Residence permits and visas

Check which residence permit or entry visa you need for your stay in Sweden.

EU/EEA or Swiss citizen

EU citizens have the right to work, study or live in Sweden without a residence permit. When entering Sweden, you need a valid passport or ID card showing your citizenship. If your stay in Sweden will be one year or more, you need to contact the Swedish Tax Agency to register yourself in the Swedish population register.  

Citizens of Switzerland

If you are a Swiss citizen, you may move to Sweden to work, study or start your own business. If you wish to stay for longer than three months, you need to apply for a residence permit.

Non-EU citizen stay up to three months

If you are a scientist invited to a scientific establishment in Sweden for the purpose of teaching or lecturing only, and for a period of less than three months, you do not need a work or residence permit. However, nationals of some countries will need a visa.

See List of foreign citizens who require Visa for entry into Sweden You can apply for an entry visa at a Swedish embassy or consulate in your country of residence, using the application form for Schengen Visa. Some requirements differ from country to country, so you have to check what applies in your case. In some countries Sweden is represented by another Schengen state. A visa is temporary and is valid for a maximum 90 days per six month period.

Non-EU citizen stay more than three months

Residence permit for researcher or doctoral student. Work permit or permit for looking for work after research or studies.
Stay Researcher PhD student Teacher/admin Visiting PhD student
3 months or more RP for rese­ar­chers RP for doctoral studies Work permit Visi­tor’s permit
Job seeker RP after rese­arch RP for looking for work after studies - -

If you plan to stay in Sweden for longer than three months you will need a residence permit for researchers (employment or scholarship), work permit (employees not doing any research) or residence permit for doctoral studies (people admitted to doctoral education at KI). You must apply for the permit from your native country or other country outside Sweden where you are living. If you apply online, using the Migration Agency website, you will get a decision sooner, providing that the Migration Agency does not need to request further information.

A visitor's permit (classification O) is usually valid for no more than six months, or up to one year. This permit is only valid for a visit, and persons may not work or take up residence in Sweden. For example guest doctoral students, Erasmus+ trainees. 

The residence permit card is a proof that you have been granted a residence permit. When you enter Sweden, you must therefore show your card along with a valid passport. If you don’t need a visa to travel to Sweden, you can have your fingerprints and photograph taken for a residence permit card in Sweden. You must visit the Migration Agency as soon as possible after receiving a residence permit and arriving in Sweden.

Residence permit 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, you must in most cases notify the Swedish Migration Agency of your planned stay in Sweden, see Notification of planned mobility studies

If you have a residence permit for research in another EU country, you do not need a residence permit if your research in Sweden is conducted for a maximum of 180 days during a 360 day period. If your research is to be conducted in Sweden for a longer time, you need a residence permit for research in mobility for an extended stay. You can apply for such a permit while you are in Sweden. Note that this is possible only within the European project. If you are starting a new position in Sweden, you have to get a recidence permit for research in Sweden before coming to Sweden. See Resi­dence permits for rese­ar­chers

Non-EU citizen extend your permit

If you plan to continue working or studying make sure to apply for extension before your current permit expires. You can stay in Sweden and wait for new decision.

If you have applied for an extension of your work permit and need to go on a business trip outside Sweden during the period when your application is being processed, you have the option to apply for an entry visa, a so-called “D-visa”. Does not apply to residence permits for studies or research.

Resi­dence permit for looking for work after studies and research

Researchers and higher education students have the opportunity to apply for a residence permit to remain in Sweden for 12 months following the completion of their research or studies to seek work, or examine the possibility of conducting business activities in the country. Please, note that if you get admitted to doctoral education or find a research job, you have to leave Sweden in order to get a new permit, see Can I apply for a resi­dence permit without leaving Sweden?

Permanent residence permit (PUT)

Once you have had a residence permit for researchers, a work permit or a residence permit for doctoral studies for four years, you can apply for a permanent residence permit, which remains in force as long as you live in Sweden. 

Since 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: permanent employment, or fixed-term employment for a longer period of time ahead. 

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

Long-term resi­dent status in Sweden

If you are a citizen of a country outside of the EU and have lived continuously in Sweden for five years, you may be granted long-term resident status in Sweden. If you are granted long-term resident status, you will also be given a decision on permanent residence permit.

Swedish citizenship

When you have lived in Sweden for several years, you may apply for Swedish citizenship. See the proposal below. 

Proposals for Swedish language tests for permanent residence permit and citizenship

The new requirements for permanent residence permit include having sufficient Swedish language and civics skills. A new government inquiry has proposed that adults seeking permanent residency from 2027 would be expected to have a level of Swedish equivalent to A2 on the CEFR, equivalent to SFI level C. The language test would only measure listening skills. The civics test would be held in Swedish, so a high enough level of reading skills will be needed. The proposal is sent for consultation so the law is not in place yet.

A government inquiry proposes that requirements for knowledge of Swedish and understanding of the Swedish society be introduced for the acquisition of Swedish citizenship as of 1 January 2025. There is no final proposal yet. Se Krav på kunskaper i svenska och samhällskunskap för svenskt medborgarskap SOU 2021:2

Content reviewer:
Ulla Tunkara