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Migration guidelines in connection with exchange studies

Information for fee-paying (non-EU/EEA) students planning to go on an exchange

In order for you to get and be able to keep a Swedish residence permit for studies, your presence in Sweden is a requirement. If you go on an exchange abroad during your studies at Lund University and spend more than three months outside of Sweden, while your Swedish residence permit is still valid, you forfeit your right to keep it. This means that the permit may be revoked by the Swedish Migration Agency.

Note that certain PhD-candidates and mobility students whose academic study plan requires them to study in different countries are exempt from the above.

Shorter trips and stays abroad, for example for tourism, pose no risk in terms of your residence permit.

Important steps before an exchange of more than three months

If you are planning to go on an exchange of more than three months, you need to complete a few important steps:

If you decide to go on an exchange abroad that will last more than three months, you should notify the Migration Agency, specifically the office that first issued your permit, of your plans. The Migration Agency has access to some administrative systems regarding enrolment and academic activity at the University and is in continuous contact with Lund University. This means that they will likely be aware that you are no longer taking courses at Lund University/are taking courses abroad, even if you have failed to notify them of this yourself. This may have consequences for your residence permit. 

If the Migration Agency revokes the permit, this does not necessarily mean that it will be more difficult to get a new permit prior to your return to Sweden. 

If your residence permit is about to expire before your exchange, you should not apply for an extension of your existing residence permit in Sweden ahead of your exchange semester.

As you will be going abroad, you will need to familiarise yourself with your host country’s immigration laws. Depending on your citizenship and the country you will be visiting, you might have to apply for a visa or a residence permit. You should ideally have identified any such regulations at least three months before you plan to travel there, so that you have enough time to apply and receive a (positive) decision.

Please note that not all countries have a Swedish Embassy. Sweden has a relatively small foreign representation abroad. 

Find Swedish Embassies abroad – swedenabroad.se

If you need to leave your biometric data abroad, you will also need to identify whether you are able to have your photo taken and leave your fingerprints at the Swedish Embassy closest to you. You will also need to learn if the embassy is willing to accommodate foreign citizens/non-permanent residents of your host country. Confirm this by asking about their services.

Contact information

Erik Kvist, Migration Coordinator
migration [at] er [dot] lu [dot] se

You can also contact the Swedish Migration Agency directly. 

Contact details for the Swedish Migration Agency at their website