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How to apply for a Sweden student visa

If you want to study in Sweden for more than three months or you’re from outside the EU or EEA, you’ll need to arrange a residence permit before you travel.

If you’re from the EU, EEA or another Nordic country, you can live and study in Sweden without a residence permit or visa. However, if you plan to stay in Sweden for more than 12 months you should register with the Swedish Tax Agency.

If you’re a citizen of Switzerland, you can travel to Sweden without a visa, but will need to apply for a residence permit if you plan on staying for more than three months.

Find programs in Sweden

Swedish student visa application process

Here’s how to apply for a Swedish residence permit:

  1. Accept a university offer: To be eligible for a residence permit, you must have been admitted onto a program at a university in Sweden.
  2. Pay your first tuition fee installment: You need to have paid a portion of your tuition fee before you submit your application.
  3. Prepare your supporting documents: When you apply, you need to provide a number of documents with your application. A full list of the required documents is listed below.
  4. Apply online: You can apply for your residence permit online. You’ll need to provide information about yourself and enclose your supporting documents.
  5. Pay the application fee: When you apply online, you will pay the application fee by credit or debit card which will be around $100.
  6. Visit your local embassy: If you’re from a country whose citizens need an entry visa for travel to Sweden, you’ll need to go to your local Swedish consulate to receive a residence permit card.

Sweden student visa requirements

When you apply for your Swedish residence permit, you’ll need to provide the following documents:

  • Copies of your passport showing your personal details, how long it’s valid for and whether you have permission to live in countries other than your country of origin
  • Proof of admission from a higher education institution in Sweden
  • Copies of documents showing that you have health insurance in Sweden
  • Bank statements showing you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your studies
  • If you are receiving a scholarship, you must provide proof which includes how much you will receive, and for how long

When applying online, these documents should be attached to your application in pdf, doc, docx, jpg, png, rtf or txt formats.

Sweden student visa financial requirements

For applications made in 2019, the maintenance requirement is at least SEK 8,370 per month, which is around $860.

You must be able to show that you can cover this amount for the full period of your residence permit. You need to show that you have the funds available in your own bank account, as a grant or scholarship. The bank account must be in your name only, or shared with your spouse - it cannot be a parent or other third party’s account.

Swedish student visa processing time

The decision on whether your application is accepted or rejected is made by the Swedish Migration Agency, and it usually takes between two and four months to get a decision.

The average time it takes to process your study permit changes over time. You can find out the latest time to a decision here by answering a few quick questions about your application.

Working with a Swedish student visa

There are no limitations on how much you can work while studying as an international student in Sweden. However, your education must always be your main priority, and any employment should not interfere with your studies.

When you apply to extend your permit, you’ll need to show the progress you’ve made on your program. If your grades suffer as a result of working you may not be able to continue your studies in Sweden.

If you want to continue working and living in Sweden after graduation, you can extend your visa for six months to look for a job. Once you have full-time employment you can apply for a work visa.

What to do if your application is rejected

Although getting declined for your Swedish study permit will be worrying, it doesn't necessarily mean the end of your plans.

If the Swedish Migration Agency rejects your application for a study permit you have the right to appeal. The rejection letter should outline what you need to do in order to lodge your appeal, and you'll usually have up to three weeks from the receipt of your letter.

You should outline why you think the decision should be changed, and include any supporting evidence you can to support your claim. Here's more information on how to appeal your rejected application.

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