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Sweden to simplify residency permit applications for foreign students

TT/The Local
TT/The Local - [email protected]
Sweden to simplify residency permit applications for foreign students
Lund University in southern Sweden. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

Foreign students and researchers at Swedish universities may soon be able to apply for residence permits in Sweden without having to travel to a Swedish embassy for an ID check first.


Since November 1st, new rules for foreign students and researchers applying for temporary residency in Sweden require applicants to visit a Swedish embassy or general consulate in person to verify their identity using their passport.

Many universities have raised concerns over the new rules, which Education Minister Mats Persson has described as having "disproportionate consequences".

"An American researcher on the west coast needs to travel to Washington DC to show their passport," Persson said.

"This has devastating consequences for Sweden as a nation for knowledge."

The Migration Agency has now been tasked with proposing solutions to this issue, with Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard suggesting that this could include mobile teams from the Migration Agency visiting certain cities near large universities abroad - in Canada and the USA, for example, where many applicants to Sweden come from - where applicants from visa-free countries can show their passports for checks.


"The government's goal is that this issue will be fixed before the upcoming admissions for the autumn semester," she said.

The new passport requirements were introduced after the Migration Agency received criticism for their handling of passports by Sweden's National Audit Office.


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cindyconlin 2023/02/22 10:15
This is a welcome change. I'm studying in Sweden and was living in Costa Rica when I requested the residence permit. The Swedish government forced me to travel to a dangerous part of Guatemala City to get my photo taken and have fingerprints taken at their embassy there. The day I was in Guatemala City, a doctor at a hospital close to the embassy was shot in the face by an assailant in the parking lot as he left work. The Swedish government is irresponsible in forcing students to travel like this.

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