Residency in Sweden

Whether you need a residence and work permit or a visa to work or visit Umeå University, depends on your citizenship. Please read more in the sections below.

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.

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens

As an EU citizen you have the right to work, study or live in Sweden without a residence permit. This is called right of residence. You have right of residence if you are employed, a student or have sufficient means to support yourself (you have received a tax-free scholarship)

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 showing your citizenship.

EU rules

EU citizens and their families have a right to move to another EU country as long as certain requirements are met. An EU citizen has the right to live in an EU country which is not their country of origin as long as they meet the requirements for right of residence through work, studies or with sufficient means.

 

Non EU/EEA citizens

Short term stay (0-3 months)
If you are planning to visit Umeå University for a short time you do not need a residence or work 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 or a work permit in order to reside and work in Sweden.
You HR-support at Umeå University will guide you to the right permit and initiate the application process for you.

Researchers

Residence permit for researchers

If you are a citizen of a country outside the EU and want to work as a researcher, you are exempt from the requirement of a work permit, but you need to apply for a residence permit.

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)

Your permit must be issued before travelling to Sweden.

- If you are in Sweden with a permit for studies, you can apply while you are in Sweden.
- If you have a valid permit in another EU-country you are welcome to visit Sweden as a guest. To reside and work in Sweden you must have applied for and received a residence permit before your arrival.

How to apply - information on the Migration Agency webpage

 

Non-researchers

Residence permit for non-researchers

If your work tasks don´t involve any research you need a work permit if you are a citizen of a non-EU country staying longer than three months.

You must have been offered a job before you can obtain a work permit. (You cannot obtain a work permit to go to Sweden and look for a job).
You cannot enter Sweden until the permit has been granted.

To obtain a work 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 been offered terms of employment that are at least on par with those set by Swedish collective agreements or which are customary within the occupation or industry
  • have been offered a salary that is at least on par with that set by Swedish collective agreements or which is customary within the occupation or industry
  • you must be offered a position that will enable you to support yourself. In order to satisfy this support requirement, you need to work to an extent that will result in a salary of at least SEK 13,000 per month before taxes
  • have an employer who intends to provide insurance covering health, life, employment and pension when you begin to work.

Your host department initiates the work permit application by completing an offer of employment online. After that you need to add information and documents.

How to apply - information on the Migration Agency webpage

 

Doctoral Student admitted

Resi­dence permit for doctoral studies

Doctoral studies involve four years of full-time study, with a possibility to extension up to five years, which include a number of courses and a doctoral thesis.

The Migration Agency grants residence permits for the time required for postgraduate education, but never for longer than the passport's validity.
Although the time for doctoral studies are for several years the residence permit is granted for a maximum of two years at a time. After two years you need to extend your permit and after four years you might qualify to apply for a permanent residence permit in Sweden.

To be eligible for a 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 been admitted to full-time doctoral studies that require your presence in higher education in Sweden (you need a study certificate and a confirmation that you are admitted to doctoral studies - your will get this from your host department)
  • be able to support yourself during the time for which you are applying for a residence permit (information about your income will be included in your study certificate)
  • have, or have applied for, a comprehensive health insurance policy. If you are staying for a longer time than 1 year you will be part of the national insurance system in Sweden.

How to apply - information on the Migration Agency webpage

Exchange doctoral student (not admitted)

Residence permit for exchange doctoral student

If you have been invited to study or do research in Sweden as part of a study programme in another country, you must apply for a visitor's permit. This applies if you will be in Sweden for more than 90 days in a 180-day period. A visitor's permit is usually valid for no more than six months, or up to one year.

In order to receive a visa for studies, research or as a doctoral exchange student you must

  • have a passport that is valid for at least three months after the visa has expired, was issued in the last ten years and has at least two empty pages
  • be able to describe the purpose of your visit
  • have an invitation or proof of acceptance from a university in Sweden
  • have a certificate from your university abroad if you are already registered at a university
  • have money to support yourself and for the return trip home (Sweden also requires you to have 450 SEK for each day you stay in Sweden)
  • have an individual medical travel insurance that covers all costs that may arise in connection with emergency medical treatment, urgent medical care or transportation to your home country for medical reasons (the insurance must cover costs of at least 30,000 EUR and be valid for all Schengen countries)
  • show that you intend to leave Sweden and the Schengen area on the last day before the visa expires
  • a photograph that is in passport format and taken with you facing the camera and which is not older than six months
  • other documents that the embassy may require.

Read more on the Migration Office homepage

 

Visa for short term stay

If you are staying in Sweden shorter time than 90 days you do not need a residence or work permit. Although, some citizens might need a visa to visit Sweden. The embassy or consulate-general normally makes the decisions regarding visas, but in some circumstances it can hand the matter to the Swedish Migration Agency for decision-making.

Facts about visa

 

Helpful tips for non EU 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
6/30/2020