How to apply

Most people applying for a residence permit to study at a university or college in Sweden can use the online application on the Swedish Migration Board website.

If you are applying online and you are granted a residence permit and do not need a visa to enter Sweden, you do not normally have to visit the embassy. Your residence permit must have been granted before you leave for Sweden.

Applying online 

How to proceed (for applications on paper forms, see further down):

1. Prepare the documentation
Check which documents and personal data you need. The Swedish Migration Board gives priority to applications that are completed, and you get a decision sooner.

Read more under ‘Required documents’ and on the Swedish Migration Board website.

The Swedish Migration Board website

2. Applying
Follow the Swedish Migration Board’s instructions. You attach documents electronically and pay the application fee using a VISA card or a MasterCard. Family members use the same online application if they apply at the same time as you. The online application goes directly to the Swedish Migration Board for processing followed by a decision.

Online application on the Swedish Migration Board website

3. Wait for the decision
When the Swedish Migration Board has reached its decision, you will be informed of this by email. The actual decision will be either given to you when you visit the embassy, or sent to you upon request. Bring your passport if you are collecting your decision in person.

4. Arrange for a residence permit card
If you are granted a residence permit, the decision will be sent to the embassy. If you have not previously been photographed and had your fingerprints taken, you will need to visit the embassy to do so.

If you need a visa to enter Sweden
If you need a visa to enter Sweden, the card is ordered automatically if you have already been photographed and fingerprinted. If you have not been photographed and fingerprinted, you should make an appointment to visit the embassy. For contact details to make an appointment, please visit the embassy contact page.

It can take up to four weeks for the residence permit card to be prepared and delivered to the embassy. Once the card has arrived there, you can collect it without making an appointment during normal business hours (see Embassy Contact page) You must bring your passport with you. If you pay a shipping fee the Embassy will send the card to you (see Fee page for shipping cost). If you want to know whether your card has reached the embassy, you can contact the embassy at (202) 467-2600.

If you do not need a visa to enter Sweden
If you have been granted a residence permit and do not require a visa, you travel to Sweden and arrange for the card there. Contact the Swedish Migration Board for photographing and fingerprinting.

Applying on a paper form

If you cannot or do not want to apply online, you can apply on a paper form that you submit to the Embassy or a Swedish Consulate. How to proceed:

1. Prepare the documentation
Check which documents and personal data you need. The Swedish Migration Board gives priority to applications that are completed, and you get a decision sooner.

Read more under ‘Required documents’ and on the Swedish Migration Board website.

The Swedish Migration Board website

2. Pay the application fee
Application fee should be paid in the form of one money order or certified bank check, payable to the Embassy of Sweden OR to the Swedish Consulate that you submit your application to. If you are applying at the Embassy, the application fee can be paid in person with a credit card (not American Express).

Read more under ‘Fees’

3. Present the application at the embassy
Bring the completed application form with you, together with all the required documents, to the Embassy or send the application and documents to the Embassy by mail.

You can find the embassy’s address under ‘Contact’ in the menu on the left.

The embassy sends your documents to the Migration Board in Sweden.

4. Wait for the decision
The Swedish Migration Board informs the embassy of its decision. The embassy then contacts you. Bring your passport when collecting the decision.

5. Arrange for a residence permit card
If you are granted a permit for more than three months, you will receive a residence permit card. You arrange for the card in the same way as described above under ‘Applying online’.

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