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Residence permit for doctoral studies

If you are to conduct doctoral studies in Sweden for a period of time longer than three months, you can apply for a residence permit for higher education. The permit must be issued before you travel to Sweden.

Requirements for residence permits

For a permit, you must

  • have a valid passport
  • have been admitted to full-time doctoral studies that require your presence in higher education in Sweden (read more about studies in Sweden at studyinsweden.seexternal link, opens in new window)
  • be able to support yourself during the time for which you are applying for a residence permit
  • have, or have applied for, a comprehensive health insurance policy.

Requi­re­ments to use the e-service

In order to use the e-service, you need

  • copies of your passport that show personal data, period of validity and if you have permission to live in countries other than your home country (read more about what the copies must look like)
  • formal decision on admission as a doctoral student, with information on the date for admission
  • a supplementary certificate regarding the doctoral studies, issued by the university. For these certificates, you can refer the university to the Swedish Migration Agency’s checklist. Checklists and examples of certificates of enrolment for third-cycle studies (doctoral studies)PDF
  • a copy of documents that show that you have, or have applied for, a comprehensive health insurance policy that is valid in Sweden (if you are not registered in Sweden and you are admitted to studies for less than one year)
  • documents that show that you have received a doctoral grant or employment as a doctoral candidate with information on the amount and the time during which you will receive the money (an employment agreement for two years is not required if the annual salary covers the living expense requirement for a period of two years), or
    an account statement that verifies that you have sufficient funds for your living expenses. If permission from a central bank or the equivalent is required to take out the money from your country, you must include such a permit, or
    documents issued in your name that show that you have been granted a stipend or the like with information on the monthly amount and the period during which you will receive the money
  • be able to pay a possible fee for the application with a credit card or charge card (fees for residence permits for studies).

If your family is accompanying you to Sweden, you can apply for permits for them at the same time in your online application. Your family can also apply for permits at a later date. In the application, your family must include

  • copies of the pages in your family members’ passports that show personal data, photo, signature, passport number, issuing country, period of validity, entry stamps and if they have permission to live in countries other than their home country (read more about what the copies must look like)
  • documents, such as bank account statements, that confirm that the family’s support for living expenses has been arranged for the time in Sweden. The living expense requirement for the entire period of stay is SEK 3,500 per month for a spouse or cohabitating partner SEK 2,100 per month for each child.
  • a copy of the marriage certificate or the equivalent (for married couples and registered partners)
  • documents that show that you have lived together, such as civil registration certificates, joint rental contracts or joint purchase evidence for a home (applies to cohabitating partners)
  • birth certificates for children which state the parents’ names
  • consent from the other guardian of children under 18 if the other guardian does not accompanying you to Sweden, or evidence of sole custody. For example, this can be a court decision, or death certificate if the other parent is deceased. The consent must be signed and it should state if the child has permission to stay in Sweden for the time you intend to be here. For joint custody, a copy of the other guardian’s passport or other identification document must also be attached
  • adoption documents if the child is adopted.

Läs mer om tillstånd för din familj

If you are to support yourself with bank assets, you must submit your application no earlier than three months before the date you are applying for a residence permit from. This is because you need to be able to show that you can support yourself close to the beginning of the study time and that your documents will not get too old. This does not apply if you will receive regular income, such as a scholarship.

You must be admitted to a doctoral programme that requires your presence in Sweden. You cannot receive a residence permit for studies at a distance.

If you have been admitted as a doctoral student, you must include the university’s formal decision on admission, with information on the date for admission. You also need to include a supplementary certificate regarding the doctoral studies, issued by the university. For these certificates, you can refer the university to the Swedish Migration Agency’s checklist.

Checklist for certificates regarding an initial residence permit for doctoral studiesPDF

If you are to study in Sweden as a part of your education in another country, you cannot receive a residence permit for studies if you have not been admitted to a programme in Sweden. You can instead apply for a residence permit for visitors. If you have qualification to a doctoral programme and are selected to conduct research in Sweden, you can apply for a residence permit as a researcher.

Read more about visitor permits

Read more about residence permits for researchers

Doctoral students who will stay in both Sweden and another country

If you are a doctoral student and you will interchangeably stay both in Sweden and in another country during your studies (according to the so-called sandwich model), you can receive a residence permit for up to two years at a time. You must then spend at least half of the time in Sweden during the permit period applied for.

A continuous stay abroad of up to one fourth of the permit period can be accepted. For a residence permit that is valid for two years, a continuous stay abroad of up to six months can be accepted. For a residence permit that is valid for one year, a continuous stay abroad of up to three months can be accepted. You must show that there is a clear structure for the studies. You must therefore submit a certificate, issued by your supervisor in Sweden, that shows how you will divide your time between Sweden and other countries during the permit period applied for. If your studies begin or end in a country other than Sweden, you will not receive a residence permit for these periods.

For these certificates, you can refer the university to the Swedish Migration Agency’s checklist.

Checklists and examples of certificates of enrolment for third-cycle studies (doctoral studies)PDF

Are these not the studies you will conduct?

Have you ended up on the wrong webpage? Information about different types of studies and how you apply is available on the focus page for higher studies.

The living expense requirement for you as an applicant in 2019 is at least SEK 8,370 per month. For applications received by the Swedish Migration Agency on or after 1 January 2020, the living expense requirement is at least SEK 8,514 per month.

You must show that you have secured your financial support for the time for which you are applying for a residence permit. This means that you must show that you have money available through salary, a stipend or bank assets.

Fees for residence permits for studies

If you are a doctoral student and will receive a doctoral grant or salary for employment as a doctoral candidate, this shall be indicated by an employment certificate or certificate of enrolment. The certificate of enrolment is issued by the university; see checklist for certificates regarding an initial residence permit for doctoral studies

Checklist for certificates regarding an initial residence permit for doctoral studiesPDF

If you will receive a stipend or the like, you must send a recently issued document in your name with information on the monthly amount or total amount. It shall also be clear from the document what time you will receive funds disbursed and how much of the money will be available for your living expenses.

If you are to support yourself with bank assets, you must submit your application no earlier than three months before the date from which you apply 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 have time to become to old. This does not apply if you will receive continuous income, such as salary, a stipend or scholarship.

If you can show that you receive free housing and/or food through the higher education organiser or an organisation that works for international exchange, the amount per month can be reduced. For applications that have been received by the Swedish Migration Agency in 2019, the monthly amount is reduced by SEK 1,627.50 per month for free food and SEK 1,627.50 per month for free housing. For applications received on or after 1 January 2020, the monthly amount is reduced by SEK 1,655.50 per month for free food and SEK 1,655.50 per month for free housing.

 

Example of the maintenance requirement

Permit validity period

You must have at least

Your husband, wife or cohabiting partner must have at least

Support requirement per child

6 months


SEK 51,084 kronor (6 x SEK 8,514)


SEK 21,000 (6 x SEK 3,500)


SEK 12,600 (6 x SEK 2,100)


12 months

SEK 102,168 (12 x SEK 8,514)

SEK 42,000 (12 x SEK 3,500)

SEK 25,200 (12 x SEK 2,100)

13 months

SEK 110,682 (13 x SEK 8,514)

SEK 45,500 (13 x SEK 3,500)

SEK 27,300 (13 x 2,100)


If you are nationally registered in Sweden, you are considered to have a comprehensive health insurance. If you have been admitted to studies for less than one year, you will not be nationally registered in Sweden. If you then do not have insurance through the higher education provider, you must be insured by having or having applied for your own insurance.

The insurance must be valid for the entire time you will be in Sweden and cover costs for emergency and other medical care, dental care and hospital stays. It must also cover expenses for transportation home for medical reasons.

Read more about national registration on the Swedish Tax Agency websiteexternal link, opens in new window

Conditions in order to be civilly registeredexternal link, opens in new window

If you are not able to apply online, you must fill out the form Application for a residence permit for students - First-time applicants, number 113011, and submit it to a Swedish embassy or consulate-general in your country of residence. The application form specifies which documents to enclose. Contact the embassy or consulate-general before you submit your application.

If there is no possibility to submit an application in your country, you must apply at the embassy or consulate-general closest to your country of residence. Contact the embassy or consulate-general before you submit your application for further information.

If your family is accompanying you to Sweden, each family member must submit their own application.

Application for a residence permit for students - First-time applicants, form number 113011PDF

Application by co-applicants to students and doctoral students, form number 135011PDF

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

If you are applying at an embassy or consulate-general, you pay the fee when you hand in your application. For more information about the fee, contact the embassy or consulate-general where you are applying, as they do not have the same fees and terms of payment as the Migration Agency.

After you have sent the application

Shorter processing time for a complete application

In order for the Swedish Migration Agency to be able to make a decision in your case, all information must be completed and all necessary documents must be included. This means that the processing time is shorter if everything needed is included from the beginning than if the application needs to be supplemented afterwards.

Tid till beslut

In order to obtain an impression how long you need to wait for your decision, you can visit the page Time to decision. Note that the average time that is shown on the page is calculated based on previously decided cases in the same category. The time can vary from application to application.

Time to decision

If you change your mind and no longer want to apply

If you want to withdraw your application, you must say so in a written letter to the Swedish Migration Agency. In the letter, you must state your name, date of birth, personal identity number (if you have one) and your case number. Also state your telephone number and address so that the Swedish Migration Agency can reach you if we have any questions. You must sign the letter. If you have given a power of attorney to someone, that person can withdraw the application on your behalf.

If you applied online, you will receive an e-mail that the decision has been made.

You can then contact the embassy or general consulate to receive the decision and possibly book an appointment to collect it. When you collect your decision, you must bring your passport with you. Some embassies and general consulates send out the decision and the permit card in the post. Contact the embassy or general consulate for more information.

Resi­dence permit cards

If you receive a residence permit for more than three months, you will receive a residence permit card. The card is a certification that you have permission to be in Sweden and contains your fingerprints and a photo of you, among other information.

Read more about residence permit cards

If you need an entry visa to travel to Sweden

If you need an entry visa to travel to Sweden and were not photographed and submitted fingerprints when you applied, you must visit the embassy or general consulate so that a permit card can be made for you. Not all embassies or general consulates have the possibility of taking appointments to photograph you and get your fingerprints. Therefore, always contact the embassy or general consulate before your visit for more information. When you visit the embassy, you must bring your passport with you.

Countries whose citizens require an entry visa for travel to Swedenexternal link, opens in new window

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

When the card is ready, the embassy or general consulate will hand out or send it to you. Note that it can take up to four weeks after you have received your decision to manufacture the card and deliver it to the embassy or general consulate on condition that you have already taken a photo and submitted fingerprints. When you travel into Sweden, you must present the card together with a valid passport.

It is not possible to shorten the time for manufacture and delivery of the card. Once an order of the card has been made, it is also not possible to change where the card will be sent.

If you can travel without an entry visa

If you can travel to Sweden without an entry visa, you may need to present a copy of the decision when you travel in. You may also need to demonstrate the document regarding Information about residence permit card together with the decision when you leave the country.

Information on residence permit card – print it out and bring it with you on your trip (in Swedish and English)PDF

As soon as you can after arriving in Sweden, you must book an appointment at the Swedish Migration Agency to submit fingerprints and be photographed. When you visit the Swedish Migration Agency, you must bring your passport with you. When the residence permit card is ready, it will be sent to your address in Sweden. It is therefore important that you can provide the address in Sweden when you visit the Swedish Migration Agency to submit fingerprints and be photographed.

It is not possible to shorten the time for manufacture and delivery of the card. Once an order of the card has been made, it is also not possible to change where the card will be sent.

Book an appointment at the Swedish Migration Agency to submit fingerprints and be photographed if you can travel to Sweden without a visa

How long the permit is valid

You can receive a residence permit for the time your studies require, but never longer than the validity of your passport. Even if you have been admitted to several years’ studies, you can usually receive a residence permit for a maximum of two years at a time. If you will continue to stay in Sweden after your permit has expired, you must submit an application for a new residence permit. You should apply for the new residence permit before the current permit expires

As a student in a mobility programme within the EU, you can receive a residence permit for the entire programme. As a mobility student, your residence permit card will be marked with the programme’s name.

Read more about extending a residence permit

You are permitted to work

If you have received a residence permit for higher education, you also have the right to work in Sweden during the same time that you have a residence permit. You do not need to have a separate work permit. If you have had a residence permit for higher education and apply for an extension within the period of validity, you still have the right to work until a decision has been made or a possible decision of expulsion has gained legal force. If you seek employment, you should take copies with you of documents that show that you have the right to be and work in Sweden. Also bring your residence permit card. The employer wants to know how long you have a right to work in Sweden and if there are any limitations in your permit. Anyone employing you wants a copy of the documents and will inform the Swedish Tax Agency that you have been employed.

The Swedish Migra­tion Agency can revoke a permit

Your permit can be revoked if you provided incorrect information in your application or did not tell about something of significance to your residence permit. The permit can also be revoked if the conditions for the permit are no longer met, such as if you are no longer studying.

Information for persons arriving in Sweden with a residence permit

Do not forget to save your residence permit decision. It will be useful when contacting various national authorities and organisations.

To register as living in Sweden and obtain a Swedish personal identity number, contact the Swedish Tax Agency, Skatteverket.external link, opens in new window

To be registered in the social insurance system, contact the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, Försäkringskassan.external link, opens in new window

Some municipalities have municipal housing agencies where you can look for accommodation. The municipality can also give you advice on private landlords.

The municipality in which you live will offer child care and schooling for children.

If you have come to Sweden as a refugee, you may able to apply for a loan to equip your home. www.csn.se/hemutrustningslanexternal link, opens in new window

For questions about health care, contact the region where you live. Find healthcare in the whole of the country on 1177 Healthcare Service Guide.external link, opens in new window

For questions about learning Swedish for Immigrants (SFI), contact the municipality you live in. See also the website of the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions.external link, opens in new window

If you are looking for a job you can register with the Swedish Public Employment Service, Arbetsförmedlingen.external link, opens in new window

The Swedish Pensions Agencyexternal link, opens in new window has information in Swedish about income support for the elderly for those who come to Sweden late in life and have a low or no pension.

For information about studying at colleges or universities, see Universityadmissions.seexternal link, opens in new window or studera.nu.external link, opens in new window

For questions about student loans and grants, contact CSN.external link, opens in new window

For questions concerning driving licenses, visit the Swedish Transport Agency.external link, opens in new window

For questions about the right to vote, contact the Election Authority, Valmyndigheten.external link, opens in new window

Information from the Swedish National Agency for Education about the Swedish education system can be found at Skolverket.external link, opens in new window

Information about society in Sweden can be found in a number of languages at informationsverige.se.external link, opens in new window

For more information on society in Sweden visit the website of the Swedish Institute.external link, opens in new window

Hej hej Sverige!external link, opens in new window has simple and inspiring films about how Sweden works.

On the page Learn Swedish on www.informationsverige.se,external link, opens in new window you will find links to several programmes for learning Swedish on your own.

The information service at the Swedish Consumer Agencyexternal link, opens in new window can answer your questions about buying goods and services and about contract terms and conditions.

If you applied online, you will receive an e-mail that the decision has been made.

You must contact the embassy or general consulate to receive the decision and possibly book an appointment to collect it. When you collect your decision, you must bring your passport with you.

If the Swedish Migration Agency denies your application, it means that you do not have the right to a residence permit in Sweden. You can appeal the decision within three weeks of the date you received the decision. Information on how to appeal is provided in your decision. If you have given somebody authorisation to represent you, that person can appeal on your behalf.

Read more about how to appeal

If you are in Sweden when your application is denied and you do not appeal the decision, you must leave the country within the period of time stated in the decision.

Read more about what applies for those whose application has been denied and are in Sweden

Last updated: 2020-07-16

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