Frequently asked questions about studying and researching in 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 the Migration Agency does not revoke 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. This means that you – if you apply for an extended residence permit – have to show that you have completed enough credits.
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 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.
- have completed an education by the end of the spring term, and will continue to study on a new education at the beginning of the autumn term
- Exceptions to the requirement for full-time studies can also be made if you have had a residence permit for the ordinary study period and need to apply for an extended permit to complete your studies outside the ordinary study period.
For questions relating to which embassies or consulates-general can handle migration issues, we refer to www.swedenabroad.se External 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.
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.
If you travel abroad in connection with your permit expiring and you have applied for an extension, it can be difficult for you to return to Sweden before you have been granted your new permit. You may then need to wait for your new decision outside Sweden.
If you have to travel back to Sweden before that for urgent reasons, it is possible to apply for a national entry visa. With such a visa, you can travel back to Sweden and wait there for your decision on extension. You apply for an entry visa at a Swedish embassy or consulate-general in the country where you are located, provided that the authority issues entry visas. You must be aware that such an application requires that there are special grounds for issuing an entry visa and that the Swedish Migration Agency cannot control how the embassy or consulate decides in the application. It is therefore only in exceptional cases, and if you really have to, that you should leave Sweden during the processing time. Examples of special grounds can be sudden illness, death in the family or important job-related assignments. The embassy may require a certificate regarding the reason for the trip. You should also be aware that a decision on a national entry visa cannot be appealed.
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:
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”.
Yes, absence from Sweden during the summer holidays does not affect your residence permit in Sweden. If, on the other hand, the planned leave is expected to occur during the spring or autumn semester when you are expected to participate in your education in Sweden, there is a risk that your permit will be revoked.
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.
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 four 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.