For members


How to get permanent residency in Sweden

Exactly how to obtain the permanent right to live in Sweden depends on your citizenship and any existing permits. The process can appear complicated, but here are the key things to know about the main routes to permanent residency.

How to get permanent residency in Sweden
Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

EU citizens

If you’re an EU citizen studying, working in Sweden or with the means to support yourself in some other way, you automatically have right of residence in Sweden without needing to apply for any specific permit or proof. But you may still be able to apply for a permanent residence permit (uppehållstillstånd), and there are a few benefits to applying for permanent residence, including added security in case you find yourself no longer fitting into those categories in future.

As for non-EU citizens, again permanent residence gives extra security once you are eligible to apply.

Permanent residence: EU citizens who have lived in Sweden at least five years

As previously mentioned, all EU citizens working, studying or with the means to support themselves have the right of residence in Sweden without applying for a permit, although you do need to register yourself as living in Sweden with Sweden’s Tax Agency within three months of your arrival.

After five years of living in Sweden, people in this category automatically gain “permanent right of residence”.

This secures your right to stay in the country even if you stop being able to support yourself. A certificate confirming that permanent right of residence can be issued for no fee upon request by filling out the form “Intyg om permanent uppehållsrätt”, found here.

If you have right of residence as a family member of an EU citizen and have lived together with a close relative in Sweden for at least five years, then you may also meet the criteria for permanent right of residence.

The Swedish Migration Agency office in Solna. Photo: Adam Wrafter/SvD/TT

Long-term resident status: non-EU citizens

There are several different options for non-EU citizens, which depend on which type of permit you have previously lived in Sweden on.

Non-EU citizens who have lived in Sweden for five years with a valid residence permit and can prove they were capable of supporting themselves and their family during that time can also apply for long-term resident status by filling in the form “Ansökan om status som varaktigt bosatt”, found here.

Long-term resident status is valid for as long as the person resides in Sweden, but your long-term resident status may be withdrawn after six years of living away from the country.

Permanent residence: non-EU citizens and EU citizens without EU right of residence

You can only apply for permanent residence after a minimum of three years in Sweden as a general rule, with some exceptions, such as for self-employed people who can apply after two years. The exact time and requirements depend on which type of permit you are on, but in practice most people can only apply for permanent residence after at least four years in Sweden.

If your residence permit in Sweden is based on you being the family member of a Swede, you can technically apply for permanent residence after three years in Sweden, although you can only apply for permanent residence when renewing your temporary residence permit. This means you’re likely to have to wait for four years before you can apply. The application costs 2,000 kronor for adults and 1,000 kronor for children. 

If you have lived in Sweden with a residence permit for doctoral studies for at least four years out of the past seven, you can also apply for permanent residence. Again, you must be able to prove you can support yourself financially. This application costs 1,500 kronor.

If you have lived in Sweden on a work permit, you can apply for a permanent residence permit when you extend this permit if you have worked for at least four years out of the last seven.

You need to meet the same requirements as for an extension of your temporary work permit (for example, meeting minimum salary requirements) and you also need to meet the special requirements for permanent residence, including being able to support yourself financially and having lived an “orderly life”. It costs 2,200 kronor to extend a work permit, plus an extra 1,500 kronor per adult and 750 kronor per child if you have family members applying with you.

If you are self-employed, you can apply for a permanent residence permit after two years when it is time to renew your temporary permit. You need to be able to support yourself financially on the income from the company, spend more than six months of each year in Sweden, own at least 50 percent of your Swedish company, and be living an orderly life. The fee is 2,000 kronor.

There are a few exceptions to the fees for permanent residence permits. EU/EEA citizens, and citizens of Japan are exempt from all application fees; doctoral students with certain scholarships are exempt from the fees; and family members of non-Swedish EU/EEA nationals are exempt from the fee for family member permits, for example.

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For members


EXPLAINED: How to get a student residence permit in Sweden

So you’ve been admitted into a Swedish university as a bachelors or masters student and you’ve accepted the offer. Now what? If you’re a non-EU/EEA student, you’ll have to apply for a student residence permit. Waiting times can be long, so it’s a good idea to apply as soon as possible. Here’s how.

EXPLAINED: How to get a student residence permit in Sweden

How do I apply for a student permit in Sweden?

You can apply for a student permit online, through the Migration Agency’s e-service. To apply online, you’ll need to be able to use a credit or debit card to pay the application fee.

Alternatively, you can submit a paper application to a Swedish embassy or consulate-general. You’ll need to print and fill in the following form: Application for a residence permit for students – First-time applicants, 113011.

What do I need to apply for a student permit?

In order to apply for a Swedish student permit, you will need to have been accepted into a full-time programme or course that requires your presence in Sweden. You will need your admission offer, or a document called a ‘notification of selection results’.

You must be able to show that you will support yourself during the period of time for which you are applying for a permit. In 2023, the maintenance requirement is 9,450 kronor per month. This can be documented through bank statements for an account from which only you and, if applicable, your spouse can withdraw money. This requirement does not apply if you receive a scholarship that covers your cost of living, like the Swedish Institute Scholarship for Global Professionals. If this is the case, attach proof of that scholarship instead.

If you receive free food wherever you’re staying in Sweden, the maintenance requirement can be reduced by 1,837.50 kronor. If you receive free housing, this can again be reduced by 4,200 kronor.

You must have paid the first installment of your tuition fee before applying.

You’ll also need a copy of your passport in which your personal information, signature, and the validity of the passport are clearly visible. Read more here about the passport requirements.

And finally, you’ll need to show that you have, or have applied for, health insurance. If your studies last more than one year, you will be able to register in the Swedish Population Register and receive health coverage through that once you are registered.

If your studies are for less than one year, you will not be able to register, and you must show that you have health insurance independently or through your higher education provider.

When can I apply for my Swedish student permit?

You can apply as soon as you have all the documents ready, unless you will be supporting yourself financially, in which case you can only apply up to four months before the start date for the course you’re applying for a permit for.

Will I have to visit a Swedish embassy or consulate-general?

If you are applying from outside Sweden, you may need to show your passport at a Swedish embassy or consulate-general. The Migration Agency will contact you if this is necessary.

If you need a visa to enter Sweden, you will also need to visit an embassy or consulate-general to have your photograph and fingerprints taken for your residence permit card before you can travel to Sweden.

How long does it take to get a student permit?

The straight answer is, you never know. According to the Migration Agency’s website, 75 percent of first-time applicants have received a decision within six months. This can become longer if your case officer requests more information from you, so it is best to provide thorough documentation in your initial application to avoid longer wait times.

What happens after my studies are completed?

If you’d like to stay in Sweden to look for a job after you complete your studies, you can apply for an after-studies residence permit. That process is explained here.