Living in Sweden

Sweden is an open, multicultural society with a long tradition of welcoming international students.

Currently, some 30,000 foreign students are studying in Sweden, making for a vibrant, international study environment. Swedes have some peculiar cultural traits, but they are deeply proud of having built a society that promotes equality between the sexes, tolerance and inclusiveness.

As a student in Sweden, you will have ample opportunity to make new friends. A good part of your social life will revolve around your student union. The union can often help you with finding accommodation and other practical matters. Do make sure you are covered by adequate health insurance while in Sweden.

Do I need a visa or residence permit?

You will probably need to get a residence permit or visa, maybe even before you arrive in Sweden. To get a residence permit, you need to show you have sufficient funds to pay for living expenses in Sweden. But there are ways in which you can mitigate the financial strain: Sweden allows students to work for the duration of their studies.

If you are intending to stay in Sweden for less than three months, you will need a visa if the country that issues your passport is on this list [PDF file]. You should also confirm possible visa requirements with the Swedish consulate or embassy responsible for your home country.

If your studies in Sweden will take longer than three months, you will need a residence permit before arriving in Sweden. Permits are issued by the Swedish Migration Board, and the Board has collected what you need to know before applying for a residence permit. Applications are to be made at a Swedish consulate or embassy.

Please note that you cannot apply for a residence permit unless you have been admitted to full-time accredited university studies in Sweden. This includes paying the first installment of tuition fees. The residence permit application fee, which is not refundable, is SEK 1,000.

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