Volunteering or internship
If you want to work as a volunteer for an organisation in Sweden, you can apply for a residence permit for visitors. If you have been invited to do a traineeship at an organisation or a company for a brief period of time without compensation, you must also apply for a residence permit for visitors.
Volunteers who work within the scope of the European Voluntary Service shall instead apply for a residence permit for volunteer work.
If you are paid for your trainee work, different rules apply.
Requirements for visitor's permits
To get a permit you must:
- have a certificate from the organisation or company in Sweden and a certificate from an organisation in your home country if applicable
- be able to support yourself financially whilst you are in Sweden, either with your own funds or with remuneration from an organisation or association in your home country. The organisation or company in Sweden may not pay you any remuneration
- have a valid passport
- have a return ticket or the money to buy one.
Fill out an application
Fill out the forms Application for a visitor's permit and Family details.
Along with these application forms, you must hand in the following:
- a certificate from the organisation or company in Sweden and a certificate from an organisation in your home country if applicable
- account statement or other document showing that you have sufficient funds for your time in Sweden
- 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 return ticket or other document showing that you have sufficient funds to buy one.
Note that the embassy or consulate-general where you hand in your application may require additional documents. For information about which rules apply at the embassy or consulate-general concerned, please visit Swedenabroad.com.
Family members who will accompany you to Sweden also needs to apply for a visitor´s permit.
Submitting your application
You will have to go through an interview in connection with submitting your application. Contact the embassy or consulate-general for more information on whether you need to make an appointment for the interview. Bring your passport and original copies of the documents you must enclose to your application. During the interview, you will be asked to answer questions about your visit to Sweden.
If you are granted a residence permit you will be issued with a residence permit card. The card contains, among other things, your fingerprints and a photograph of you. The fingerprints and photograph will only be stored in the chip on the card.
If you need an entry visa to travel to Sweden, you will also need to have the residence permit card to enter Sweden. There for you will be photographed and fingerprinted in connection with the interview.
If you do not require an entry visa, you can travel to Sweden without a residence permit card and give the Swedish Migration Agency the necessary information for the residence permit card once you have arrived in Sweden.
The Migration Agency processes the application
After your interview, your application will be sent to the Migration Agency in Sweden, where the case is processed and a decision is made. You should expect it to take around four weeks for your application to reach the Migration Agency.
You receive the decision
The embassy or consulate-general will contact you when the decision is ready.
When you come to collect your decision, you must bring your passport. Some embassies and consulates-general will send the decision and residence permit card in the post. Contact the embassy or consulate-general for more information.
The permit's period of validity
A visitor's permit is usually valid for no more than six months, or up to one year. This permit is only valid for a visit, and you may not work or take up residence in Sweden.
Don't forget insurance
You will not become a registered resident of Sweden, and will therefore not be entitled to any social benefits. For this reason, it is important that you have insurance to cover any costs that may arise in the event of illness or an accident.
If the Swedish 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. Information on how to do this can be found in the decision.
Residence permit card
Since your visit is longer than three months, you will be given a residence permit card to show that you have the right to be in Sweden. This card must have a photograph of you as well as your fingerprints. You must therefore be photographed and fingerprinted at the embassy or consulate-general where you submitted your application.