Residence permit

Nordic and EU/EEA citizens have the right to study, research or work in Sweden without a permit. Swiss and non EU/EEA citizens need a permit if the stay is longer than three months.

This page contains information about the conditions for settling in Sweden as a researcher

  • Right of residence for Nordic and EU citizens
  • Permit for Swiss citizens
  • Residence permit for non-EU citizens
  • Helpful tips

Nordic citizens

If you are a citizen of Denmark, Finland, Norway or Iceland you may be considered both a Nordic citizen and an EU citizen, and use two different sets of rules.

Nordic agreement

The Nordic countries have an agreement which states that Nordic citizens have a right to live in whichever Nordic country they choose. You do not need to apply for a residence permit.

Migration Agency information

EU/EEA citizens

As an EU/EEA citizen you have the right to live in Sweden without a residence permit. This is called right of residence. You have right of residence if you have an employment or a scholarship for research.

If you have right of residence in Sweden you do not need to contact the Swedish Migration Agency. When entering Sweden, you need a valid passport or ID card.

Migration Agency information

Swiss citizens

If you are a Swiss citizen, you may move to Sweden as a researcher. If you stay is longer than three months, you will need a residence permit.

Migration Agency information

Non EU/EEA citizens

The length of your stay in Sweden determine if you need a permit or not.

  • Short term stay (0-3 months)

If you are planning to visit Umeå University for a short time you do not need a residence permit. Depending on your citizenship you might need a short-term visa to enter Sweden.

  • Long term stay (more than 3 months)

If you are planning to stay longer than three months, you must have a residence permit as a researcher.

Residence permit for researchers

As a researcher, you are exempt from the requirement of a work permit, but need to apply for a residence permit if you are staying longer than 3 months.

To be eligible for a residence permit, you must:

  • have a valid passport (if your passport will expire soon, you should renew it since you cannot get a permit for longer than the validity of your passport)
  • have a hosting agreement - you will get this document from you host department
  • have enough money for your stay in Sweden and to be able to pay your travel home
  • have, or have applied for, comprehensive health insurance (if you will be in Sweden for a maximum of one year - you will get this document from your host department)
  • pay a fee in most cases (application fees for work permits)
  • be outside Swedens boarders when you apply for your permit. Make sure to apply and get a granted residence permit before you move to Sweden. 

    If you reside in another EU-country and hold a valid permit there you are welcome to visit Sweden as a guest. Note that this permit is only valid for work/research/studies in that specific EU-country and not in Sweden. 
    Exception, if you are a student in Sweden it might be possible to apply from within Sweden as long as you apply before your current permit for studies expires. Please contact ut for more information if this is the case.

How to apply - information on the Migration Agency webpage

After the decision has been made

The Swedish Migration Agency sends the decision to the embassy or consulate-general where you turned in your application or that you wrote in your online application. When you go to collect your decision, you must bring your passport with you. You can receive a permit for the same period that the hosting agreement covers, but never longer than the validity of your passport. If you are to continue conducting research in Sweden, you must apply for an extension of your permit.

Resi­dence permit card
If you are granted a permit for more than three months, you will receive a residence permit card. The card is a certification that you have permission to be in Sweden and contains your fingerprints and a photo of you, among other information.

If you need a visa to travel to Sweden, you must visit the Swedish embassy or consulate-general to be photographed and provide your fingerprints as soon as possible. Contact the embassy or the consulate-general before your visit.

When the residence permit card is ready, the embassy or consulate-general will hand out or send the finished card to you. Keep in mind that it can take up to four weeks to manufacture and deliver the card to the embassy or consulate-general after you have received your decision. When you travel into Sweden, you must present the residence permit card together with a valid passport.

If you can travel to Sweden without a visa, you should be able to present a copy of the decision when you travel in. As soon as you can after arriving in Sweden, you must book an appointment to submit fingerprints and be photographed. After that, we make your residence permit card. When the residence permit card is ready, we send it to your address in Sweden.

Book an appointment at the Swedish Migration Agency for the residence permit card (only if you can travel to Sweden without a visa)

Helpful tips to non EU/EEA citizens

  • Your permit can not last longer than the expire date on your passport
  • Apply online - paper applications take longer to process
  • To enable the Migration Agency to make a decision on your case, all details must be complete and all the necessary documents must be enclosed. This means that the processing time is shorter if everything required is included from the start, rather than having to provide additional information afterwards. You also need certain documentation from Umeå University.
  • Time to a decision
    To get an idea of how long you will need to wait for a decision, you can visit the site Time to a decision. Please note that the average time shown on the site is calculated on the basis of previous cases in the same category. The time may vary from one application to another.
  • Check your application
    You can see if the Migration Agency has registered your application for residence permit, work permit, etc. You can also see if a decision is made in your case. Check your application
  • If you have accompanying family members
    Each member of your family will be processed individually - make sure that all documentations for all individuals are in order. Family members applications is sent in at the same time as your own if you are all moving at the same time, but it can also be done later.


Rosita Nilsson