Permanent residence permits for doctoral students

If you have lived in Sweden and had a residence permit for doctoral studies for a total of four years over the past seven years, you may be able to get a permanent residence permit. Studies at a PhD-/doctoral level are studies that will lead to a licentiate degree, licentiate degree in design, doctoral degree or a doctoral degree in design.

Requirements for residence permits

To get a permanent residence permit, you must

  • have lived in Sweden with a residence permit for doctoral studies for a total of four years over the past seven years. For the calculation, the seven year period ends on the date you submit your application
  • be planning to live in Sweden.

How to apply

You can apply for a permanent residence permit online.

If members of your family are living with you in Sweden, apply together online. If you have already got a permanent residence permit, your family must make a separate application at a later date.

You will normally have to pay a fee.

Fees for residence permits

Learn more about residence permits for family members

Enclose the following documents with your application

  • copies of the pages in your passport that show your personal information, photograph, signature, passport number, passport-issuing country, the validity period of the passport, entry stamps and whether you have permission to live in countries other than your country of origin.
  • a copy of your university’s earlier decision showing that you have been accepted for doctoral studies in Sweden
  • a certificate from your supervisor or your university stating that you have studied or are still studying at doctoral level and giving the start and finish dates of your studies.

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. 

If you and your family are applying at the same time, you must also 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
  • 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
  • forms Declaration of Cohabitation, number 242011B, and Family Information, number 23801, which you should complete together
  • 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. 

Maintenance requirement

If you have a family that is also applying for a permanent residence permit, you may be subject to a maintenance requirement. This means you must be able to support yourself and your family and have accommodation that is of the right size and standard to enable you and your family to live together there. If you are subject to the maintenance requirement, you will have to answer questions about how you support yourself and the size and standard of your accommodation.

Learn more about comprising the ability to support the family and having a home of sufficient size and standard 

Learn more about the requirements for online application

Shorter processing time for complete applications

To enable the Migration Agency to make a decision on your case, all details must be complete and all the necessary documents must be enclosed. This means that the processing time is shorter if everything required is included from the start, rather than having to provide additional information afterwards.

Please note that the Migration Agency may in some cases need to investigate your application further, even if all details are complete and all documents are provided.

Time to a decision

To get an idea of how long you will need to wait for a decision, you can visit the site Time to a decision. Please note that the average time shown on the site is calculated on the basis of previous cases in the same category. The time may vary from one application to another.

Once we have received your application

If you are in Sweden and have submitted an application for a permanent residence permit, you have the right to remain in Sweden until the Migration Agency has made a decision. If you are outside Sweden, the residence permit must have been issued before you travel to Sweden.

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 therefore 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.

Learn more about residence permit cards

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 study at a university or university college for at least six months and if you send us your application for a permanent residence permit before your current residence permit expires.

If you get a permanent residence permit, you will not need a work permit and you may continue to work.

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 you do not live in Sweden, you will be given the decision by the Embassy or consulate-general that you have specified in your application.

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

Power of attorney to represent you

If you want someone else to represent you in your case with the Migration Agency, you can grant someone a power of attorney. A power of attorney may, for example, give someone else the right to make an application, be advised of the reasons for a decision or appeal against a decision on your behalf. The power of attorney must be written and signed by you as the person granting the power of attorney to someone else, and must be presented, in the original, if requested by the Migration Agency. If you are over 18 and want a member of your family to represent you, you will also need to submit a power of attorney.

To grant a power of attorney to another person, you may use the form Power of Attorney. The form applies to you if you have applied for a residence permit on the grounds of work, study, connections or visit.

Power of Attorney, form number 107011PDF

If you do not apply online

you are not able to apply online, you must fill out the form Application for permanent residence permit for doctoral studies, number 117011, and Family details – Appendix to your application, number 239011.

Send your application to the Swedish Migration Agency, Box 3100, 903 03 Umeå.

The application form specifies which documents to enclose.

Application for permanent residence permit for doctoral studies, form number 117011 (in English)PDF

Family details – Appendix to your application, form number 239011 (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: 2017-05-03

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