Studying at upper secondary school or folk high school (residential college)

If you intend to take a course at an upper secondary school or study at a folk high school in Sweden for a period longer than three months, you will need a residence permit. This permit must have been obtained before leaving for Sweden.

For those seeking protection in Sweden and studying in high school

If you seek protection in Sweden (asylum) or have been granted a temporary residence permit after an application for asylum, you may, under certain circumstances, get a residence permit based on high school studies. For you, other rules apply than for a person who does not seek protection in Sweden but is applying for a residence permit for other studies in high school. If you would like to read more about residence permits based on high school studies for those seeking protection in Sweden or if you already have a temporary residence permit that you received after applying for asylum, you will find more information at the entry for Protection and Asylum.

Read more about residence permits based on high school studies for those seeking protection

Read more about what applies to you with a temporary residence permit

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 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 citizens

The regulations apply to the international courses run at an upper secondary school or a folk high school. They also apply to those students who will be studying and staying in a national Swedish boarding school for higher or upper school education at Grenna, Lundsberg or Sigtuna.

Requirements for obtaining a residence permit

In order to obtain a residence permit, you must

  • hold a valid passport
  • have been accepted for full-time studies
  • be covered by a fully-comprehensive health insurance that is valid in Sweden
  • be able to support yourself throughout your entire period of planned study. If you intend to study at one of the national boarding schools Grenna, Lundsberg or Sigtuna, and live in boarding-school accommodation, you will only need to show that you have sufficient pocket-money for the period  you intend to be in Sweden
  • have the consent of the person who has custody over you if you are under the age of 18.

You cannot be granted a residence permit for studies that

  • are directed towards further studies or activities in Sweden
  • require you to take up permanent residence in Sweden.

In order for you to get a decision in time to start your course, it is essential that you apply for a residence permit immediately following your letter of admission.

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

You may not work without a work permit during your study period.

Learn more about applying for a work permit

You must be able to support yourself

For applications submitted to the Migration Agency before 1 Januari 2017 the support requirement is a minimum of SEK 7,974 per month. For applications submitted to the Migration Agency on 1 January 2017 or later the support requirement is a minimum of SEK 8,064 per month. The maintenance demand does not apply to those studying at the national boarding school of Grenna, Lundsberg or Sigtuna and who are accommodated at the school.

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 1,550.50 per month for free food and by SEK 1,550.50 per month for free accommodation. For applications submitted to the Migration Agency on 1 January 20167or later the monthly amount is reduced by SEK 1,568 per month for free food and by SEK 1,568 per month for free accommodation.

You must show that you have funds for the whole planned study period already the first time you apply for a residence permit. 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 a residence permit online. The permit must have been granted before leaving for Sweden.

In most cases you will have to pay a 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.
  • a certificate stating that you have been admitted to full-time study
  • copy of the document that proves that you have comprehensive health insurance that is valid in Sweden. The insurance must be valid for the whole period that you will stay in Sweden, and must cover the costs for emergency and other medical care, dental care and hospitalization. The insurance must also cover the cost of a possible return journey home because of medical reasons
  • a bank statement showing that you have your own funds to support yourself. The bank statement should be recent and in English, or
  • a document issued in your name showing that you have been awarded a scholarship or similar (for example study support) with information on the monthly amount and the period during which you will receive the money. If you will be studying at one of the national boarding schools Grenna, Lundsberg or Sigtuna and living in boarding-school accommodation, you only need to enclose a certificate showing that you will be receiving pocket-money for the period  you will be in Sweden, together with the written consent of your guardian to the effect that you are allowed to study in Sweden if you are under the age of 18
  • a written consent from your custodians in which they confirm that you are allowed to study in Sweden, if you are under 18
  • a completed questionnaire (form number 105031W_A for an first-time application or form number 105031W_B for an extension) if you apply online
  • a completed application form (form number 113011 for an first-time application or form number 115011 for an extension) if you submit a paper application.

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

Appendix for application for residence permit for students and doctoral students. Questionnaire A – first-time application, form number 105031W_APDF

Appendix for application for residence permit for students and doctoral students. Questionnaire B – application for extension, form number 105031W_BPDF

Read more about what documents you should attach if you submit a paper 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 on the website of the relevant embassy.

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

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 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 your fingerprints taken. Not all embassies or consulates-general have the possibility to take your picture and your fingerprints. Contact the embassy or consulate-general before your visit for more information.

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 case

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. Even if you have been accepted to several years of studying, you can usually get a residence permit for one year at a time. If you would like to continue to study in Sweden, you must submit an application to extend your residence permit. You must apply for an extension before your current permit has expired.

A residence permit for study purposes is temporary. Even if your stay has lasted for several years, you will normally not be allowed to reside in Sweden.

General permit validity periods

Study period

Permit validity period

One autumn term1 August–31 January the following year
One spring term1 January–30 June
Two terms, starting in the autumn term1 August–30 June the following year
Two terms, starting in the spring term1 January–31 December
Longer period than two terms, starting in the autumn term1 August–31 July the following year
Longer period than two terms, starting in the spring term1 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.

Extending your permit

If you plan to continue studying in Sweden, apply to extend your permit. You can be granted a permit for the intended study period or for maximum one year at a time. You cannot obtain a permit for longer than your passport remains valid.

How to apply

You apply for extension of your permit online.

You will probably be required to pay an application fee.

Fees for residence permits

Enclose the following documents with your application

  • a copy of your passport, where your identity, citizenship and the period of validity are indicated on the passport. If you have family members who are applying for a permit together with you, copies of their passports must also be included. You must have a valid passport in order for the Migration Agency to be able to grant you a permit. If your passport is about to expire, you must apply for a new one in your home country or at your home country's embassy
  • a certificate stating that you have been admitted to full-time study
  • copy of the document that proves that you have comprehensive health insurance that is valid in Sweden. The insurance must be valid for the whole period that you will stay in Sweden, and must cover the costs for emergency and other medical care, dental care and hospitalization. The insurance must also cover the cost of a possible return journey home because of medical reasons
  • a bank statement showing activities on your account for the past three months. The purpose of the bank statement is to verify that you have been able to support yourself and that you have sufficient funds to continue supporting yourself for the remaining study period. In case you have several bank accounts, for example, one in Sweden and one in your native country, then please submit bank statements for both accounts 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 questionnaire (form number 105031W_B) if you apply online
  • a completed application form (form number 115011) if you submit a paper application.

Appendix for application for residence permit for students and doctoral students. Questionnaire B – application for extension, form number 105031W_BPDF

Read more about what documents you should attach if you submit a paper application

Once we have received your application

If you submit an application for an extension before your previous permit expires, you have the right to remain in Sweden while you are waiting.

If you go abroad when your permit expires, you may have trouble re-entering Sweden until your new permit is granted. In that case, you might have to wait for your new decision outside Sweden.

If you obtain a permit, you will also receive a residence permit card. The card, which is proof that you have a residence permit, contains your photo and fingerprints. Book an appointment as soon as possible to have your picture and fingerprints taken. Your photo and fingerprints cannot be saved, so you need to go through the process even if you had a residence permit card before.

Book an appointment at the Migration Agency to be fingerprinted and photographed

Learn more about residence permit cards

After the decision has been made

The decision will be sent to your address in Sweden. Once the residence permit card is ready, it will be sent to you within approximately one week.

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 are in Sweden and your application is refused

If the 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 Migration Agency sends the decision

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

The Migration Agency sends the decision in an ordinary letter to the address where you have said you can be reached. At least one day later the Migration Agency sends a control message to you saying that the decision has been sent. This is done to make sure that you received the first letter. So you will receive two letters from the Migration Agency, generally on successive days. You do not need to notify the Migration Agency that you have received the letters.

You are deemed to have been notified of the decision when two weeks have passed since the decision was sent to you. If you do not receive the decision but only receive the control message, you have to contact the Migration Agency as soon as possible.

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 Migration Agency. The Migration Agency will first reconsider its decision. If the Migration 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

If you do not apply online

Apply for the first time

If you are not able to apply online, you must fill out the form First-Time application for a residence permit for students and doctoral students, number 113011 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.

First-Time application for a residence permit for students and doctoral students, form number 113011 (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.

Extend your permit

If you want to extend your permit, fill out the form Application for the extension of a residence permit for students and doctoral students, form number 115011. The application form specifies which documents to enclose.

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

Application for the extension of a residence permit for students and doctoral students, form number 115011 (in English)PDF

In most cases you must pay a fee.

Learn more about fees and how to pay

Last updated: 2017-09-25

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