Residence permit for highly qualified persons to look for work or start a business

If you have completed studies corresponding to an advanced level degree, you can obtain a residence permit to come to Sweden and look for work or explore the possibilities for starting your own business.

The permit may be granted for a minimum of three months and for no more than nine months. During the period that you have this residence permit, your family cannot move to Sweden to live with you.

If you have completed studies in Sweden and now want to seek employment

If you have a residence permit for studies in higher education in Sweden, have completed your studies and want seek employment or explore the possibilities of starting your own business here you should apply for another type of residence permit.

Read more and apply for a residence permit to seek employment after studies in Sweden

Requi­re­ments for a resi­dence permit

In order to obtain a residence permit to seek employment or explore the possibilities for starting a business in Sweden, you must

  • have completed studies corresponding to an advanced level degree
  • plan to seek employment or explore the possibilities for starting your own business
  • be able to support yourself during the period for which you are applying for a permit and have money to cover the cost of your journey home
  • have comprehensive health insurance valid for care in Sweden
  • have a passport valid for the entire period you intend to be in Sweden (if your passport is about to expire, you should extend it because you cannot get a permit for longer than your passport is valid)
  • currently be located outside of Sweden.

What counts as an advanced level degree?

For a degree to count as advanced level, it must correspond to a 60-credit Master’s degree, a 120-credit Master's degree, a professional degree worth 60-330 credits, or a postgraduate/PhD-level degree.

In your application, you must enclose a letter of consent that gives the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) the right to contact higher education institutions in your home country to verify your educational documents. The Swedish Migration Agency then sends your documents to UHR so that they can assess your level of education. The Swedish Migration Agency can not answer questions about the level of your degree before you have made your application.

Requi­re­ments for using the e-service

In order to make an application, you need

  • digital copies of the pages in your passport that show your personal data, photo, signature, passport number, issuing country, period of validity, entry stamps and if you have permission to live in countries other than your country of origin (read more about what the copies must look like)
  • digital copies of examination certificate
  • digital copies of official transcript of academic record that shows the courses included in your education
  • digital copies of bank statements or other documents showing that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during the period for which you are applying for a residence permit. If permission from a central bank or the equivalent is required to take out the money from your country, you must include such a permit
  • digital copies of documents showing that you have comprehensive health insurance that is valid for care in Sweden
  • digital copy of a signed letter of consent that gives the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) the right to contact higher education institutions in your home country to verify your educational documents (download letter of consent Pdf, 1.3 MB, opens in new window.)
  • be able to pay any fee for the application by credit card or debit card.

You may need to trans­late some docu­ments

If your examination certificate and official transcript are issued in a language other than Swedish or English, they have to be translated into Swedish or English. The translation must be done by an authorized translator. Enclose copies of the original documents and the translated documents to your application

Before you complete your appli­ca­tion

Make sure that the information on the documents you attach is clearly visible. Important information such as your name must appear in the documents. The documents should also be translated into Swedish or English by an authorised public translator, if they are issued in another language. When attaching a translated document, you should always provide a copy of the original document. The documents should be as recently issued as possible (proof of insurance, bank statements and any translations).

You must have a valid passport

Send copies of the pages in your passport that show personal data, photo, signature, passport number, issuing country, period of validity and if you have permission to live in countries other than your home country. It is important that the full passport pages are present on the copies. Numbers and characters at the very top and bottom of the pages must also be clearly visible. The passport must be valid for the time that you will be in Sweden.

Read more about what the copies must look like

You must be able to support your­self

You must show that you have secured your financial support for the time for which you are applying for a residence permit. This means that you must demonstrate that you have bank assets equivalent to at least SEK 13,000 for each month for which you are applying for a residence permit. In addition to this, you should also have money to be able to pay your travel home.

You must have compre­hen­sive health insu­rance

You must have your own health insurance that is valid for care in Sweden.

The insurance must cover the entire period for which you are applying for a permit. The insurance must cover the costs of both emergency and other medical care, as well as hospitalisation, dental care and possible repatriation for medical reasons. The insurance terms for the insurance policy you have taken must be attached to your application.

If you can not apply in the e-service

If you can not make your application in the e-service, you should instead fill in the form Residence permit for highly qualified persons to look for work or start a business. The application form states which documents you must attach. In the application form there is a letter of consent to the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) to contact higher education institutions in your country to verify your educational documents. It is important that you attach the letter of consent to your application.

Residence permit for highly qualified persons to look for work or start a business, form 265511 Pdf, 1.3 MB, opens in new window.

You must submit the form and attached documents at a Swedish embassy or consulate-general in your country of residence. 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 where you live. Contact the embassy or consulate-general before submitting your application for more information.

If you are applying at an embassy or a consulate-general you pay the fee when handing in your application. For information regarding the fee, contact the embassy in question or the consulate as they do not follow the same fee regulations as the Swedish Migration Agency.

Swedish embassies and consulates-general External link, opens in new window.

Once we have received your appli­ca­tion

Once you have submitted an application for a residence permit, the Swedish Migration Agency takes a decision about the case. The permit may be granted for a minimum of three months and for no more than nine months

After the deci­sion

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

If you need an entry visa to travel to Sweden, you should visit the Swedish embassy or consulate-general in your country of residence to be photographed and provide your fingerprints as soon as possible. Please contact the embassy or consulate-general prior to your visit.

If you do not need an entry visa, you should make an appointment to provide fingerprints and be photographed after arriving in Sweden. However, please note that you need to apply for and receive your permit before you travel to Sweden.

If you have been granted a residence permit to seek employment or investigate the conditions for starting a business, you are not allowed to work while you are in Sweden.

If you get a job in Sweden or start your own busi­ness

If you get a job in Sweden during the permit period, you can apply for a work permit from within the country. You are not allowed to start working before you have applied for the new permit.

Once you have applied for a work permit, you will be able to work while the Swedish Migration Agency processes your new application. You are only allowed to work for the employer and in the profession for which you have applied for a permit.

Read more about applying for a work permit

If you decide to start a business in Sweden, you can apply for a residence permit as a self-employed person in Sweden and run your business while the Swedish Migration Agency processes your application.

Find out more about applying for a residence permit for self-employed persons

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