Tables at Mid Sweden University. Photo: Tina Stafren/imagebank.sweden.se

Residence permits and visas

Find out the rules for residence permits and visas for citizens of your country.

Rules for visas and residence permits for international students in Sweden vary depending on country of citizenship. Below you’ll find guidelines for each of the three main categories: EU/EEA citizens, Swiss citizens and non-EU/EEA citizens.

EU/EEA stands for the European Union and the European Economic Area. If you’re not sure if your country belongs to the EU/EEA, check Universityadmissions.se’s list of EU/EEA countries.

Citizens of non-EU/EEA/Nordic countries

Stays of less than three months

If you’ll be staying in Sweden for less than three months, you’ll need a visa if the country that issues your passport is on this list. If your country of citizenship is not on the list, you generally can enter Sweden without a visa.

Read about how to apply for a visa at the Swedish Migration Agency’s website.

Stays of more than three months

If your studies in Sweden will last longer than three months, you’ll need a residence permit before coming to Sweden. To be eligible, you must be admitted to full-time accredited university studies in Sweden and have paid your first tuition fee instalment.

To apply for a residence permit for studies, you’ll need to:

  • Pay your first tuition fee instalment.
  • Prepare your supporting documentation. This includes copies of your passport and letter of admission as well as proving that you can support yourself financially during your time as a student in Sweden. If you’ll be staying in Sweden for less than one year, you’ll also need proof of comprehensive health insurance.
  • Submit the online application. (Applying online ensures your application is dealt with as fast as possible.)
  • Pay the application fee.

On the Migration Agency’s website, you can see the current waiting time to get a residence permit. Make sure to apply for a residence permit as soon as possible after paying your first tuition fee instalment!

Visit the Swedish Migration Agency’s website for full details on applying for a residence permit for studies and to apply. Contact the Migration Agency directly with questions regarding your residence permit application.

Register in the Swedish Population Register

If you are a citizen from a non-EU/EEA/Nordic countries, or if you are stateless, and intend to live in Sweden for one year or more, you are generally required to be registered in the Swedish Population Register. For that you’ll need a residence permit in Sweden which is valid for at least one year.

In order to be registered in the Swedish Population Register, you need to notify the Swedish Tax Agency that you are moving to Sweden. This can be done by visiting one of their service offices.

For more information, watch the Swedish Tax Agency’s film about movingn to Sweden. You can find it on their website.

Citizens of EU/EEA/Nordic countries

Citizens of EU/EEA/Nordic counties can live and study in Sweden without a residence permit or visa. If you’ll be staying in Sweden for more than twelve months, you should register with the Swedish Tax Agency.

Register in the Swedish Population Register

Citizens of EU/EEA/Nordic countries can study in Sweden without a residence permit or visa. The right of EU citizens to stay in Sweden without a residence permit is called right of residence. If you are planning to study in Sweden for at least a year or more (i.e. at least three semesters), you are generally required to be registered in the Swedish Population Register.

In order to be registered in the Swedish Population Register, you need to notify the Swedish Tax Agency that you are moving to Sweden. This can be done by visiting one of their service offices.

Read more about this and what documents to bring when visiting the service office at the Swedish Tax Agency website.

Citizens of Switzerland

Swiss citizens can enter Sweden without a residence permit or visa. However, if you’ll be studying in Sweden for longer than three months, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit for studies.

Visit the Swedish Migration Agency’s website for information on how to apply for a residence permit as a Swiss citizen.

After your studies

If you are an international student you have to notify the Swedish Tax Agency is you are moving from Sweden after your studies.

You can find more information and the form to fill in at the Tax Agency website.

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