Visiting Sweden for volunteer work or internship
If you want to visit Sweden to work as a volunteer for an organisation or do an internship at an organisation or company and you are a citizen in a country outside the EU, you may need to apply for a permit before the visit. Which permit you need to apply for depends on how long your stay in Sweden will be. If your stay in Sweden will be less than 90 days you may need to apply for a visa. If your stay in Sweden will be more than 90 days you need to apply for a visitor’s residence permit.
Do you want to visit Sweden for more than 90 days?
If you want to visit Sweden for more than 90 days you need to apply for a visitor’s residence permit.
Do you want to visit Sweden for less than 90 days?
If you are a citizen of a country outside the EU and you want to visit Sweden (and the other Schengen countries) as a tourist, you may need to apply for a visa. A visa is a permit to enter a country and stay there for less than 90 days. Whether you need a visa depends on what country you are from or if you have a residence permit in another Schengen country or if you are permanently living in an EU country.
The visa is most often valid for entry into all Schengen countries. In exceptional cases the visa may only be valid for entering Sweden and/or some Schengen countries.
Requirements for receiving a visa for volunteer work or an internship
In order to receive a visa for volunteer work or an intern ship you must
- have a passport that is valid for at least three months after the visa has expired, was issued in the last ten years and has at least two empty pages
- be able to describe the purpose of your visit
- have an invitation from the internship/volunteer organisation
- have money to support yourself and for the return trip home (Sweden also requires you to have 450 SEK for each day you stay in Sweden)
- have an individual medical travel insurance that covers all costs that may arise in connection with emergency medical treatment, urgent medical care or transportation to your home country for medical reasons (the insurance must cover costs of at least 30,000 EUR and be valid for all Schengen countries)
- show that you intend to leave Sweden and the Schengen area on the last day before the visa expires
- a photograph that is in passport format and taken with you facing the camera and which is not older than six months
- other documents that the embassy may require.
Remember that it is important that you verify what applies in your particular case. You can find more information on the embassy’s website.
If you are going to submit your application to another Schengen country's embassy or consulate-general, you should contact them in advance. It is that country’s embassy or consulate-general that assesses and makes a decision on your application.
Before you apply for a visa
- you must apply for a visa before you travel to the Schengen area
- you can apply for a visa up to six months before you travel
- submit your application early
- it is the final destination of your trip that determines at which Schengen embassy you should apply (if another Schengen country other than Sweden is your final destination you must apply for a visa at that country’s embassy)
- a visa is valid for a visit and it is only in exceptional cases that you can work while you have a visa (Read more on the page Exceptions from the work permit requirement).
In certain countries, another Schengen country might represent Sweden. There are countries where Sweden has no representation, in other words has no embassy or consulate-general and is not represented by another country. If that is the case, you must check what applies to your area when it comes to visa applications.
If you are submitting your application to another Schengen country authority abroad, you need to contact them in advance. The reason for that is because that country’s requirements for documents apply. The documents should also be translated into that country’s language.
This is how you apply for a visa
Most people who are applying for a visa need to do it through an external service provider. You can visit your embassy’s website to find out if your embassy has an agreement with an external service provider.
If your embassy does not have an agreement with an external service provider and you are applying for a visa through the Swedish embassies in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Seoul (South Korea), Teheran (Iran) or Tokyo (Japan), you can apply through our e-service.
If you are unable to apply through an external service provider or through our e-services, you can apply by handing in a form directly to your embassy.
Apply for a visa through an external service provider
Find out if you need to apply for a visa through an external service provider by visiting your embassy’s website. There you can find more information about to apply.
When you apply through an external service provider you will be asked to give your fingerprint and application at the same time
Apply for a visa through e-service – applies to four embassies
If you are applying at any of these embassies you can submit your application online:
- Sweden’s embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
- Sweden’s embassy in Seoul, South Korea
- Sweden’s embassy in Teheran, Iran
- Sweden’s embassy in Tokyo, Japan
You can attach appendices in the e-service. A complete application with attached appendices will make the processing of your application easier. Before you begin the e-service you should remember to prepare the appendices in digital format (scanned) so that you can attach them to your application.
Please notice that if you have not been active in your application (added or edited information) for 72 hours, your application will be removed. Every time you edit your application you start a new 72-hour span, but in total you can only save your application for 14 days. If you have not submitted your application within 14 days, it will be removed.
Apply for a visa through an embassy
If your embassy does not have an agreement with an external service provider or if it does not offer an e-service, you must apply directly at the embassy. Keep in mind that it is important that you check to make sure what applies in your case. You can find more information on the embassy’s website.