Residence permit for doctoral students

The main rule: as doctoral student admitted at KI you should apply for residence permit for doctoral studies when planning to stay for longer than three months in Sweden. The permit must be issued before you travel to Sweden. This applies to non-EU citizens.

Residence permit for doctoral studies

The Swedish Migration Agency can issue residence permit for doctoral studies covering a period from 3 months up to 48 months. You need to submit the university’s formal admission decision and an attestation of studies, see the Migration Agency's checklist (Checklistor och exempel för studieintyg gällande studier på forskarnivå doktorandstudier, på engelska) together with your application. Please, note that permits cannot be granted for a longer period than the period of validity on your passport. The permit must be in place before travel to Sweden.

If you are already in Sweden and have residence permit for researcher, you can apply for residence permit for doctoral studies from Sweden. If you have job seeking permit or permit as a family member and want to swich to residence permit for doctoral studies you need to leave Sweden before the decision about new permit is made, see Can I apply for a residence permit without leaving Sweden?

EU citizens who want to stay in Sweden for more than three months do not need to register with the Swedish Migration Agency. Exception Swiss citizens

Extend a permit

You can apply for extension of residence permit at the earliest six months before your current permit expires. You have the right to remain in Sweden and wait for a decision. 

Resi­dence permit for looking for work after studies

If you have a residence permit for studies in higher education in Sweden and have completed your studies you can get a residence permit to seek employment or explore the possibilities of starting your own business here. The permit is valid for 12 months.

Permanent residence permit

If you have lived in Sweden and had a residence permit for doctoral studies for a total of four years over the past seven years, you can apply for a permanent residence permit, but not earlier than 14 days before your current permit expires. 

Time with a residence permit for doctoral studies, a work permit and a residence permit for researcher can be included under condition that you have fulfilled the conditions for the respective type of permit. Time with a residence permit for studies other than doctoral studies does not count.

Since 20 July 2021, applicants must fulfil new, special requirements in order to obtain a permanent residence permit in Sweden. For example, you must be able to support yourself financially through permanent employment, or fixed-term employment.

The requirement for sufficient Swedish language and civics skills has not yet been implemented. 

If you cannot be granted a permanent residence permit but there is reason to extend a residence permit for doctoral studies, then the Swedish Migration Agency will examine it without the applicant having to request it. If there is nothing that shows that there are other reasons for other type of permit, the Swedish Migration Agency does not have an obligation to investigate any other reasons. You have to state clearly if you would like to apply for example permit for looking for work after studies as your second or third choice.

Long-term residence status

If you have stayed in Sweden for five years with a residence permit, or have been legally resident on other grounds, you can apply for long-term resident status in Sweden. 

Visiting doctoral student

If you are a doctoral student but not admitted to doctoral studies in Sweden, you should apply for visitor’s permit (classification O).  A visitor's permit is valid for up to one year at most and cannot be extended. This permit is only valid for a visit, and you may not have employment or take up residence in Sweden. 

Residence permit for studies in another EU country

If you have been granted a residence permit for studies in higher education in another EU country and are studying in a Union programme or a multilateral programme that includes mobility measures (Erasmus or Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions) you must in most cases notify the Swedish Migration Agency of your planned stay in Sweden, see Notification of planned mobility studies


New applications after Feb 12, 2024 Migrationsverket in Växjö (residence permit for studies)

Ongoing cases: Migrationsverket in Örebro (residence permit for studies):

Migrationsverket in Norrköping (residence permit for visiting researchers): 

Information about processing times at the Migration Agency

If you have encountered problems with your application, please, contact Ulla Tunkara at the International Office at KI.

Content reviewer:
Ulla Tunkara