Visa and residence permit

Students from outside the EU/EEA

Students from outside the EU/EEA who intend to stay in Sweden more than three months must apply for a residence permit for studies. The permit must be issued before entry to Sweden.

Important! Apply as soon as possible
It is very important that you apply for a residence permit as soon as you receive notification of your admission. The time from applying for your residence permit to receiving it can be long.  Also, if you have to pay tuition fee, you cannot apply for a residence permit until you have paid the first instalment, so you also need to do this as soon as possible.

The responsible authority in Sweden is the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket). Please visit their website for details regarding the regulations and the application procedure: Rules for students from outside the EU/EEA

A person who is in Sweden for a period of less than three months does not need a residence permit. However, citizens of certain countries must have a visa. You apply for visa at the Swedish embassy or a Swedish consulate in your home country or in your country of residence: Swedish embassies and consulates

Extension of residence permit - planning ahead

IMPORTANT: Please take your time and do this thoroughly, so you won’t encounter problems when you need to extend your permit. Migrationsverket is strict and unfortunately too many students have encountered problems.

A residence permit is granted for one year at a time. Six months before your residence permit expiries you can apply for an extension. You should submit your application while your current permit is still valid. Normally, it takes some months to get the decision so apply for your extension as soon as possible!  Here are some useful tips on who to make the process with Migrationsverket more rapid and smooth.

If the period of study is less than one year you will be granted a residence permit that is valid for the length of the study period. If you have been enrolled for continued full-time studies and still have your support secured, you can apply for an extension of your residence permit.

To extend your residence permit, you must:

  • hold a valid passport
  • be accepted on a course of full-time study at a university or university college
  • have made acceptable progress in your studies
  • be able to support yourself during the period you are requesting a residence permit for
  • have a comprehensive insurance policy (KI provides insurance for all fee-paying students)

How to document that you can support yourself financially?

The Swedish Migration Agency is strict about financial support. You must show that you are able to support yourself - even without your family. Please read the information at Migrationsverkets site carefully before submitting your application! Here are some of the most common mistakes we know of:

  • If your parents support you, make sure that you do not transfer the money to your account as a lump sum the week you submit your application.
  • If you have several bank accounts, you must enclose statements from all your accounts.
  • The statement must contain details of the balance, the name of the account holder and the currency.
  • Bank assets must be on an account that belongs to you and from which only you and your husband or wife, if you have one, can withdraw money. If you share the account with, for example, your parents or a relative, the bank assets will not be regarded as your own.
  • At some banks you need to show up in person to get your bank statements. Please have this in mind if you’re going back to your country for Christmas.

Students from EU/EEA and Switzerland

Students from the EU/EEA do not need a visa or residence permit for staying in Sweden. An EU/EEA citizen who is staying in Sweden for more than a year should however register with the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket).

If you are a citizen of Switzerland you must apply for a residence permit. Nordic citizens can spend time in and live in Sweden without having to register or hold a residence permit.

Rules for students from EU/EEA and Switzerland

Work during studies

Foreign students are allowed to work in Sweden during their period of study. No additional work permit is required. However, please be aware that it is difficult to find a part-time job in Stockholm, especially if you do not speak Swedish.

Working in Sweden