Sweden, the country of balance and diversity, is also a global top destination when it comes to higher education. Being among the top education leaders in the world, universities in Sweden use teaching methods based on “freedom with responsibility”.
There are plenty of reasons why international students choose Sweden to study a degree course abroad. These include the opportunity to pursue a tuition-free programme for students from the EU/EEA and Switzerland.
If you decided to study abroad in Sweden and come from an EU/EEA country, good news! You won’t need a German student visa. Otherwise, follow the next steps and prepare to apply for your student visa:
Decide on a university to apply to and get your acceptance letter
If you’re still not sure where you want to study in Sweden, you will have to decide before you can start your student visa application process. After being accepted at a Swedish university, you’ll get an acceptance letter required for visa application.
Find the right universities depending on the discipline you want to study.
- Master degrees in Environmental Sciences in Sweden
- Master degrees in Mechanical Engineering in Sweden
- Master degrees in Industrial Design in Sweden
- Master degrees in Sociology in Sweden
- Master degrees in Computer Sciences in Sweden
Consider some of the best universities in Sweden:
- Uppsala University
- KTH Royal Institute of Technology
- Chalmers University of Technology
- Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
- Linköping University
Find out what type of visa you need to study in Sweden
Locally called “residence permit for studies”, the student visa is the document that allows you to enter Sweden and live and study in the country for a period longer than three months.
Depending on how long your studies will last, apply to the following study visas for Sweden:
- Short stay visa – If you enrol for a study programme that lasts less than three months.
- Long stay visa type D (also called “residence permit for studies”) – If you enrol for a study programme that lasts longer than six months.
Citizens of Switzerland must apply for a visa if their study lasts longer than three months. However, they can begin their studies immediately after arrival in Sweden or apply before the university admission is announced.
Before applying for the Swedish student visa
There are a few conditions that you need to fulfil, in order to be eligible for the student visa. You can find them below:
- The university study programme you applied to must be full-time.
- You must have a written confirmation that you have been admitted. List of universities recognised in Sweden.
- You are recommended to pay the first tuition fee rate.
- If you stay less than one year, you are required to have comprehensive health insurance.
- The validity of your passport should have a minimum of six months.
When and where to apply for the student visa in Sweden?
You can apply online on the Swedish Migration Agency website or at the Swedish embassy or consulate in your country.
If you chose to apply online, the processing time will start right away and will be shorter, since the documents directly reach the Swedish Migration Authority.
This period is influenced by the amount of information that your file contains. You should make sure your file has all the required documents, in order to avoid adding information after you apply.
Visit the Swedish embassy or consulate from your country to be photographed and fingerprinted and to receive your residence permit card.
The decision regarding your visa is announced via email and you will be required to make an appointment and collect the decision. The decision document is also sent to your university.
You should apply for the student visa as early as possible, since the regular waiting time is around two – three months. When you apply for the visa at the local embassy, you should also present the original versions of the documents you bring.
Tips about my visa application
- You will have to go through an interview when you submit your visa application.
- Make an appointment at the embassy to schedule an interview.
- Remember to bring your passport and original copies of the documents.
Language requirements for my study in Sweden
There is no specific language requirement for your study visa for Sweden. The universities will require proof of language proficiency for either Swedish or English, which is part of the successful admission to a Swedish university. The Swedish Migration Agency will simply demand the university acceptance letter.
Swedish universities offer study programmes taught both in Swedish and English. However, most English study programmes are available for postgraduate level, Master’s and PhD courses. English language tests accepted by universities in Sweden:
Documents for the student visa in Sweden
- Copies of the pages from your passport with personal information, validity period and the permission to live in another country.
- The letter of acceptance from the university that states that you have been admitted to a full-time course. If you applied to a PhD degree, the duration of the course must be specified.
- A copy of the proof that you have comprehensive medical insurance coverage in Sweden (if your study lasts for less than a year). This applies also if the university or university college covers your insurance.
- A bank statement that proves that you can financially support yourself for a minimum of 840 EUR/month or 165 EUR/month if you receive free food and accommodation. The document must cover the duration of your study and to be translated into English. You can also attach documents that show that you’ve received a scholarship, student aid or, in the case of PhD students - an educational grant or employment in research.
Useful information about my student visa in Sweden
Apply for a work permit in Sweden
As an EU citizen, you are entitled to work in Sweden without a work permit. Non-EU/EEA citizens will need a work permit; however, the employer in Sweden will apply for a work permit on your behalf at the Swedish Migration Agency.
During the university study, you are allowed to work without hourly restrictions. But you are advised not to neglect your study since you will have to prove that you made progress and to show satisfactory academic results.