29 June 2021

Changed requirements for permanent residence permits for doctoral students with family

The Swedish Parliament has enacted changes to the Aliens Act, which begin to apply on 20 July.

Among other things, these changes mean that there will be new requirements to obtain a permanent residence permit. There will also be changes to who is covered by the requirement to be able to financially support oneself (the maintenance requirement) when relatives apply for residence permits. If you are a doctoral student and you apply for a permanent residence permit, this will affect you and any family members applying with you.

There are no transitional rules. This means that, if you have already applied for a permanent residence permit and have not received a decision before 20 July, your application will be examined according to the new rules.

New requi­re­ments for perma­nent resi­dence permits for doctoral students

To be eligible for a permanent residence permit as a doctoral student, you must

  • have held a residence permit for four years of the past seven years
  • be able to financially support yourself
  • be expected to live an orderly life.

The new requirements for permanent residence permits mean that you must be able to support yourself as an employee or a self-employed person. The Swedish Migration Agency cannot yet say exactly what requirements will be set on your employment or income in order for you to be granted a permanent residence permit. More information on this will be published as soon as the rules are clear.

Anyone who has a residence permit for studies at a level other than the third cycle (doctoral level) in Sweden cannot apply for a permanent residence permit, and is therefore not affected by the changed rules.

More strin­gent requi­re­ments for you and your family members

If you are granted a permanent residence permit, you are subject to a requirement to financially support yourself and your family (the maintenance requirement) in order for your family to be able to receive a continued residence permit – you must show that your income is enough to support your family and that you have a home of an adequate size and standard for you and your family to live in. If your family has applied for permanent residence permits, the application is examined only after these requirements are met.

Requi­re­ments for perma­nent resi­dence permits for the family

Your family members are not granted permanent residence permits just because you are granted one, and they also cannot receive permanent residence permits before you. However, they can apply for permanent residence permits at the same time as you.

To be eligible for permanent residence permits, your family members must have held residence permits in Sweden for at least three years, be able to financially support themselves (if they are 18 years old or older) and live an orderly life (if they are 15 years old or older).

If your family does not meet the requirements for permanent residence permits, they can still receive residence permits as family members to you. They can apply for a permanent residence permit the next time it is time to apply for an extension of the residence permit.

The Swedish Migration Agency’s website will be updated with the new rules on 20 July. More information will be published continuously in the form of news like this.