With any study abroad destination, you are going to have to take a look at whether or not you need visas, passports, residential passes, or other paperwork in order to stay in the country for your studies. Sweden is no different, but because of the agreements that are found across the European Union, you will find that applying for residence in Sweden is going to be different than doing so for countries outside of the EU. If you are not from the EU, then you may also see some different processes that you have to go through in order to obtain your visa. So what do you have to do to determine whether or not you are eligible to study in Sweden, with or without a visa? We’re going to take a closer look in this section.
EU/EEA places and Nordic Countries
If you reside in an EU/EEA country legally (citizenship, legal residence) that is not considered to be a Nordic country, then you are able be in Sweden, whether for work or study, without a visa or documentation for 90 days or more. Within that first 90 days, you need to register your presence in the country with the Migration Board or you run the risk of being deported.
There is, of course, a little bit of paperwork that you need to submit in order to declare your presence and intent to study in Sweden. To register, you must an acceptance letter or something else that proves that your acceptance to a university. It can also be at a secondary level, especially because of how the Sweden secondary education system is set up (see you can find more information in our section on the Education system in Sweden). You must have sufficient funds for the living expenses that you will accrue while you are residing in Sweden, and you must provide proof of medical insurance that is valid for use in Sweden.
Please note that if you are a citizen of Switzerland, you must apply for documentation as well, which we talk about in the above section. But, it takes much less time for you to apply for documentation as a Swiss citizen than it does in other areas of the world, and they will need less information to process your permit. Those who reside in Nordic countries legally and/or are citizens of those countries just need to let the Migration Board know that they are in the country for studies. This doesn’t require much paperwork at all; you merely need to send them your acceptance letter and evidence of your residence in a Nordic country.
If you do not meet any of the qualifications that are listed above (EU, EEA, Nordic countries or Switzerland), then you are considered to be a Non-EU/EEA student and you will have to get documentation in the form of a permit and/or a visa in order to go study in Sweden. If you intend to reside in the country for 90 days or less, you usually don’t need any documentation unless your home country is one that is required to do so by the Migration Board. If you plan on studying longer than 90 days, you require specific documentation before you start your period of studying in Sweden. This also includes a fee of SEK 1000, and you must pay for your first semester of university before you can be approved for your permit.
During the application for your Sweden VISA, you have to show possession or earning power for enough money to last you through all of your studies. You must have SEK 73000 available to you over a ten month period (the other two months do not need to be covered, because the Migration Board that you are working while studying or that you will go to your home country during your breaks). The numbers will vary if you have family (children, a spouse) that you are bringing with you to Sweden.
If you have proof of free housing (dormitory, etc) during your time in the country, then the fee’s amount will be adjusted (since most of the money for the proof of finances is to ensure shelter for you while you are staying in the country). Students that are utilizing a scholarship, a grant, or another type of financial aid should give the Migration Board the information they need about this as well, because your amount will be adjusted for the financial aid that you will be receiving. In order to obtain your documentation in a timely manner, you should apply for your documentation as soon as you know that you’ve been accepted to a Swedish University.
What is in your application? Here is a brief list to review what we discussed above.
- At least 2 (3 is recommended) photographs for your passport.
- 2 copies of your passport. Your passport must last at least 6 months past the date of your arrival to Sweden.
- Any acceptance letters for universities and/or secondary school that you have been accepted to, with a copy of each.
- 2 copies of whatever current degrees and diplomas that you currently possess.
- All proof of financial means, including scholarships, grants, loans, and other financial aid. It can also include free housing agreements and other agreements. Bank statements, credit statements, and other financial statements are acceptable, and they do not have to be converted to SEK before you hand them in.
You need to renew your permit every single year, because your permit runs out within 365 days of the start of your permit (unless the time allocated on the permit is shorter, then it will run out at that point). All renewal information is taken care of by your local Swedish Migration Board office, and they will give you all of the information that you need in order to reapply for your visa.
If you need more information about migrating to Sweden on a student visa, you have a couple of places that you can look. First, you can get a more concise look at this topic at Schengen Visa Website. You can also take a look at the Sweden Abroad website, which will help you find the embassy in your country. The embassy can help you determine the exact visa requirements for your country of residence. Lastly, you can contact the Migration Board via their website (It is available in several languages, so you can pick your own to view it in). That’s where you can find all of the applications and everything else that you may need.