Extending a residence permit for universities and university colleges

If you have a residence permit and plan to continue studying after your permit expires, you must apply to extend it.

How to apply

You can apply to extend you permit online. You cannot apply until six months before your current permit expires.

You will probably be required to pay an application fee.

Fees for residence permits

If members of your family are living with you in Sweden and also need to extend their permits, apply online together.

If you have already submitted your application to extend your permit, family members can apply online separately at a later date.

The Migration Agency will always treat applications on an individual basis. This means that a family member may not get a residence permit even if you get one yourself.

Learn more about permits for the family

Enclose the following documents with your application

Check that the information on the documents you send is clearly visible. On passport copies, the figures and characters at the top and bottom of the passport pages must also be clearly visible and legible. The documents should be translated into Swedish or English by an authorised translator. You must always send us a copy of the original document.

Passport copies

Send us copies of the pages in your passport that show your personal information, photograph, signature, passport number, passport-issuing country, the passport's period of validity and whether you have permission to live in countries other than your country of origin. If your passport is about to expire, you should renew it, as you cannot obtain a permit for longer than the validity of your passport.

Documents that show acceptable progress in your studies

If you are studying on first or second cycle courses or programmes, you must send us a statement from your university or university college showing that you have made acceptable progress in your studies. You are required to have taken 15 credits during the first year, 22.5 during the second year and 30 during the third and subsequent years.

If you are working on your degree project, you must also send us a document showing how far you have got with your degree project, and how many credits the work you have done during your most recent period with a residence permit corresponds to.

If you have enrolled in several study programmes, you must submit a certificate showing the courses you still have to complete for each of the programmes.

If you have not achieved satisfactory results, you must send us a certificate from a person such as your tutor with information about the courses you still have to complete and when you are likely to have completed them. If you have not been able to achieve the necessary credits because of illness or similar, you must submit a copy of a doctor’s certificate. The doctor’s certificate must say how your ability to study has been affected.

If you are a doctoral student, you must send us a certificate from your supervisor with information about your course of education, when you started the course and what date you are expected to complete your studies. The certificate must also describe how well your studies have gone during your most recent period covered by a residence permit and if your studies are proceeding as planned. If your studies have taken longer than expected, the reason for the delay should be made clear. The certificate must also give information about any wage or scholarship you are receiving.

Letter of acceptance if you are going to study on another programme or course

If you are going to study on a programme or course that is different to the one you had been accepted onto when you made your previous application, you must send us a new letter of acceptance.

Documents about how you will support yourself

You must send us statements from your bank or other documents that show how you have supported yourself in the previous three months and that you have money to support yourself during the period you are requesting a residence permit for. If you have several bank accounts, you must send us statements from all your accounts. The name of the account holder and the currency must be stated on the bank statement.

If you have received a scholarship or other financial support (for example student aid), you must send us a document issued in your name with information about monthly amounts and the period when you will be receiving the money. The document must be recent and must make it clear how much of the money will be used on maintenance (living expenses).

If you are a doctoral student and have received an educational grant or wage for employment as a doctoral student, you must send us a document with information about amounts and the period when you will be receiving the money.

If you receive free board and lodging in Sweden through a university, a university college or an organisation that promotes international exchange, you must send us a document that shows this. 

Documents regarding insurance

If you have been accepted on a course of study for less than a year, you must send us a copy of a document that shows that you have full medical insurance that is valid in Sweden. If you have insurance through a university or university college, you must send us a certificate that shows this. The certificate must show the period covered by the insurance and what it includes.

The insurance must be valid for the whole period you are in Sweden and must cover the costs of emergency or other medical treatment, dental treatment and hospital visits. It must also cover the costs if you have to return home for medical reasons.

If your family is also applying for a residence permit

If your family is applying for a residence permit at the same time, you must enclose

  • copies of the pages in your family members' passports that show their personal information, photograph, signature, passport number, passport-issuing country, the validity period of the passport, entry stamps, and whether they have permission to live in countries other than their country of origin. If a passport is about to expire, it should be renewed, as permits cannot be obtained for a period longer than a passport is valid.
  • documents such as bank statements that prove that the family will be able to support itself.  If your family has not applied for a residence permit in Sweden before, you must also send us: 
  • copies of marriage certificates or the equivalent (applies to married couples or registered partners)
  • documents that show that you have lived together, such as a population registry certificate, joint rental contract or proof of joint purchase of your home if you have lived together outside Sweden
  • a birth certificate or other proof of birth for any children showing the names of the parents
  • consent from the other guardian, if they are not also coming to Sweden, or proof that a family member is the sole guardian. This could be a court order, or a death certificate if the other parent has died. If there is joint guardianship, a copy of the other guardian’s passport or another form of identification must also be provided. This applies to children under 18
  • adoption papers if the child is adopted.

Learn more about permits for your family and how they must visit the Swedish Embassy or consulate-general to get their residence permit cards. Applies to family members who are outside Sweden

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 have submitted an application for an extension, you have the right to remain in Sweden until the Migration Agency has made a decision. If you receive a permit you will also receive a residence permit card. The card proves that you have permission to be in Sweden and contains information such as your fingerprints and photograph. You must book an appointment at the Migration Agency to be photographed and provide your fingerprinted as soon as possible. This needs to be done even if you previously have had a residence permit card since your photo and fingerprints are not saved.

Find out more about residence permit card

Book an appointment to visit the Swedish Migration Agency

Check if your application has been registered or if a decision has been made in your case

Travelling abroad during the processing time

If you are travelling abroad as your permit expires, you may have trouble re-entering Sweden before your new permit is approved. You may need to await your new permit outside of Sweden. If you urgently need to return to Sweden before this, it is possible to apply for an entry visa. This visa allows you to travel back to Sweden and wait for the decision about your extension. Apply for a visa at a Swedish embassy or consulate-general in the country where you are now.

Working while studying

You may continue to work while you are waiting for the decision if you have had a residence permit for university study for at least six months and if you sent us your application for an extension before your previous residence permit expired.

If your residence permit is extended, you may continue to work while you study.

If you want to work in Sweden when you have completed your studies, you must apply for a work permit. You can also apply for a residence permit to allow you to look for work or look into starting your own business in Sweden.

Learn more about how to apply for a work permit

Learn more about residence permits to allow you to look for work or look into starting your own business in Sweden

After the decision has been made

The decision will be sent to your address in Sweden. If you have been photographed and have provided your fingerprints for the residence permit card at the Swedish Migration Agency, your card will be sent to your address in Sweden within one week.

If the Swedish Migration Agency refuses your application

If you do not get a residence permit, you can appeal the decision within three weeks from the date when you were informed of the decision. If you have given someone power of attorney to represent you, that person can appeal the decision. If you are under 18 years of age, you cannot appeal in person. The appeal is made by your parents or custodian on your behalf.

If you are in Sweden and your application is refused

If the Swedish Migration Agency refuses your application for a residence permit, this means that you do not have the right to a residence permit in Sweden. You can choose to accept the decision or to appeal it. Even if you choose to appeal, you still have to plan to return to your country of origin or the country where you have the right of stay.

The Swedish Migration Agency sends the decision

When the Swedish Migration Agency notifies you of the decision, it may use simplified service of process. This is done in the following way.

Simplified service means that the Migration Agency will send you the decision in an ordinary letter to the address you have said that you live at. On the following day we will send you another letter, to the same address, with the information that we have sent you a decision. We do this in order to reduce the risk of errors. When using this method, the Migration Agency considers that you have received and read the decision (had it served on you) two weeks after sending it to you. You then have three weeks in which to appeal the decision, should you wish to do so.

If you receive the second letter (verifying that the decision has been sent to you) but not the first (containing the decision), you must contact the Migration Agency as soon as possible.

If the address you have given us cannot be used, and you are registered in the Swedish population register, the decision and verification letter may be sent to your address in the population register.

Remember to check your postbox regularly. If you appeal, the administrative court may also choose to serve the decision on you by means of simplified service.

Appealing a residence permit decision

If you do not appeal, your decision will enter into force three weeks after you received the decision. You can also show that you accept the decision by signing what is called a declaration of acceptance. Once you have signed it, you cannot appeal and you have to prepare to leave Sweden.

If you do not accept the decision, you have the right to appeal. You have to send your appeal to the Swedish Migration Agency. The Migration Agency will first reconsider its decision. If the Agency does not change its decision, your appeal is examined by the migration court. Your appeal must be received by the Migration Agency before the decision enters into force, which it does three weeks from the date when you received the decision.

Read more about what happens when an application is refused

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney can be a signed letter stating that the person applying for a permit is authorising another person to represent him or her. A power of attorney can, for example, give someone the right to make an application, see the reasons for a decision or appeal a decision on behalf of another person. The power of attorney must be signed by the person who is authorising another person. The original must be able to be shown upon request from the Swedish Migration Agency.

To be counted as a power of attorney, it needs to show

  • that it is a power of attorney
  • the name, date of birth and address of the person who is authorising another person to act on their behalf
  • what the authorised person has the right to do
  • the name, personal identity number and address of the authorised person
  • the signature of the person who is authorising another person.

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 student and doctoral student, number 105031. The application form specifies which documents to enclose. Send your application to the Swedish Migration Agency, Box 3100, 903 03 Umeå.

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

Application by co-applicants to students and doctoral students, form number 135011 (in English)PDF

In most cases you must pay a fee.

Learn more about fees and how to pay

Last updated: 30 June 2016