Permits for a family member of a person with a residence permit for studies at a university or university college

If you are a family member of someone who has a residence permit for studies in Sweden at a university or university college, you can get a residence permit for the same period. If the permit is valid for more than six months, you can get a work permit. If you are a family member of someone who has a permanent residence permit in Sweden after four years of doctoral studies, you can get a permanent residence permit.

You should apply for the residence permit from your country of origin or other country outside Sweden where you have permission to live. The permit must have been issued before you travel to Sweden.

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

Requirements for obtaining a residence permit

You can apply for a residence permit if

  • the person moving to Sweden to study has a residence permit for studies at a university or a university college
  • you have a valid passport
  • you have your support arranged for the period you are applying for a residence permit
  • you are planning to live in Sweden with the person moving to Sweden to study.

The maintenance requirement for the whole time you are in Sweden is SEK 3,500 per month for adults and SEK 2,100 per month for each child.

How to apply

If the whole family is applying at the same time, you can apply online together with the person who will be studying.

Learn more about applications for residence permits for students

If the person with a residence permit for studies is already in Sweden, family members can apply separately online at a later date.

When you submit an online application the person in Sweden who has a residence permit for studies needs to be registered with the Swedish Tax Office and have a Swedish personal identity number.

The permit must have been issued before you travel to Sweden.

You will probably be required to pay a fee.

Fees for residence permits for family members

Enclose the following documents with your application

  • 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. 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 such as bank statement, to prove that your maintenance is arranged (in English).
  • a copy of a marriage certificate or the equivalent (applies to married couples and registered partners)
  • documents that show that you have lived together in your country of origin, such as a population registry certificate, joint rental contract or proof of joint purchase of your home
  • a short letter from the person in Sweden in which they confirm that you are going to live together in Sweden, if you are not applying for a permit at the same time.

The documents should be translated into Swedish or English by an authorised translator. You must always send us a copy of the original document. 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.

Learn more about the requirements for an online application

If you have children under the age of 18 who are moving to Sweden with you, you must also enclose

  • copies of the pages in the child’s passport which show their personal information, photograph, signature (if applicable), passport number, passport-issuing country, the passport’s period of validity and whether they have permission to live in countries other than their country of origin. If the child’s passport is about to expire, you should renew it as the child cannot obtain a permit for longer than the validity of their passport
  • documents such as bank statements that prove that there are arrangements to support the child
  • a birth certificate or other proof of birth for the child 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.

Permanent residence permits for family members of doctoral students who have been granted a permanent residence permit

If you are a family member of someone who has a permanent residence permit in Sweden after four years of doctoral studies, you can also get a permanent residence permit.

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

If the whole family is applying at the same time, you can apply online together with the person who will be studying.

Learn more about applications for permanent residence permits for doctoral students

If the doctoral student already has a permanent residence permit, family members can apply separately at a later date.

Learn more about how to apply for a permanent residence permit if you already have a residence permit in Sweden

Learn more about how to apply for a residence permit so that you can move to be with someone in Sweden that you are married to or who is your registered partner or cohabiting partner

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.

Once we have received your application

If you get a permit for more than three months, you are given a residence permit card. The card, which is proof that you have the right to be in Sweden, contains your photo and fingerprints.

If you need a visa for travel to Sweden, you should go to the the embassy or consulate-general as soon as possible to have your picture and your fingerprints taken. Not all embassies or consulates-general have the possibility to take your picture and your fingerprints. Contact the embassy or the consulate-general before your visit for more information. 

Countries whose citizens need an entry visa to travel to Swedenexternal link, opens in new window

Find the closest embassy at Swedenabroad.comexternal link, opens in new window

Learn more about residence permit cards

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 provide your fingerprinted. However, you need to apply for and get your permits before you travel to Sweden.

After the decision has been made

The decision will be sent to the Embassy or consulate-general that you chose when you applied online. You must have your passport with you when you collect the decision.

If you already live in Sweden and apply to extend your residence permit or apply for a permanent residence permit, the decision will be sent to your address in Sweden.

When the residence permit card is ready, the Embassy or consulate-general will hand over or send you the card. Please note that it can take up to four weeks from the date you get the decision to produce and deliver the card to the Embassy or consulate-general. You must show your residence permit card together with a valid passport when you travel to Sweden.

If you do not need a visa for travel to Sweden, you should be able to show a copy of the decision letter when you enter the country. As soon as you have arrived in Sweden, you must visit the Swedish Migration Agency to be fingerprinted and photographed. When your residence permit card is ready, it will be sent to your address in Sweden.

Book an appointment at the Swedish Migration Agency to have your picture and fingerprints taken if you can travel without the residence permit card

Important information about insurance

You need to have an insurance policy that will cover any costs that may arise in connection with illness or injury when you are living in Sweden. If you are registered in the Swedish population register you are covered by the Swedish social insurance system. If you are not registered in the population register it is important that you get your own health insurance policy.

To be registered in the Swedish population register you generally need to have been granted a residence permit in Sweden for at least one year and plan to stay here for a year or longer.

Learn more about registration in the Swedish population register at the Swedish Tax Agency’s websiteexternal link, opens in new window

We have disturbances in this electronic application service on Sunday 11 December 18.00–22.00 (Swedish time) due to maintenance work.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


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 cannot apply online, you must fill out the form Application by co-applicant to students/doctoral students, number 135011, and submit it to a Swedish embassy or consulate-general in your country of residence. The application form specifies which documents to enclose. Every person who is going to move to Sweden has to make their own application. For children under 18, it is the parent or custodian who applies for the child. Contact the embassy or consulate-general before you submit your application.

Application by co-applicants to students and doctoral students, form number 135011 (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: 1 November 2016