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 for a permanent residence permit
  • 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 238011, 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.

The Migration Agency may withdraw a permit

The residence permit can be withdrawn if, in your application, you provided incorrect information or did not mention something that was significant in regards to your residence permit. The permit can also be withdrawn if the requirements for the permit are no longer met.

If the Swedish Migration Agency refuses your application

If the Swedish Migration Agency refuses your application, you can appeal the decision within three weeks from the day when you received notification of the decision. Information on how to lodge an appeal can be found in your decision. If you have given someone a power of attorney document that authorises him/her to represent you, this person is able to lodge an appeal. If you are under 18, you cannot lodge an appeal yourself Instead, your parents or another person with custody will lodge an appeal in your place.

Read more about what happens if you are in Sweden and the Swedish Migration Agency refuses your application

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: 2018-06-15

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If you wish to ask the Migration Agency a question you can find our contact details under the heading Contact us.