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Frequently asked questions about studying and researching in Sweden

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

If, at the time of your application, the Swedish Migration Agency has been informed that your studies are expected to take place as usual on campus, and if other conditions are met, we will be able to grant you a residence permit. This applies to both first-time applications and extension applications.

Based on prevailing circumstances, the Swedish Migration Agency will also be able to grant a residence permit if the studies predominantly, meaning more than 50%, will be conducted on campus during the permit period even though there are parts or elements of remote studies. It is the assessment of whether the studies predominantly take place on campus that forms the basis of whether a permit can be granted. This means that if you study a full academic year, you only need to have a small part of the teaching on campus during the autumn semester in order to be able to receive a permit for the entire time. Today, the Swedish Migration Agency expects that studies will be conducted on campus during the spring again. If this changes in the autumn, the Swedish Migration Agency’s assessment may also change.

If you are in Sweden and need to extend your residence permit for studies but you already know that teaching in the education programme for which you are applying for an extended permit will primarily be conducted remotely, you should wait as long as possible to apply for an extension. However, you must do so before your previous permit expires. This will allow the Swedish Migration Agency to wait for the possibility that circumstances change and your studies will instead be conducted on campus.

If you know that most of your education will not be conducted remotely, you should apply for an extension as soon as you can, but no sooner than six months before your current permit expires.

The Swedish Migration Agency is in continuous contact with Sweden’s universities and colleges, so we know which courses require you to be on campus. However, we may request a certificate from you if we have not received the information we need from your higher education institution in order to make an assessment regarding distance learning.

If you know that the studies will be predominantly, meaning more than 50%, conducted on campus, you can receive a residence permit for your entire period of study regardless of whether the first months will take place remotely.

If you know that the entire autumn semester will be conducted remotely, a residence permit cannot be granted for the autumn semester or for the entire 2020/21 academic year. If you want to study in Sweden during the spring semester of 2021, you must apply for a residence permit for that period. In these cases, you should submit your application for a residence permit soon before the start of your studies, in order to ensure that submitted documents (such as documentation of bank assets) are up to date.

Read more about the requirements for residence permits for studies

Yes. Based on prevailing circumstances, the Swedish Migration Agency will be able to grant a residence permit if the studies predominantly, meaning more than 50%, will be conducted on campus even though there are parts or elements of remote studies. It is the assessment of whether the studies predominantly take place on campus that forms the basis of whether a permit can be granted. This means that if you apply for a two-year permit, you only need to have a small part of the teaching on campus during the first academic year in order to be able to receive a permit for the entire time.

To be able to remain in Sweden, you need to apply for a new residence permit before your current permit expires. The Swedish Migration Agency can extend a residence permit for studies, even if you have been unable to complete all the course components. To be eligible for an extension, you must have made acceptable progress in your studies, be admitted as a full-time student, and you must be able to support yourself during the next study period. You must submit an application to extend your residence permit to the Swedish Migration Agency.

Read more about how to apply for an extension

If you are not going to continue studying now but cannot return home due to travel restrictions, you can apply for a visitor’s permit, which is valid for 90 days. If you are admitted to a higher education programme or other study programme and intend to study, then we cannot grant you a visitor’s permit.

If you return home and wish to return to Sweden, for example, in order to attend an exam or for a similar purpose, and you will be in Sweden for a period of less than 90 days, you may apply for a visa instead. Please note that as a general rule, a visa cannot be granted while a temporary entry ban is in place in Sweden.

If you wish to apply for a visitor’s permit, you must also send an application to the Swedish Migration Agency. Since 15 May, the Swedish Migration Agency has temporarily removed the application fee for visitor’s permits. If you need to apply for a visa, you can do so at an embassy or consulate-general after you have travelled back to your home country.

Read about how to apply for a visitor’s permit

Swedish embassies and consulates-generalexternal link, opens in new window

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.

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 you ability to study to such an extent that it may be assumed that your poor academic performance (insufficient number of awarded credits) is a direct consequence.
  • 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 website regarding extend 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

Yes. If you meet the requirements for a residence permit to study in Sweden, the Swedish Migration Agency can grant you a permit, even though there is still a temporary entry ban to Sweden.

If you are granted a residence permit and need a visa to travel to Sweden, you must first visit an embassy to provide fingerprints and take a photo for your residence permit card. However, due to pandemic the opening hours of certain embassies are currently limited.

If you have been granted a residence permit and can travel to Sweden without a visa, you do not need to visit a Swedish mission abroad prior to your trip, provided that no further investigation is required for your application. Once you arrive in Sweden, you can visit the offices of the Swedish Migration Agency to provide fingerprints and take a photo for your residence permit card.

Swedish embassies and consulates-generalexternal link, opens in new window

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

Last updated: 2020-10-06

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