University of Gothenburg

Residence permits, work permits and visa

Before you arrive you may need to apply for an entry visa, residence permit or work permit.

EU citizens

As an EU citizen, you have the right to work, study, or live in Sweden without a specific permit, this is called the right of residence.

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

Photo: Beatrice Törnros/Göteborg & Co

Non-EU citizen: researchers, staff and PhD students

Depending on how long you plan to stay in Sweden, the rules regarding residence permits and work permit are different. 

Staying less than three months

Exemptions from the work permit requirements apply to the following categories:

  • Researchers or teachers at higher education institutions who participate in research, teaching, or lecturing activities for up to three months altogether over the period of 12 months.
  • Researchers who have a residence permit for research in another EU country and will carry out part of their research in Sweden with an approved research funding body. The exemption is valid for a maximum of 180 days during a 360-day period.

If you belong to one of the above categories, you do not need a work permit, but citizens of certain countries need a visa. Read more at the Migration Agency’s website

Staying longer than three months

If you plan to stay in Sweden for longer than three months, you will need:

You must apply for the permit from your native country or other country outside Sweden where you are living. If you apply online using the Migration Agency website, you will get a decision sooner, providing that the Migration Agency does not need to request further information. 

Photo: Peter Kvarnström/Göteborg & Co

Non-EU citizens: students

Staying less than three months
If your total period of stay in Sweden is less than three months, you should not apply for a residence permit. Instead, apply for an entry visa. Citizens of some countries may stay in Sweden for up to three months without a residence permit or visa. During this period, it is permitted to study.

Staying longer than three months
If you are planning to stay for longer than three months, you need to apply for a residence permit. The permit must be issued before you travel to Sweden.