Frequently asked questions about studying and researching in Sweden

Ques­tions and answers about how studies in Sweden are affected by the corona virus

No. Due to the pandemic, the requirement for on-campus attendance does not apply in 2021.

This means that your teaching can take place via distance learning during the permit period. The basic idea of a residence permit is still that you intend to stay in Sweden to complete your education.

This includes courses that would originally have been given on campus, but which due to the pandemic will be conducted entirely or partially via distance learning.

The general rule for obtaining a residence permit for studies is that you must conduct your studies full-time. This applies both to higher education studies and to other studies.

An application for a residence permit for studies cannot normally be granted if it appears that the studies are not to be conducted on a full-time basis. This applies regardless of whether it is a first-time application or an extension application.

As a general rule, you must study in Sweden corresponding to 30 credits per semester. There are some exceptions:

  • Exceptions can be made in some cases during the summer months (June, July and August) for those who have previously had a residence permit to study a preparatory course and then apply for a permit to continue studying at an education related to the preparatory course.
  • Exceptions to the requirement for full-time studies can also be made with a maximum of two weeks before the start of the studies and after completion of studies.

Due to the current pandemic, there is a special exception

  • The Swedish Migration Agency allows exemptions for all students from the requirement for full-time studies during the summer months of June, July and August 2021.

If you have been awarded fewer credits than the required number of credits, the lower number of credits may be accepted in certain exceptional cases. There may be various circumstances that have prevented you from making acceptable progress in your studies:

  • Illness or, for example, the illness or death of a close relative. You need to prove these circumstances with documents, and you must also show that the events in question have affected your ability to study to such an extent that it may have affected your studies in a negative manner.
  • Other circumstances that are beyond your control. For example, your higher education institution may adapt its teaching to limit the spread of infection and therefore cancel or postpone courses and/or examinations.

The Swedish Migration Agency may make exceptions to the credits requirement if, for example, the required number of credits can be achieved through re-examination that takes place close to the date on which the residence permit expired. You should take the first available opportunity to complete a course that you have been unable to complete in time.

You will find more information about what the Swedish Migration Agency means by "acceptable progress" on the page regarding extending a permit.

Read more about how to apply for an extension

When you apply for an extension of your residence permit for higher education studies, the Swedish Migration Agency will decide whether the conditions for granting a residence permit are met. Among other things, we make an assessment of your academic performance during your most recent residence permit period. If you are studying at a college or university, then your academic performance is assessed based on the number of credits awarded. If you do not have an acceptable number of awarded credits, your application may be rejected. You have the opportunity to submit documents that show the reason why you have not completed your studies.

The Swedish Migration Agency also assesses whether you are able to travel to Sweden to start your studies on time. If you are still abroad when we make a decision about your residence permit and there is no way that you can enter the country in time to begin or resume your studies, we may reject your application for an extended permit.

If you have a residence permit that is about to expire, do not intend to extend it and have planned to leave Sweden, but cannot do so due to travel restrictions, you can apply for a visitor’s permit.

Read more about how to apply to extend your visit or stay in Sweden

It is important that you apply before your current residence permit expires.

If you apply for a visitor’s permit, specify the coronavirus pandemic as the grounds for your application and state that you intend to travel home as soon as possible, then you do not need to pay the application fee.

Read more about fees

No. If you are here as a visitor, then your application for a residence permit for studies cannot be made from within Sweden.

Ques­tions and answers about residence permit for studies

If you are a student with a tuition fee, you must pay the fee as soon as possible. You cannot be granted a residence permit until the tuition fee has been paid. This is because the Swedish Migration Agency does not consider you to be finally admitted before the tuition fee is paid.

If you are granted a leave of absence from your studies and have no reason other than studies to stay in Sweden, your residence permit for studies may be revoked.

If you are to be granted a leave of absence from your studies and the Swedish Migration Agency has not revoked the residence permit, it is important to remember that this possible study break does not provide any relief in the requirements to obtain an extended residence permit for studies with the Swedish Migration Agency, for example completed credits.

For questions relating to which embassies or consulates-general can handle migration issues, we refer to www.swedenabroad.seexternal link, opens in new window and www.regeringen.se/sveriges-regering/utrikesdepartementet external link, opens in new window

For a total stay of less than three months, you should not apply for a residence permit and instead apply for a visa. Citizens of some countries may stay in Sweden for up to three months without a residence permit or visa. During this period, it is permitted to study.

Countries whose citizens must have an entry visa for travel to Sweden (in Swedish)external link, opens in new window

Read more about applying for a visa under Visiting Sweden

There are no obstacles to leaving Sweden, but if the previous permit has expired and the new residence permit is not ready, you risk not being allowed to enter Sweden if you are outside the country's borders. Therefore, if you are studying, you always need to strike a balance between the risk of not getting a decision in time against the necessity of the trip outside Sweden. It is also important to be aware that the Swedish Migration Agency no longer grants priority.

Information about how long it has taken to receive a decision from the Swedish Migration Agency in previous cases

A condition for a residence permit in Sweden is that the studies require the student's presence here. If you are planning to go to another country for an exchange term, you should contact the authorities of that country to find out what is required for a stay in that country. You should also contact the unit at the Swedish Migration Agency that granted the residence permit.

You can email the responsible unit through the unit’s group mailbox:

Umeå: umea-tillstandsenhet1@migrationsverket.se

Växjö: GB-VXO-Studerande@migrationsverket.se

Växjö 2: vaxjo-studerande2@migrationsverket.se

Örebro: GB-ORB-STUD@migrationsverket.se

If you go on an exchange during your ongoing permit period, you are no longer entitled to a residence permit, which may result in it being revoked. A revocation of a residence permit does not mean that it will be more difficult for you when you apply for a new permit to continue your studies in Sweden. However, it is important that you apply for a new permit in time before returning to Sweden. You must have the new permit before you enter Sweden.

There are a couple of exceptions. According to the Swedish Migration Agency's practice, doctoral students can have an arrangement for stay abroad that can form the basis for studies abroad during certain periods. See Residence permit for doctoral studies under the box "You must be admitted to full-time studies".

Mobility studies also enables you to obtain a permit for your entire study period even if you study in another EU country. See Studying in higher education under the heading “If you intend to conduct part of your studies in Sweden as a mobility student”.

Ques­tions and answers about doctoral studies

A doctoral student who is not admitted to studies in Sweden but is invited to study or do research in Sweden as part of an education in another country cannot be granted a residence permit for studies. You can instead apply for a residence permit for visitors. Please note that residence permits for visits are valid for up to one year at the most.

If you are qualified to be a part of a doctoral programme and are selected to conduct research in Sweden, you can apply for a residence permit as a guest researcher.

Read more about residence permit for visits

Read more about residence permits for researchers

Ques­tions and answers about maintenance

Yes, you can. There is no requirement for the bank statement to be from a specific country. The extract should be issued in English or Swedish, or be translated into one of these languages.

It is sufficient if the bank document shows the account balance in the form of cash and cash equivalents, balance date, name of account holder, currency and bank name. Account history is not required, but the Swedish Migration Agency may request account history if necessary in the handling of your case.

If you are applying for a first residence permit for studies and are planning to support yourself with your own bank assets, you must submit your application no earlier than three months before the date from which you are applying for a residence permit. This is so that you will be able to show that you can support yourself in close connection with the beginning of the period of study and so that your documents will not become too old. This does not apply if you will be receiving continuous income, such as a scholarship.

Own bank assets means that you have money in an account that belongs to you and that only you and your possible spouse can withdraw money from it. If you are under the age of 18, your guardians’ accounts may also apply as a basis for your maintenance. Credit, funds or shares do not count as own bank assets.

When you apply for an extension of your residence permit for studies and there is still time left on your current residence permit, you need to show that you are able to support yourself for the remaining period of your current permit as well as the new permit period that you apply for. So you must show that you have maintenance from the balance date up until the end date of the requested extension permit.

Last updated: 2021-06-21