How to apply

All students can apply online for a resident permit to study in Sweden, regardless of the type of studies concerned. Online applications are submitted on the Swedish Migration Agency's website. This is generally the quickest and easiest way to apply for a residence permit for studies in Sweden. Online applications go directly to the Swedish Migration Agency and are given priority.

If you have been accepted to full-time studies in Sweden, you are now ready to apply for your residence permit. This section is divided into two parts, and the one you should refer to depends on if you are applying online or on paper. The first part contains information on how to apply online and what happens after you have applied online.

The second part contains information on how to apply on paper and what happens after you have applied on paper. So if you are applying on paper, plese ignore the first part of this page and scroll down to the heading 'Applying on paper', and start Reading from there.

Applying online

1. Prepare the documentation
The required documents may vary slightly between online and paper applications. If you apply online, you are therefore advised to follow the instructions on the Swedish Migration Agency's website.

Please make sure to prepare all the documents required as per the specifications on the Migration Agency's website. If you fail to submit some documents or if submitted documents are not in accordance with the Migration Agency's specifications, the processing time for your application may be prolonged, and you may be asked to submit more documents.

Note 1: The case officers at the Swedish Migration Agency are not proficient in Chinese. All required documents must therefore be in English (or Swedish). If you cannot get a specific document in English, you need to have the document in Chinese translated into English by an authorized translator, and you then submit the original document along with the translation.

Note 2: If you are under 18 years of age you cannot submit the online application yourself, instead one of your custodians/parents needs to apply on your behalf.

Studying in Sweden - Swedish Migration Agency website

2. Applying
Follow the Swedish Migration Agency’s instructions. You attach documents electronically and pay the application fee using a VISA card or a MasterCard.

If you wish to apply for your family members to go with you, you can apply for them in your own application. If you have already been granted a Residence permit, gone to Sweden, and registered with the Swedish Tax Agency, your family members should make their own online applications. If you have submitted your application online but not yet received a decision, and you did not apply for your family members at the same time, they cannot apply online until you have been granted your residence permit, gone to Sweden, and registered with the Swedish Tax Agency. If they wish to apply before that, they can submit paper applications at the Embassy or a Consulate General.

Online application on the Swedish Migration Agency website

3. Wait for the decision
After you have applied you can check the status of your application on the Swedish Migration Agency's website, please see the following link:

Check your application on the Swedish Migration Agency website 

You can also get an estimation of the total processing time for your application on the Swedish Migration Agency's website, please see the following link:

Check the estimated processing time for your application on the Swedish Migration Agency website

When a decision has been made in your case, you will receive an e-mail from the Swedish Migration Agency. The e-mail will not specify whether or not your application has been approved. If your application has been refused, the Swedish Embassy or Consulate General will contact you to inform you about this. A refused application can always be appealed. To appeal you should collect your decision letter at the Embassy or Consulate General. The letter will contain information on why your application was refused, as well as instructions on how to appeal.

If your application has been approved, you will need to visit the Embassy or Consulate General (if you are within the Consulate General's uptake area) to leave biometrics for your residence permit card, if you have not done so already. The e-mail from the Swedish Migration Agency may ask you to contact the Embassy or the Consulate General within 14 days to book an appointment. Please note that you do not need to do this. You do not need to book an appointment to leave biometrics, and you do not need to do so within 14 days. Please be advised, however, that the sooner you leave biometrics, the sooner you can collect your residence permit card. If you have left biometrics before the decision is made, your card will be ordered automatically when your application is approved.

Note 1: If your citizenship permits you to enter Sweden without a visa and you have been granted a residence permit, and you have not yet left biometrics, you may choose to go directly to Sweden and order your residence permit card from one of the Swedish Migration Agency’s offices.

Note 2: The Swedish Migration Agency will refrain from making a decision, or refuse your application, if you are in Sweden when your application is being processed. All applicants, including those who can enter Sweden without a visa, or applicants who can enter Sweden with visas or residence permit cards from other Schengen countries, are therefore strongly advised not to enter Sweden before a decision has been made in their case.

4. Collect your residence permit card
When you have been granted a residence permit and left biometrics, a residence permit card will be produced for you and sent over to the Swedish Embassy or Consulate General. This will normally take 2-3 weeks. When we receive your card we will send you an e-mail with detailed information on how to collect your card. Please note that the e-mail may end up in your spam inbox, so please check there as well. 

All applicants above the age of 2 must collect their residence permit cards in person. All applicants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian or an adult with power of attorney from the legal guardian. We cannot send out any residence permit cards by post to applicants under any circumstances.

To collect your card, bring your passport to the Embassy or Consulate General during opening hours, take a queue number and wait for your turn. The visa section at the Embassy is open on weekdays between 9 and 11am. For information about when the Embassy is closed, please see Holidays 2016.

For more information about residence permit cards, please visit the Migration Agency's website.

Residence permit cards - Swedish Migration Agency website

Note: If you have not heard from the embassy in a long time (more than 3 weeks) after a decision has been made in your case and you have left biometrics, and want to know if your card has reached the embassy, you can contact us by sending an e-mail to: visa.beijing@gov.se.

Applying on paper

If you cannot or do not want to apply online, you can submit a paper application at the Embassy of Sweden or a Consulate General, depending on where you live. 

All citizens may apply at the Embassy of Sweden in Beijing. Residents of Shanghai, Jiangsu, Anhui and Zhejiang have the option to apply at the Consulate General of Sweden in Shanghai. Residents of other provinces may not apply at the Consulate General.

Residents of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan should apply at the Consulate General of Sweden in Hong Kong. Residents of Mongolia should apply at the Embassy of Sweden in Beijing.

1. Prepare the documentation
Check which documents you need to submit with your application (see ‘Required documents’). Please make sure to prepare all the documents as per our specifications. If you fail to submit some documents or if submitted documents are not in accordance with the specifications, the processing time for your application may be prolonged, and you may be asked to submit more documents.

Please see ‘Required documents’ for more information.

2. Visit the Embassy or Consulate General to submit your application
Bring your passport along with all the required documents and submit them at the Embassy or Consulate General. The Embassy’s opening hours are Monday-Friday, 9-11am. For information about when the Embassy is closed, please see Holidays 2016. You can find the address of the Embassy by clicking on 'Contact' in the menu on the left, and then click on 'Embassy and consulates'.

You do not need to book an appointment to submit your residence permit application. You will pay the application fee and leave biometrics for the residence permit card when you submit your application. The embassy can only accept card payment.

For more information about fees, please see the following link: ‘Fees’.

Note 1: The Embassy or Consulate Generals do not accept applications made by post under any circumstances. All applications on paper must be submitted in person.

Note 2: We do not have sufficient resources to go through your application in the reception when you hand it in. Your application will be checked at a later time, and if any of the required documents are missing or are not in accordance with the specifications, you will be contacted by our staff at a later time. You will then have to submit additional documents (either by post or in person) which prolongs the processing time of your application. You are therefore strongly advised to ensure that you submit all the required documents, and that they are in accordance with our specifications.

3. Wait for the decision
After you have submitted your application, and none of the required documents are missing, your application will be sent by post to the Swedish Migration Agency, which will then process your application (this does not apply to exchange students, see below). As it takes some time for your application to reach Sweden by post, you may want to consider applying online as the total processing time will be shorter.

Exchange students: The Embassy and Consulate Generals can make decisions in applications for exchange studies if the study period is less than one year. The processing time for paper applications for exchange studies is therefore not necessarily shorter than for applications submitted online. Please note that the required documents vary slightly depending on if you apply online or if you apply at the Embassy or a Consulate General. If you apply online, please follow the instructions on the Swedish Migration Agency’s website. If you apply on paper, you should instead follow the instructions here on the Embassy website.

Note: The Swedish Migration Agency will refrain from making a decision, or refuse your application, if you are in Sweden when your application is being processed. All applicants, including those who can enter Sweden without a visa, or applicants who can enter Sweden with visas or residence permit cards from other Schengen countries, are therefore strongly advised not to enter Sweden before a decision has been made in their case.

4. When a decision has been made
When a decision has been made in your case you will receive an e-mail from the Swedish Migration Agency (except for exchange students, as their paper applications are not decided by the Swedish Migration Agency). The e-mail will not specify whether or not your application has been approved.

If your application has been refused, the Swedish Embassy or Consulate General will contact you to inform you about this. A refused application can always be appealed. To appeal you should collect your decision letter at the Embassy or Consulate General. The letter will contain information on why your application was refused, as well as instructions on how to appeal.

If your application has been approved, a residence permit card will be ordered for you automatically, and you will not need to contact the Embassy or Consulate General. It normally takes 2-3 weeks for your card to be produced and sent over to the Embassy or Consulate General. When we receive your card we will send you an e-mail to inform you that it is ready for collection. Please note that the e-mail may end up in your spam inbox, so please check there as well. 

All applicants above the age of 2 must collect their residence permit cards in person. All applicants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian or an adult with power of attorney from the legal guardian. We cannot send out any residence permit cards by post to applicants under any circumstances.

To collect your card, bring your passport to the Embassy or Consulate General during opening hours, take a queue number and wait for your turn. The Visa Section at the Swedish Embassy is open on weekdays between 9 and 11am. For information about when the Embassy is closed, please see Holidays 2016.

For more information about residence permit cards please visit the Migration Agency's website.

Residence permit card - Swedish Migration Agency website

Note 1: If your citizenship permits you to enter Sweden without a visa and you have been granted a residence permit, you may choose to go directly to Sweden and order your residence permit card from one of the Swedish Migration Agency’s offices.

Note 2: If you have not heard from the embassy in a long time (more than 3 weeks) after a decision has been made in your case and you want to know if your card has reached the embassy, you can contact us by sending an e-mail to: visa.beijing@gov.se.

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