn even if you have had the permit for several years.

Your permanent residence permit can be withdrawn if you leave Sweden. If you notify the Swedish Migration Agency that you wish to retain your permanent residence permit, you can remain abroad for up to two years without your permit being affected.

Report that you wish to retain your permanent residence permit when you move away from Sweden

If your appli­ca­tion is refused

If your application for a permanent residence permit is refused, and you do not meet the requirements for a residence permit on other grounds either, you must leave the country. It is not possible to appeal a refusal of an application for a permanent residence permit in accordance with the Upper Secondary School Act.

If you previously received a decision on deportation, but were allowed to stay with a residence permit under the so-called new law on upper secondary level studies, for example, the previous decision on deportation will normally apply if your application for a permanent residence permit is refused, which will as a rule mean that you must leave Sweden immediately. A case officer will explain to you what applies in your case.

Last updated: 2021-07-28