Other types of study

If you intend to take a course of study in Sweden that is not held at a university, a university college, an international upper secondary school or at a folk high school, you will need a residence permit if the course is longer than three months. This permit must have been obtained before leaving for Sweden.

For studies that are shorter than three months, citizens in certain countries must have an entry visa.

If you are a citizen of an EU/EEA country special rules apply.

Countries whose citizens require a visa for visits shorter than three monthsexternal link, opens in new window

Learn more about applying for a entry visa

Learn more about the rules for EU/EEA citizens

The regulations apply in the case of courses that are not run at a university, a university college, an international upper secondary school, or at a folk high school. This could, for example, entail bible studies and similar religious activities, studies at Folkuniversitet or the World Maritime University, courses commissioned by outside bodies, supplementary courses for authorised professions and preparatory courses for authorisation to take a course of higher education.

Residence permit requirements

In order to obtain a residence permit, you must

  • have a valid passport
  • be at least 18 years old
  • have been accepted for full-time studies that are to continue for at most one year
  • be covered by fully-comprehensive health insurance that is valid in Sweden
  • have enough money to be able to support yourself during the period for which you are applying for.

You cannot be granted a residence permit for studies that

  • require you to be permanently resident in Sweden
  • are focused on continued studies or activities in Sweden. This does not apply when taking a preparatory course for authorisation to take a course of higher education or if you intend to take a supplementary course for authorisation to work within a profession that requires certification.

In order to receive a decision in time for the start of your course, it is important for you to apply for a residence permit as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance.

The Swedish Institute's website Study in Swedenexternal link, opens in new window

You are not allowed to work during your period of study without a work permit.

Read more about applying for a work permit

Longer than a year in certain cases

In the case of certain vocationally-oriented courses, contract educations, and for studies run by the World Maritime University in Malmö, you can be granted a residence permit for courses that continue for more than a year. Contact the Swedish Migration Agency if you have any questions  in connection with your own particular course.

You must be able to support yourself

For applications submitted to the Migration Agency before 1 Januari 2016 the support requirement is a minimum of SEK 8,010 per month. For applications submitted to the Migration Agency on 1 January 2016 or later the support requirement is a minimum of SEK 7,974 per month.  

If you intend to study for one year or more you must show that you can support yourself for 10 months per year. If you can prove that you have free accommodation and/or food through the university, university college or an organization working for international exchange, the amount per month can be reduced. The monthly amount is reduced by SEK 1,557.50 per month for free food and by SEK 1,557.50 per month for free accommodation. For applications submitted to the Migration Agency on 1 January 2016 or later the monthly amount is reduced by SEK 1,550.50 per month for free food and by SEK 1,550.50 per month for free accommodation.

You must show that you have funds for the period for which you are applying for. You must show that you have your support secured by means of verification of your own bank assets, a scholarship or similar means of support, such as a study grant from your home country.

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. It cannot be considered as your own assets if you share the account with, for example, your parents or a relative. Nor does the Migration Agency accept that a sponsor (such as a relative or a company) covers your support while you are in Sweden, unless the funds are deposited into your own account.

How to apply

You can apply for residence permit online.

You cannot enter Sweden until the permit has been granted.

You will probably be required to pay an application fee.

You must enclose

  • copies of the pages in your passport which show your personal information, photograph, signature, passport number, passport issuing country, the period of the passport's validity and whether you have permission to live in countries other than your country of origin.
  • an admission decision stating that you have been admitted to full-time study
  • a certificate to the effect that, after your preparatory course, you will be formally authorised to take the subsequent course of higher education (applies if you intend to study on a preparatory training course in order to obtain certification for a course of higher education)
  • a decision from the National Board of Health and Welfare on the assessment of your foreign education (applies if you  intend to take a supplementary course to become authorised to work in a profession that requires certification)
  • a copy of a document showing that you are covered by fully-comprehensive health insurance that is valid throughout the entire period of your stay in Sweden.
  • a bank statement showing that you have your own funds to support yourself. The bank statement should be recent and in English, or
  • documents issued in your name to verify that you have been granted a scholarship or equivalent (e.g. student financial support) with details of the monthly amount payable and period of time during which you are entitled to such financial support
  • a completed application form (form number 105031).

If permission is required from a central bank or equivalent to move money out of your country, you also need to enclose the relevant certificate.

You do not need to enclose any school reports or grades.   

Learn more about the requirements for an online application

Check the requirements of Swedish embassy or consulate-general

Note that the embassy or consulate-general where you submit your application may require additional documents. You will find more information and contact information on the website of the relevant embassy.

Find your closest embassy at swedenabroad.comexternal link, opens in new window

Your family can be granted a permit in certain cases

Your family can be granted a permit for the same period if you intend to study a contract education, a preparatory education for a course of higher education or a supplementary course to become authorised for work within a profession that requires full qualification. This also applies if you intend to study at the World Maritime University in Malmö.

The following are considered  as family members: husband, wive, common-law partner, registered partner and unmarried children below the age 18. Common law spouse refers to couples who are not married but live together as if married.

In order for your family to be eligible for a permit, it is necessary that

  • the maintenance of the family is secured throughout the entire planned period to be spent in Sweden
  • the members of the family have valid passports.

The maintenance demand throughout the entire period of residence is SEK3,500 per month for a husband, wife or partner and SEK2,100 per month for each child.

If you and your family intend to apply for residence permits at the same time, apply for them in your own online application.

You must enclose

  • copies of those pages from the passports of your family members which give personal details, a photo, signature, passport number, country of issue, period of validity, and whether they are eligible to live in countries other than their own home countries. If their passports are about to expire, they should extend them since they cannot be granted a permit for a longer period than that for which their current passport is valid
  • documents, for example bank statements, confirming that the maintenance of the family is guaranteed
  • copy of marriage certificates or equivalent (applies to married couples and registered partners)
  • national registration certificate, rental agreement, proof of purchase for a house or flat or some other document which shows that you have lived together in your home country (applies to common-law partners)
  • copy of a document showing that they have a fully-comprehensive insurance policy that applies throughout the entire period of their stay in Sweden.

If they intend to apply after you, your family can submit their own online application.

Read more about how your family can make their own web-based application.external link

Shorter processing times for complete applications

For the Swedish Migration Agency to make a decision about your application, all the details need to be filled in and all necessary documents attached. This means that the processing time will be shorter if all the necessary information is included from the start than if information is added afterwards.

Note that the Migration Agency may in some cases need to further examine your application even if you have included all the required information and documents.

Current processing time

Once we have received your application

If you obtain a permit for more than three months, you will also receive a residence permit card. The card, which is proof that you have the right to be in Sweden, contains your photo and fingerprints. Contact the embassy or consulate-general before your visit.

If you need a visa for travel to Sweden, you should go to the embassy or consulate-general as soon as possible to have your picture and fingerprints taken.

If you do not need a visa for travel to Sweden, as soon as possible after your arrival in Sweden you should visit the Migration Agency to be photographed and fingerprinted. However, your permit must be granted before you travel to Sweden.

Find your closest embassy at swedenabroad.comexternal link, opens in new window

Learn more about residence permit cards

Check if your application has been registered or if a decision has been made in your caseopens in new window

After the decision has been made

The decision will be sent to the embassy or consulate-general you selected in your online application. Take your passport along when picking up your decision.

The Swedish embassy or consulate-general will hand over or send you the residence permit card as soon as it is ready. Don't forget that it might take up to four weeks to make and send the card to the embassy or consulate-general after you receive your decision. When you enter Sweden, you must show your residence permit card along with a valid passport. 

If you do not need a visa for travel to Sweden, you should be able to show a copy of the decision when you arrive. As soon as possible after you have arrived in Sweden, you should book an appointment to be fingerprinted and photographed. When your residence permit card is ready, it will be sent to your address in Sweden.

The residence permit card will be produced at the time the decision is made, but no earlier than three months before the residence permit becomes valid. We cannot speed up the production or delivery of the card.

Check if your application has been registered or if a decision has been made in your caseopens in new window

Book an appointment at the Migration Agency in Sweden to be fingerprinted and photographed if you can travel without a visa

Useful links if you have recently moved to Sweden and have a residence permit

The permit validity period

You can be granted a residence permit for the time required for your studies but never for longer than the validity of your passport. You can be granted a residence permit for maximum one year.

General permit validity periods

Study period

Permit validity period

One autumn term 1 August–31 January the following year
One spring term 1 January–30 June
Two terms, starting in the autumn term 1 August–30 June the following year
Two terms, starting in the spring term 1 January–31 December
Longer period than two terms, starting in the autumn term 1 August–31 July the following year
Longer period than two terms, starting in the spring term 1 January–31 December

The periods presented in the table are general. The validity period for your residence permit will be stated in your decision from the Migration Agency.

If the Migration Agency refuses your application

If the Migration Agency refuses your application, you can appeal the decision within three weeks from the date when you were informed of the decision. Your decision contains information about how to do so.

If you do not apply online

If you are not able to apply online, you must fill out the form Application for residence permit for students and doctoral students, number 105031, 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.

Application for residence permit for students and doctoral students, form number 105031 (in English)PDF

Find your closest embassy at swedenabroad.comexternal link, opens in new window

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 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.

Last updated: 13 June 2016