Residence permit for studies in higher education
If you are to study at a university, university college, higher vocational education or folk high school at the post-secondary level in Sweden for a period of time longer than three months, you can apply for a residence permit for higher education. This also applies to you if you will study in a mobility programme within the EU and will begin your studies in Sweden. 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 studies in a programme or courses that require your presence in higher education (read more about studies in Sweden at studyinsweden.se)
- be able to support yourself during the time for which you are applying for a residence permit
- have paid a possible tuition fee before you send in the application (read more about tuition fees)
- 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, signature, 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)
- admission decision from the higher education organiser in Sweden that shows that you are finally admitted to full-time studies in a programme or courses that require your presence in Sweden
- 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 admitted to studies for less than one year) If you have an insurance policy through the higher education organiser, you can instead attach your admission decision as evidence of health insurance
- 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 3,570 per month for a spouse or cohabitating partner SEK 2,142 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.
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.
Undergraduate and graduate studies at a university or university college are counted as higher education.
Studies in higher vocational education or studies at a folk high school at a post-secondary level are also counted as higher education. There is a list on studyinsweden.se of which seats of learning are counted as universities and university colleges. There is information on higher vocational education programmes at the Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education.
There is a list of all courses at Sweden’s folk high schools at www.folkhogskola.nu. The course descriptions state the level of the programme in question. It should be mentioned that the folk high schools also offer studies that are not at the post-secondary level, which are therefore not to be considered higher education studies.
Studies in contract education and at the World Maritime University do not count as higher education, but as so-called “other studies”. The same applies to exchange students in upper-secondary school.
You must be admitted to full-time studies in a programme or courses that require your presence in higher education in Sweden. You cannot receive a residence permit for studies at a distance.
You must have received final admission to the studies. If you are obliged to pay a tuition fee, you are not considered to have final admission until you have paid the part of the tuition fee that you must pay in advance. If you are to study at a university or university college, they will notify the Swedish Migration Agency when the payment has been made.
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.
Information about a pilot project on two-year permits for degree programme students
During the period 16 October 2019 to 16 October 2022 a pilot project in cooperation between the Swedish Migration Agency and five higher education institutions enables students to apply for two-year residence permits for studies.
The higher education institutions taking part in the pilot project are:
- Jönköping University
- KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm
- Linnaeus University
- Lund University
- Umeå University.
During this period a student admitted to a multi-year degree programme at any of these higher education institutions will be able to apply for a two-year residence permit for studies in Sweden. This providing that all conditions, including the student’s ability to support, are met for the whole of the permit period applied for.
The living expense requirement for you as an applicant in 2020 is at least SEK 8,514 per month. For applications received by the Swedish Migration Agency on or after 1 January 2021, the living expense requirement is at least SEK 8,568 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 bank assets, stipends or the like, such as student finance from your home country.
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 a stipend or scholarship.
Your own bank assets are money in an account that belongs to you and from which only you and, if any, your spouse can withdraw money. If you are under the age of 18, your guardians’ accounts may also apply as a basis for your living expense support. Credit, funds or shares are not counted as your own bank assets.
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 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 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. For applications received on or after 1 January 2021, the monthly amount is reduced by SEK 1,666 per month for free food and SEK 1,666 per month for free housing.
Permit validity period
You must have at least
Your husband, wife or cohabiting partner must have at least
Support requirement per child
SEK 51,408 kronor (6 x SEK 8,568)
SEK 21,000 (6 x SEK 3,500)
SEK 12,600 (6 x SEK 2,100)
SEK 102,816 (12 x SEK 8,568)
SEK 42,000 (12 x SEK 3,500)
SEK 25,200 (12 x SEK 2,100)
SEK 111,384 (13 x SEK 8,568)
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.
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.
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.
Time to decision
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.
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 card
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 one year 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.
If a study programme includes studies abroad
One of the requirements for getting a residence permit in Sweden is that your studies require you to be in Sweden for the whole of your study period. 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 must also contact the unit at the Swedish Migration Agency that granted your residence permit to notify them of your exchange term.
If you go on an exchange during your ongoing permit period, you are no longer entitled to a residence permit in Sweden. This means the permit can be withdrawn. A withdrawal 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 return to Sweden.
Doctoral students may be exempt from the requirement to be in Sweden for the whole of their permit period.
Mobility studies also enable you to get a permit for the whole of your study period even if you do studies in another EU country. Read more under the heading “If you intend to begin your study programme in Sweden and do part of your studies in Sweden as a mobility student”, further up on this page.
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.
You will receive an email stating that a decision has been made.
You must contact the embassy or consulate-general to get your decision, and possibly book an appointment for this. When you come to collect your decision, you must bring your passport.
If the Swedish Migration Agency rejects your application, it means you are not entitled to a residence permit for Sweden. You may lodge an appeal against the decision within three weeks of the date when you received notification of the decision. Information on how to lodge an appeal can be found in your decision. If you have given someone a power of attorney document that authorises him/her to represent you, this person is able to lodge an appeal on your behalf.
If you are still in Sweden when your application is rejected, you must leave the country within the timescale given in the decision.