Studying as an exchange pupil at an upper secondary school level
If you are planning to study as an exchange pupil at an upper secondary school in Sweden for longer than three months, you require a residence permit. You cannot enter Sweden until the permit has been granted.
Requirements for obtaining a residence permit
In order to obtain a residence permit, you must
- have a valid passport
- be admitted to full-time studies in an organised exchange programme at an upper secondary school for maximum one year
- have an comprehensive health insurance that is valid in Sweden
- have consent from your custodians if you are under 18. If so you must also enclose a certificate showing who is or are your parents/custodians and how you are related
- have pocket-money for the time you will be in Sweden.
You may not work without a work permit during your study period.
Examples of approved organisations in Sweden
- AFS Intercultural studies
- EF Education
- Youth for Understanding (YFU)
- Scandinavian Seminar
- Student Travel Schools (STS)
You can in certain cases also be granted a residence permit if another organisation or a host family has arranged the exchange. You must then prove that you are admitted to full-time studies and have received an invitation from a host family in Sweden.
How to apply
You can apply for a residence permit online. You cannot enter Sweden until the permit has been granted. If you are under 18 your custodian must apply on your behalf.
You will probably be required to pay an application 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. If your passport is about to expire, you should renew it as you cannot be granted a residence permit for a period longer than the validity of your passport
- a certificate from the exchange organisation in Sweden stating that you have been admitted to full-time study. This certificate is also proof that you will receive pocket-money
- a copy of a document showing that you are covered by fully-comprehensive health insurance that is valid in Sweden. The insurance policy must be valid for the whole period of your stay in Sweden and cover the costs of emergency and other medical care, dental care as well as hospitalisation. It must also cover the costs of transport home on medical grounds
- a certificate showing that you will receive pocket-money for the period of your stay in Sweden, if you will study through a privately arranged exchange
- an invitation from a host family in Sweden, if you will study through a privately arranged exchange
- a completed questionnaire (form number 105031W_A)
- a written consent from your parents/custodians that you are allowed to study in Sweden if you are under 18 years of age (form number 123011).
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. Contact the embassy or consulate-general for further information.
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 fingerprints and photo.
If you need a visa for travel to Sweden, you should therefore go to the embassy or consulate-general as soon as possible to have your picture and 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 fingerprinted and photographed. However, your permit must be granted before you travel to Sweden.
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
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. You can be granted a residence permit as an exchange pupil for maximum one year.
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
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 do not apply online
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.
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.