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 incl British citizens moving to Sweden after 1 Jan 2021.

Residence permit for doctoral studies

The Swedish Migration Agency can issue residence permit for doctoral studies covering a period from 3 months up to 24 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. 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 work permit, 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 Rules for change of status

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 and British citizens living in Sweden before 30 Dec 2020. 

Visit Sweden up to three months

A visa is only valid for your stay in the Schengen countries for up to 90 days during a period of 180 days. If you have been in the Schengen Area for 90 days you must be outside of the Schengen Area for 90 days before they can receive a new Schengen Visa. You cannot apply for any residence permit when visiting Sweden. See Foreign citizens who require Visa for entry into Sweden; citizens of certain countries such as US, Japan and Brazil do not need an entry visa.

Sandwich doctoral student at KI

If you are a doctoral student and you will interchangeably stay both in Sweden and in another country during your studies (according to the so-called sandwich model), you can receive a residence permit for up to two years at a time. You must then spend at least half of the time in Sweden during the permit period applied for.

A continuous stay abroad of up to one fourth of the permit period can be accepted. For a residence permit that is valid for two years, a continuous stay abroad of up to six months can be accepted. For a residence permit that is valid for one year, a continuous stay abroad of up to three months can be accepted. You must show that there is a clear structure for the studies. You must therefore submit a certificate, issued by your supervisor in Sweden, that shows how you will divide your time between Sweden and other countries during the permit period applied for. If your studies begin or end in a country other than Sweden, you will not receive a residence permit for these periods. See the Migration Agency's checklist

Extend a permit

You can apply for extension of residence permit at least 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. See article in Universitetsläraren about this (in Swedish).

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.

The government has presented new migration bill that is planned to come into force on July 20, 2021. The proposal includes new requirements such as being able to support oneself and having sufficient Swedish language and civics skills. The language and civics requirement, however, would not be implemented immediately. See Ändrade regler i utlänningslagen

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 migration rules

EU Students and Researchers Directive was implemented as of 1 January 2020 in Sweden. 

There are proposals regarding new requirements for Permanent residence permit and Swedish citizenship, see Swedish language requirements


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.