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Residence permits

Do I need a residence permit?

In general, all students from countries outside the EU/EEA need to have a residence permit to study in Sweden if they are planning on staying for more than three months. Students should not apply for a visa (which is generally only for shorter visits in the country), but for a residence permit for studies.

You need to apply for, and receive, your permit before you travel to Sweden. The permit must be valid and you need to bring it with you when you travel to Sweden.

More about residence permits on the Swedish Migration Agency website

If any family member is accompanying you to Sweden (your spouse and/or children) you can also apply for a residence permit for them at the same time.

Applying for a residence permit

  • If you are a degree/course student admitted via and will need a residence permit, you are advised to apply as soon as you have paid the first tuition fee instalment. However, do not apply more than four months before the first day of your residence permit period.
  • If you are coming to Lund University as an exchange student from a partner university and will need a residence permit, you should apply as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance from Lund University.
  • Please note that "mobility studies" (as it is mentioned on the Migration Agency's website) is not the same as regular exchange studies, but rather a very specific and rare exception where two or more academic institutions share administration of the same programme. For more information, contact your programme staff.

Please note that the process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

You apply online at the Swedish Migration Agency website. After you have applied, you will also need to visit a Swedish embassy or consulate in your home country for your biometric data (photos and fingerprints).

Applications for residence permits are processed by the Swedish Migration Agency, NOT the University. The residence permit application is your responsibility.

Your admission results/notification of results or letter of acceptance is necessary in order to start the application process and for the Swedish Migration Agency to complete it. 

The Swedish Migration Agency grants residence permits for one year at a time. Students must apply to extend the permit for the next year of study. However, starting from mid-October 2019, Lund University is participating in a pilot project with the Swedish Migration Agency allowing students admitted to studies at Lund University lasting two years or more the option to apply for a two-year permit directly. Please read more on the Migration Agency website about the conditions for this two-year permit.

Apply online at the Swedish Migration Agency website

Residence permits – please note

  • If you are accepted to studies in Sweden lasting more than three months, you should apply for a residence permit for studies, not a visa!
  • Lund University does not issue residence permits. The Swedish Migration Agency will deal with your application.
  • You must have your residence permit before you come to Sweden.
  • You will need a passport to obtain a residence permit. Check that your passport does not expire during the duration of your studies.
  • All applicants must present their passport in person at a Swedish Embassy abroad, if they are applying for a first-time residence permit. Please learn more about this step on the Migration Agency’s website, and find a suitable Swedish Embassy on Sweden Abroad. Please note that you must present your passport at a Swedish Embassy with a migration section. See a list of the Swedish embassies on the Sweden Abroad website.
  • You will need to have been accepted for studies at Lund University in order to obtain a permit (either a Letter of Acceptance as an exchange student, or Notification of Results as a student admitted to a degree programme or course).
  • The most efficient way to make an application is online at the Swedish Migration Agency website, but please ensure you have all documents ready so you can make a complete and full application.
  • You will need to demonstrate that you have enough money to support your living costs (and those of any accompanying family member)
  • The Swedish Migration Agency require that you show that you have health insurance when applying for the residence permit. It is usually enough that you refer to our webpage on health and insurance to fulfil this requirement. You can also attach the 'Terms & Conditions' document for the FAS+ or Student IN insurance.
  • Lund University will notify the Swedish Migration Agency when you have paid the first instalment of the tuition fee (this has to be done before the Swedish Migration Agency can process your application). You will not have to show the Swedish Migration Agency that you have funds for the remaining tuition fee instalments.
  • With a residence permit for studies, you are allowed to work part time during your study period, but please note that you are expected to spend 40 hours per week studying if you are admitted to full time studies.
  • Don't leave it to the last minute! Make your residence permit application online either as soon as you have received your 'Letter of Acceptance' (exchange students) or as soon as the first tuition instalment has been paid (degree students). However, do not apply more than four months before the start of your residence permit period.