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

If you are to support yourself with your own funds, you must submit your application no later than three months before the date you are applying for a residence permit from. This is because you will be able to show that you can support yourself close to the beginning of the study time and that your actions will not get too old. This does not apply if you will receive a scholarship to cover your means of support, studies at upper secondary school or as an exchange pupil.

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 (IB – international baccalaureate) run at an upper secondary school or studies at a folk high school.

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 the period for which you apply for a residence permit. If you intend to study at an upper secondary school 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. If so you must also enclose a certificate showing who is or are your parents/custodians and how you are related.

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 during 2017 the support requirement is a minimum of SEK 8,064 per month. For applications submitted to the Migration Agency on 1 January 2018 or later the support requirement is a minimum of SEK 8,190 per month.

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 course organizer or an organization working for international exchange, the amount per month can be reduced. For applications that are received by the Migration Agency during 2017 the monthly amount is reduced by SEK 1,568 per month for free food and by SEK 1,568 per month for free accommodation. For applications submitted to the Migration Agency on 1 January 2018 or later the monthly amount is reduced by SEK 1,592.50 per month for free food and by SEK 1,592.50 per month for free accommodation.

You must show that you have funds for the period for which 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. Credit, funds or shares are not counted as your own bank assets.

If you will be receiving a grant or similar, you must enclose a recently prepared document in your name with the details of the monthly or total amount. The document must also indicate the period you will be receiving the grant for, and how much of the money will be available for your maintenance.

If you will study at an upper secondary school you only need to have or receive pocket-money. You must show this through a certificate showing your own bank assets, a certificate from your custodian/parent or through a similar certificate.

 

Example of the maintenance requirement

Study period

You must have at least

Your husband, wife or cohabiting partner must have at least

Support requirement per child

6 months


SEK 49,140 kronor (6 x SEK 8,190)


SEK 21,000 (6 x SEK 3,500)


SEK 12,600 (6 x SEK 2,100)


12 months

SEK 81,900 (10 x SEK 8,190)

SEK 42,000 (12 x SEK 3,500)

SEK 25,200 (12 x SEK 2,100)

13 months

SEK 90,090 (11 x SEK 8,190)

SEK 45,500 (13 x SEK 3,500)

SEK 27,300 (13 x 2,100)

How to apply

You can apply for a residence permit online. The permit must have been granted before leaving for Sweden. If you are under 18 your custodian must apply on your behalf.

In most cases you will have to pay a fee

Before submitting your application

Check that the information given on the documents you enclose is clear. Important details, such as your name, must be given in the documents. The information in the documents should be as recent as possible. The documents should also be translated into Swedish or English by certified translators, if the contents are in another language. Copies of the original document must always be enclosed with translations of documents.

What to enclose with your application

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. This bank statement should be dated in connection with the time of application and be translated into 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 or total amount and the period during which you will receive the money. If you will be studying at an upper secondary school you only need to enclose a certificate showing that you will be receiving pocket-money for the period you will be in Sweden
  • a written consent from your custodians in which they confirm that you are allowed to study in Sweden, if you are under 18, and a certificate showing how you are related.
  • a completed questionnaire (form number 105031W_A for an first-time application) if you apply online
  • a completed application form (form number 113011 for an first-time application) 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.

Read 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

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.

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.

Read more about residence permit cards

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

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

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. It is therefore important that you can state your address in Sweden when you visit the Migration Agency to have your fingerprints and photograph taken.

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 term

1 August–31 January the following year

One spring term

1 January–30 June

Two terms, starting in the autumn term

1 August–30 June the following year

Two terms, starting in the spring term

1 January–31 January the following year

Longer period than two terms, starting in the autumn term

1 August–1 September the following year

Longer period than two terms, starting in the spring term

1 January–31 January the following year

The periods presented in the table are general. The validity period for your residence permit will be stated in the 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

What to enclose with your application

You must enclose

  • copies of the pages in your passport where your identity, citizenship and the period of validity are indicated. Your passport must be valid 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
  • a document from the course organizer showing that you have made acceptable progress in your studies
  • 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 the history of your account during the last three months. The statement must show that you have had enough money to support yourself and that you have enough money to support 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
  • a document in your name confirming that you have been receiving a grant or similar (for example, study assistance), with the details of the monthly or total amount and the period during which you will receive the money. If you are studying at an upper secondary school you only need to enclose a certificate showing that you will be receiving pocket-money for the period you will be in Sweden
  • a written consent from your parents/custodians that you are allowed to study in Sweden if you are under 18 years of age, and a certificate showing how you are related.
  • 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 until the Migration Agency has made a decision.

If you travel abroad when your permit is about to expire, it may be difficult for you to enter Sweden before your new permit is granted. You may need to wait for a new decision outside Sweden.

If you are granted a permit, you will be given a residence permit card. The card is proof that you have permission to remain in Sweden and contains your fingerprints and a photo of you. You should, therefore, book a time to have your photograph and fingerprints taken as soon as possible. You need to do this even if you have had a residence permit previously, as your photograph and fingerprints cannot be saved.

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

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.

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

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.

Submit your application 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.

Read more about fees and how to pay

Last updated: 2018-10-11

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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.