Residence permit for volunteers
If you are a citizen of a country outside the EU and want to work as a volunteer within the framework of the European Voluntary Service, you need to have a residence permit for volunteer work. The residence permit must be issued before travel to Sweden.
Volunteers who do not work within the scope of the European Voluntary Service can apply for a residence permit for visitors.
Requirements for residence permit
To be eligible for a residence permit, you must
- have a valid passport (if your passport will expire soon, you should renew it since you cannot get a permit for longer than the validity of your passport)
- have an agreement with an organisation in Sweden on participation in a volunteer programme in the scope of the European Voluntary Service
- have or have applied for comprehensive health insurance that is valid for care in Sweden
- have enough money for your stay in Sweden and to be able to pay your travel home
- pay a fee in most cases (application fees for work permit).
The organisation in Sweden must be approved by the European Voluntary Service.
You complete the form Application for a residence permit for volunteers within the framework of the European Solidarity Corps, 157011, and turn it in at a Swedish embassy or consulate-general in the country in which you live. The application form indicates what documents you must attach to it.
If it is not possible to apply in your country, you must apply at the embassy or consulate-general that is closest to the country in which you live. Before you turn in your application, contact the embassy or consulate-general.
Check your application status
You can check that your application has been registered with the Swedish Migration Agency or if you have received a decision on the page Check you application.
You must show your passport
The Swedish Migration Agency must check your passport before a decision can be made. You may therefore need to show your passport at a Swedish embassy or consulate-general.
In some cases, you will not be required to show your passport, for example, if we have already checked your passport during a previous visit.
If you need to show your passport, we will contact you with information on how and when to do so.
Get photographed and provide fingerprints
If you receive a permit for more than three months, you will receive a residence permit card. The card is a proof that you have permission to be in Sweden and contains, among other things, a photo of you along with your fingerprints.
In most cases you will be photographed and have your fingerprints taken when you visit us to show your passport.
If you need an entry visa to travel to Sweden and you were not photographed and had your fingerprints taken in connection with showing your passport, you must visit the embassy or consulate-general to do this as soon as possible. You need to do this even if you have previously had a residence permit card, as the information is not saved.
If you do not need a visa, you must book an appointment to submit documentation for the residence permit car at the Swedish Migration Agency after you arrive in Sweden.
The Swedish Migration Agency sends the decision to the embassy or consulate-general where you turned in your application. When you go to collect your decision, you must bring your passport with you. You can receive a permit for volunteering for up to one year, but never longer than the validity of your passport.
Residence permit card
When the residence permit card is ready, the embassy or consulate-general will hand out or send the finished card to you. Keep in mind that it can take up to four weeks to manufacture and deliver the card to the embassy or general consulate after you have received your decision. When you travel into Sweden, you must present the residence permit card together with a valid passport.
If you can travel to Sweden without a visa, you should be able to present a copy of the decision when you travel in. As soon as you have arrived in Sweden, you must book an appointment to submit fingerprints and be photographed. When the residence permit card is ready, it will be sent to your address in Sweden.
If you are granted a permit for less than three months, you do not receive a residence permit card and must therefore present the decision together with your passport when you travel to Sweden.
You cannot extend your residence permit for volunteering.
Important information about insurance
If you need to seek care in Sweden, you may need to pay for the care yourself if you are not nationally registered in Sweden and do not have a Swedish personal ID number. If you receive a residence permit for volunteering, you will not be able to be nationally registered in Sweden. You then are not entitled to social benefits. This is why it is important that you have insurance that covers costs that may arise, for example, in the event of an illness or accident.
If the Swedish Migration Agency denies your application
If the Swedish Migration Agency denies your application, it means that you do not have the right to a residence permit in Sweden. You can appeal the decision within three weeks of the date you received the decision. Information on how to appeal is provided in your decision. If you have given somebody authorisation to represent you, that person can appeal on your behalf.
If you are in Sweden when your application is denied, you must leave the country within the period of time stated in the decision.