Residence permits for visiting researchers

If you are the citizen of a non-EU country and want to be a visiting researcher, you need to obtain a residence permit.

You do not need a permit to work for less than three months. However, citizens of certain countries need a visa to travel to Sweden.

Countries whose citizens require a visa for visits shorter than three monthsexternal link, opens in new window

Learn more about applying for a entry visa

What is a visiting researcher?

A visiting researcher is a person who is qualified to pursue postgraduate studies based on studies at a higher education institution and who has been chosen to conduct research in Sweden.

A person who has been admitted to postgraduate education in Sweden in order to take a PhD or is going to do part of their postgraduate education in Sweden is not counted as a visiting researcher. A person who has been admitted to a postgraduate education in Sweden in order to take their PhD has to apply for a residence permit as a student. A person who has been admitted to a postgraduate education in another country and who is going to do part of their education in Sweden has to apply for a visitor's permit.

Learn more about how to apply for a residence permit for studies

Learn more about how to apply for a visitor's permit

Requirements for obtaining a residence permit

In order to obtain a residence permit, you must

  • have a valid passport
  • have an agreement with a research principal that has been approved by the Swedish Research Council.

The website of the Swedish Research Councilexternal link, opens in new window

Read more about the required content of the agreement

How to apply

You can apply for residence permit online.

You cannot enter Sweden until the permit has been granted.

If you are currently in Sweden with a valid residence permit for studies you may submit an online application while in Sweden.

You will probably be required to pay an application fee.

Fees for residence permits for visiting researchers

Enclose the following documents with your application

  • 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. Make sure to extend your passport if it is about to expire – you cannot obtain a work permit for longer than your passport's period of validity
  • the hosting agreement with the research principal.

Hosting agreement for visiting researchers in Sweden, form number 231011PDF

Learn more about the requirements for an online application

Shorter processing times for complete applications

For the Swedish Migration Agency to make a decision about your application, all the details need to be filled in and all necessary documents attached. This means that the processing time will be shorter if all the necessary information is included from the start than if information is added afterwards.

Note that the Migration Agency may in some cases need to further examine your application even if you have included all the required information and documents.

Once we have received your application

If you obtain a permit for more than three months, you will also receive a residence permit card. The card, which is proof that you have the right to be in Sweden, contains your photo and fingerprints.

If you need a visa for travel to Sweden, you should go to the the embassy or consulate general as soon as possible to have your picture and fingerprints taken. Contact the embassy or consulate general before your visit.

If you do not need a visa for travel to Sweden, as soon as possible after your arrival in Sweden you should book an appointment to be photographed and fingerprinted.

Find your closest embassy at swedenabroad.comexternal link, opens in new window

Learn more about residence permit cards

Check if your application has been registered or if a decision has been made in your caseopens in new window

After the decision has been made

The decision will be sent to the embassy or consulate general to which you turned in your application or to which you referred in your online application. Take your passport along when picking up your decision. You can obtain a permit for the period during which the agreement with the research principal is in force but not past the time for which your passport remains valid. If you plan to continue conducting research in Sweden, apply to extend your permit.

The Swedish embassy or consulate general will hand over or send you the residence permit card as soon as it is ready. Don't forget that it might take up to four weeks to make and send the card to the embassy or consulate general after you receive  your decision. When you enter Sweden, you must show your residence permit card along with a valid passport.  

If you do not need a visa for travel to Sweden, you should be able to show a copy of the decision when you arrive. As soon as possible after you have arrived in Sweden, you should book an appointment to be fingerprinted and photographed. When your residence permit card is ready, it will be sent to your address in Sweden.

A residence permit as a visiting researcher exempts you from the requirement to obtain a work permit. As a result, you have the right to take another job in addition to your research while you have a residence permit.

Check if your application has been registered or if a decision has been made in your case

Book an appointment at the Migration Agency in Sweden to be fingerprinted and photographed if you can travel without a visa

Useful links if you have recently moved to Sweden and have a residence permit

Learn more about how to extend your residence permit

The Swedish Institute's website Working in Swedenexternal link, opens in new window

Guide for you who will work in SwedenPDF

Important information about insurance

You need to have an insurance policy that will cover any costs that may arise in connection with illness or injury when you are living in Sweden. If you are registered in the Swedish population register you are covered by the Swedish social insurance system. If you are not registered in the population register it is important that you get your own health insurance policy.

To be registered in the Swedish population register you generally need to have been granted a residence permit in Sweden for at least one year and plan to stay here for a year or longer.

Learn more about registration in the Swedish population register at the Swedish Tax Agency’s websiteexternal link, opens in new window

Residence permits for your family

Members of your family can obtain residence permits for the same period of time as yours. Family members include

  • your partner (spouse, common-law spouse, or registered partner)
  • unmarried children of you or your partner who are under 18.

How your family is to apply

If your family plans to accompany you to Sweden, you can include them in your online application.

If they not apply at the same time as you, they can do their own online application.

Online application for family members who do their own application

Extending your permit

If you plan to continue working as a visiting researcher after your residence permit expires, apply to extend it. Make sure to submit your application before your current permit expires. You can obtain a permit for the period during which the agreement with the research principal is in force but not past the time for which your passport remains valid. Once you have had a residence permit to conduct research for four years, you can obtain a permanent residence permit, which remains in force as long as you live in Sweden.

Keep in mind that your ability to obtain a permanent residence permit may be affected if you did not live or work in Sweden during extended periods of time while your permit was in force.

How to apply

You can apply to extend your permit online. Apply before your current permit expires.

In most cases you need to pay a fee.

Fees for residence permits for visiting researchers

If you have family members living with you in Sweden who also need to extend their permits, you apply for them in the same online application.

What you have to send with your application

  • 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
  • the hosting agreement with the research principal
  • certificates from all your employers with information about the periods you have worked in Sweden if you have had a permit to work in Sweden for almost four years and you want to apply for a permanent residence permit. It must also state whether you have had any absences or not in the certificate.

Hosting agreement for visiting researchers in Sweden, form number 231011PDF

Learn more about the requirements for an online application

Once we have received your application

If you submit an application for an extension before your previous permit expires, you have the right to remain in Sweden while the Migration Agency makes a decision.

If you go abroad when your permit expires, you may have trouble re-entering Sweden until your new permit is granted. In that case, you might have to wait for your new decision outside Sweden.

If you obtain a permit for more than three months, you will also receive a residence permit card. The card, which is proof that you have the right to be in Sweden, contains your photo and fingerprints. Book an appointment as soon as possible to have your picture and fingerprints taken. Your photo and fingerprints cannot be saved, so you need to go through the process even if you had a residence permit card before.

Book an appointment at the Migration Agency to be fingerprinted and photographed

Check if your application has been registered or if a decision has been made in your case

Learn more about residence permit cards

After the decision has been made

The decision will be sent to your address in Sweden. Once the residence permit card is ready, it will be sent to you within approximately one week.

If the 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. Your decision contains information about how to do so.

If you do not apply online

If you are not able to apply online, you must fill out the form Application for a residence permit for a visiting researcher, number 127011, and submit it to a Swedish embassy or consulate-general in your country of residence. The application form specifies which documents to enclose. Contact the embassy or consulate-general before you submit your application.

Application for a residence permit for a visiting researcher, form number 127011PDF

Application for permit for family members of employees, visiting researchers, athletes and self-employed persons, form number 133011PDF

Hosting agreement for visiting researchers in Sweden, form number 231011PDF

Find your closest embassy at swedenabroad.comexternal link, opens in new window

If there is no possibility to submit an application in your country, you must apply at the embassy or consulate-general closest to your country of residence. Contact the embassy or consulate-general before you submit your application for further information.

If you are applying at an embassy or consulate-general, you pay the fee when you hand in your application. For more information about the fee, contact the embassy or consulate-general where you are applying, as they do not have the same fees and terms of payment as the Migration Agency.

If you want to extend your permit, fill out the form Application for a residence permit for a visiting researcher, number 127011. The application form specifies which documents to enclose.

Send your application to the

Swedish Migration Agency
Box 3100
903 03 Umeå

Application for a residence permit for a visiting researcher, form number 127011PDF

Application for permit for family members of employees, visiting researchers, athletes and self-employed persons, form number 133011PDF

Hosting agreement for visiting researchers in Sweden, form number 231011PDF

In most cases you must pay a fee.

Learn more about fees and how to pay

Last updated: 22 September 2016