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 conduct part of your studies in Sweden. The permit must be issued before you travel to Sweden. If you have accompanying family members, you must apply for a permit for them in your residence permit application.

Requi­re­ments for resi­dence permits

For a permit, you must

Impor­tant things to know before applying

  • Keep in mind that all requirements should be met before you apply, otherwise your application may be rejected. Carefully read the requirements for your application.
  • To shorten processing time, make sure that your application is complete. Gather all your necessary documents and make sure they contain all the information that must be included.
  • If you intend to support yourself with bank assets, the bank statement you provide as proof of your assets must be issued no more than four months before the start of the period for which you are applying.
  • See 5 tips that increase the chance of getting a decision before the start of the semester
  • If you have accompanying family members, you must apply for a permit for them in your residence permit application. Read more about the requirements for co-applicants.

Possible to obtain a residence permit for up to two years at certain higher education institutions

The Swedish Migration Agency has signed an agreement with some higher education institutions. This means, among other things, that university students who have to pay a tuition fee at these universities can apply for up to two years of residence permits at a time. This applies both to an initial application and to an extension application.

This applies to students at:

  • the Royal Institute of Technology
  • Lund University
  • Umeå University.

Remember that you must show that you can support yourself for the entire period for which you are applying for a permit.

You must be able to present your passport

The Swedish Migration Agency must check your passport before a decision can be made. You may therefore need to show your passport at a Swedish embassy or consulate-general if you are outside Sweden, or one of the Migration Agency's service centres if you are in Sweden.

In some cases, you will not be required to show your passport, for example, if we have already checked your passport during a previous visit.

If you need to show your passport, we will contact you with information on how and when to do so.

If you need an entry visa or residence permit card to travel to Sweden, you will in most cases have your fingerprints taken and be photographed when you show your passport at an embassy or consulate-general in the country where you are a citizen or live. Not all Swedish embassies and consulates-general handle migration matters, so you may need to visit an embassy or consulate-general in another country. 

Find out which embassy or consulate-general you should contact on the page Embassies responsible for migration matters

If your family also applies for a residence permit, the Swedish Migration Agency must check their passports as well. The requirement to show your passport in person does not apply to children under the age of five, it is sufficient that the parent brings the child's passport to the visit. However, if the child needs a residence permit card, they must come along to be photographed for it.

Read more about attaching a copy of your passport to your application

You must be admitted to full-time studies at a higher educa­tion insti­tu­tion

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.

Read more about tuition fees

In order to obtain a residence permit for studies in Sweden, you must be admitted to a study programme in Sweden. For example, if you intend to study in Sweden as part of a study programme in another country but are not admitted to a Swedish higher education institution, you must instead apply for a residence permit for visits.

Read more about residence permits for visits

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.

See if your seat of learning counts as a university or university college on studyinsweden.se External link, opens in new window.

See higher vocational education programmes at the Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education External link, opens in new window.

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. Swedish folk high schools also conduct education that is not at the post-secondary level and which is therefore not to be considered to qualify as higher education.

List of all courses at Sweden’s folk high schools External link, opens in new window.

Studies in contract education and studies at the World Maritime University which does not lead to a degree do not count as higher education, but as so-called “other studies”. The same applies to exchange students in upper-secondary school.

Read more about residence permits for other studies

Read more about what applies to you if you intend to study at an upper-secondary school

You must be able to support your­self finan­ci­ally

For applications received by the Swedish Migration Agency on or after 1 January 2024, the living expense requirement is at least SEK 10 314 per month. The living expense requirement for applicants who applied in 2023 is at least SEK 9 450 per month.

You must show that you have secured your financial support for the period for which you are applying for a residence permit. This means that you must show that you have money available through personal bank assets, scholarship, student aid from your country of origin, sponsorship (may not, in most cases, be a private person) or income from employment. You can combine different forms of financing in your application.

If you intend to support yourself with bank assets, the bank statement you provide as proof of your assets must be issued no more than four months before the start of the period for which you are applying. This is so that you can show that you can support yourself financially from approximately the beginning of your studies, and so that your documents do not become too old to be considered valid. This does not apply if you will be receiving continuous income, e.g., via scholarship.

Example of the living expense requirement for 2024


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 61 884 (6 x SEK 10 314)



SEK 25 785 (6 x SEK 4 297,50)



SEK 15 471 (6 x SEK 2 578,50)



12 months



SEK 123 768 (12 x SEK 10 314)



SEK 51 570 (12 x SEK 4 297,50)



SEK 30 942 (12 x SEK 2 578,50)



13 months



SEK 134 082 (13 x SEK 10 314)



SEK 55 867,50 (13 x SEK 4 297,50)



SEK 33 520,50 (13 x 2 578,50)



If you have family members who apply at the same time as you and you are responsible for them, you must prove secure financial support for both you and your family members. If, for example, you apply together with your spouse or cohabiting partner and you have a common child, it is your overall ability to ensure your family’s financial support that is taken into account.

If family is also applying for a residence permit, you can read more about that here.

If you are a student and can show that you will receive free housing and/or food through the provider of higher education or an organisation that is facilitating your international exchange, the required amount per month can be reduced. For applications received by the Swedish Migration Agency on or after 1 January 2024, the monthly amount will be reduced by SEK 2 865 per month for free food and SEK 4 584 per month for free accommodation. For applications received in 2023, the monthly amount will be reduced by SEK 2 625 per month for free food and SEK 4 200 per month for free accommodation.

Personal bank assets

“Personal bank assets” means that you have money in an account that belongs to you, and from which only you and your accompanying partner (if any) can withdraw funds. If you are under 18 years of age, your guardians’ accounts may also be used as a basis for your own financial support.

Locked assets, i.e., bank funds that are deposited in an account for a certain period of time, cannot be a basis for financial support if they will be frozen during the permit period for which you are applying. Credit, funds or shares are not counted as personal bank assets. Assets in a microfinance bank are also not approved.

If permission from a central bank or equivalent financial body is required to transfer the money from your country, you must submit proof of such permission to do so.

  • The funds must be in an account that belongs only to you or that is common to you and your partner who applies at the same time as you.
  • For first-time applicants, the bank statement you provide must be issued no more than four months from the beginning of the before the start of the period for which you are applying.

The bank statement should include the following information:

  • Account holder(s)
  • Bank
  • Date of issue
  • Balance
  • Currency.

Scholarships

A scholarship provider can be a public authority, university, organisation, foundation or company. If you will receive a scholarship or financial support, you must send a newly issued document in your name stating the monthly amount or total amount. The document must also state the period for which you will receive the funds and how much of the money will be available for your financial support.

The scholarship must state:

  • who is the scholarship donor
  • that you are a recipient of the scholarship
  • for what period the scholarship applies and that it is for your studies in Sweden
  • how much money you will receive, and when. If you will receive the money on an ongoing basis, there must be information about when the payments will be made, how large the instalments will be, and the total amount of financial support
  • how much of the scholarship relates to your living expenses.

Sponsorship

Higher education institutions and other education providers can be sponsors. So can well-established companies and organisations. The sponsor must host your stay in Sweden. The sponsorship letter must show that your sponsor undertakes responsibility for your financial support.

Please note that private individuals are not accepted as sponsors. Money from private individuals, such as relatives, must be registered as personal bank assets. Such funds must be transferred to a bank account that is in your name and to which you have access.

The sponsor letter must state:

  • who is the sponsor or guarantor
  • who is the recipient of the funds
  • how much money you will receive, and when. If you will receive the money on an ongoing basis, there must be information about when the payments will be made, how large the instalments will be, and the total amount of financial support
  • the period during which you are sponsored
  • how much of the funds relate to your living expenses
  • whether the sponsor requires some form of performance on your behalf (e.g., employment or that you earn a certain number of credits).

Income from employment

Income from employment refers to ongoing income from employment in which you have duties and responsibilities to an employer.

Please note that a certificate of employment is required. An offer of employment is not valid as a basis for financial support.

The certificate of employment must state:

  • Information about your employer's name, contact details and company registration number
  • your salary/wages
  • duration and scope of your employment, in hours per week
  • when the job started
  • last day of employment

Please note that if you have resigned, this must be stated in the certificate.

Student grants and loans

Student grants or loans that you have been granted to study in Sweden. If the money has already been transferred to your account, these funds will be assessed as your own bank assets and you should therefore read about the requirements related to such assets.

The certificate must state:

  • who is providing the student grant/loan
  • that you are the recipient of the student grant/loan
  • the period for which it applies
  • when the student grant/loan will be paid out
  • the monthly amount or total amount for the period of study
  • how much of the student grant/loan relates to your living expenses.

You must have, or have applied for, compre­hen­sive health insu­rance

If you are admitted to studies that will last longer than one year, you do not need to show in your residence permit application that you have applied for health insurance. When your studies in Sweden last for longer than one year, you are expected to be registered in the population register and thereby have access to healthcare and dental care on the same terms as other registered residents.

If you have been admitted to studies for less than a year, you cannot register in the Swedish Population Register. If you do not have insurance through your higher education provider, you must be insured; i.e., your must have or have applied for your own insurance.

The insurance must be valid for the entire time you will be in Sweden and cover costs for medical care, hospitalisation and emergency dental care. It must also cover the costs of repatriation for medical reasons.

It is stated in your acceptance letter whether you have health insurance through your higher education provider.

Read more about registration in the Swedish Population Register on the Swedish Tax Agency’s website External link, opens in new window.

Conditions for registration in the Swedish Population Register External link, opens in new window.

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, which 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 4 297,50 per month for a spouse or cohabitating partner SEK 2 578,50 per month for each child. It is your family’s overall capacity for financial support that is assessed
  • 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.

Your family can also apply for a permit at a later date.Read more about permits for your family if they apply retroactively


A first-time application for a residence permit must be made while you are outside Sweden, otherwise your application may be rejected. In some cases, you may be able to apply for a residence permit while you are in Sweden with another valid Swedish residence permit. In the test, you can find out what applies to you.

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