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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.

Residence permits for volunteers who do not work within the scope of the European Voluntary Service

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.

Read more about what organisations are approved by the European Voluntary Serviceexternal link, opens in new window

Read more about the requirements that apply to your employer

Appli­ca­tion

You complete the form Application for a residence permit for volunteers within the framework of the European Voluntary Service, number 157011, and turn it in at a Swedish embassy or general consulate 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 general consulate that is closest to the country in which you live. Before you turn in your application, contact the embassy or general consulate.

Application for a residence permit for volunteers within the framework of the European Voluntary Service, form number 157011PDF

Swedish embassies and consulates-generalexternal link, opens in new window

After you have submitted your application

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.

Get photo­graphed and provide your fing­er­prints

If you need a visa to travel to Sweden, you must visit a Swedish embassy or general consulate as soon as possible to be photographed and provide your fingerprints. You also need to do so if you previously had a residence permit card because your photo and your fingerprints cannot be saved. Contact the embassy or the general consulate before your visit.

Swedish embassies and consulates-generalexternal link, opens in new window

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.

Read more about residence permit cards

Book an appointment at the Swedish Migration Agency to submit fingerprints and be photographed if you can travel to Sweden without a visa

After a decision has been made

The Swedish Migration Agency sends the decision to the embassy or general consulate 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.

Swedish embassies and consulates-generalexternal link, opens in new window

Resi­dence permit card

If you are granted a permit for more than three months, you will receive a residence permit card. The card is a certification that you have permission to be in Sweden and contains your fingerprints and a photo of you, among other information.

When the residence permit card is ready, the embassy or general consulate 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.

Book an appointment at the Swedish Migration Agency for the residence permit card (if you can travel to Sweden without a visa)

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.

Read more about how to appeal

If you are in Sweden when your application is denied, you must leave the country within the period of time stated in the decision.

Read more about what applies for those whose application has been denied and are in Sweden

Last updated: 2020-02-27

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