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For citizens of countries outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland

You who are a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland and want to study in Sweden may be entitled to Swedish student finance from CSN in various ways. On this page, you can read about what applies if you have a permanent residence permit, are a refugee, have a family, or are a relative of a person from an EU/EEA country among other things.

You can qualify in different ways

If you are a citizen of country outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you can qualify for the right to Swedish student finance, in various manners. One way is if you have a permanent residence permit in Sweden. You can also meet the conditions, for example, if you are a refugee or if you have a child with a Swedish citizen, with whom you live. There are special regulations for you under the age of 20.

After 31 December 2020, you who are a British citizen no longer count as a citizen of an EU/EEA country.

The regulations on this page apply to those who want to study in Sweden.

Permanent residence permit

You normally have the right to Swedish student finance for studies in Sweden if the Swedish Migration Agency has granted you a permanent residence permit.

The right to student finance normally applies from the week the Migration Agency granted you the permit.

Permanent right of residence

You may also have a right to Swedish student finance if you have permanent right of residence in Sweden. The reason is that you can be treated as a Swedish citizen under EU law.

If you are a family member of an EU/EEA citizen and you have lived together in Sweden for at least 5 years without interruption you normally have permanent right of residence.

This is not applicable if your family member is a Swedish or Swiss citizen.

Permanent right of residence for British citizens and their family members

Due to Brexit, there are different rules regarding permanent right of residence for British citizens and their family members depending on when you started living in Sweden.

If you are a British citizen and have been living in Sweden since before 1 January 2021, you will normally have permanent right of residence after you have been living here without interruption for at least 5 years.

You who are a family member of a British citizen will normally have permanent right of residence after you and your family member have lived together in Sweden for at least 5 years without interruption, if you were both residents here before 1 January 2021.

If you started living in Sweden after 31 December 2020, you cannot have permanent right of residence.

Early permanent right of residence for family members of persons who are working or have worked in Sweden

In these cases, you who are a family member to a citizen of an EU/EEA country may be granted early permanent right of residence:

  • Your family member has retired after working in Sweden for the past year. He or she has lived here for at least an additional 3 years without interruption.
  • Your family member has worked in Sweden but are no longer able to because he or she has sustained a permanent disability that prevents him or her from working. Your family member has also lived here for at least 2 years without interruption.
  • Your family member has worked in Sweden but can no longer do so due to an occupational injury that entitles compensation.
  • Your family member has lived and worked in Sweden for at least 3 years and still live here currently, but he or she is employed in another EU/EEA country.

Family member of someone who died while working in Sweden
You may also obtain early right of residence if you are the relative of an EU/EEA citizen who passed away while working in Sweden. That person must have resided in Sweden for the last 2 years, or died due to an injury or illness caused by their employment.

Early permanent right of residence for British citizens and their family members

If you are a British citizen and have lived in Sweden since before 1 January 2021 you may in some cases be granted early permanent right of residence. This applies if you are or have been employed or self-employed. One of the following must also apply to you:

  • You have retired after working in Sweden for the past year. You have lived here for at least an additional 3 years without interruption.
  • You have worked in Sweden but are no longer able to because you have sustained a permanent disability that prevents you from working. You have lived here for at least an additional 2 years without interruption.
  • You have worked in Sweden but can no longer do so due to an occupational injury that entitles compensation.
  • You have lived and worked in Sweden for at least 3 years and still live here currently, but you are employed in another EU/EEA country.

As a family member to a British citizen, you can also have early permanent right of residence if you have lived together in Sweden since before 1 January 2021 and your family member meets any of the above conditions.

You can also have early permanent right of residence if the British citizen you are related to died while working in Sweden. He or she must then have lived in Sweden for the past 2 years, or died due to an injury or illness that was due to work.

Residence permit based on family ties

If you have been granted a residence permit by the Swedish Migration Agency based on a family tie to somebody in Sweden, you may in certain cases have a right to Swedish student finance through a change in the law. This change will take effect on 20 July 2021.

If you have a time-limited permit as a family member of a person who has a work permit, you are normally not entitled to student finance. That kind of permit is based on work and not on family ties.

Residence permit under the new upper secondary school law, or the previous temporary law

You may have a right to Swedish student finance if you have a residence permit under the new upper secondary school law.

You may also have a right to student finance if you have a permit under the previous temporary law.

If your residence permit has expired

If your residence permit has expired, you may still be entitled to student finance. This applies if you have applied for an extension of your residence permit before your temporary permit expired. Therefore, remember to apply for an extension with the Swedish Migration Agency in time!

It is also required that your application for an extension

  • has the same basis as before, or
  • is for a residence permit under the new upper secondary school law.

Your previous residence permit must have been one that could entitle you to student finance.

Refugee or family member to a refugee

If the Swedish Migration Agency has decided that you are a refugee or a person in need of subsidiary protection, you are normally entitled to Swedish student finance. You may also be entitled to student finance if you have been granted a residence permit due to particularly distressing circumstances. If you are a family member of such a person, you may also be entitled to student finance.

Your residence permit should be valid

Your residence permit should be valid. The right to student finance normally applies from the week the Swedish Migration Agency granted you the permit.

If your residence permit has expired

If your residence permit has expired, you may still be entitled to student finance. This applies if you have applied for an extension of your residence permit before your temporary permit expired. Therefore, remember to apply for an extension with the Swedish Migration Agency in time!

It is also required that your application for an extension

  • has the same basis as before, or
  • is for a residence permit under the new upper secondary school law.

Your previous residence permit must have been one that could entitle you to student finance.

Special reasons

There are special reasons that may give you the right to Swedish student finance.

Residence permits CSN equate with being a refugee

If you do not have a residence permit as a refugee, a person in need of subsidiary protection or due to particularly distressing circumstances, you may still be eligible for student finance if you got a permit CSN can equate with being a refugee. We will then assess the reason the Swedish Migration Agency has granted your permit.

Children with a Swedish citizen

If you have children with a Swedish citizen and you live together in Sweden, you may have a right to Swedish student finance. You must also have a residence permit, residence status or right of residence in Sweden. If your residence permit is no longer valid, you may still be entitled to student finance if you have applied for an extended permit before the old one expired.

If you are under the age of 20

If you are under the age of 20, you may be entitled to student finance if you satisfy one of the following conditions:

  • You and your parent have right of residence, residence status or a residence permit based on a family relationship with a person who lives in Sweden.
  • You have a parent who is a Swedish citizen and you have right of residence, residence status or a residence permit based on your familial relationship to this parent.
  • A Swedish authority have placed you in a family care home or institution.
  • You have a custodial guardian decided by a Swedish authority.

Right of residence and a lasting connection

Normally, you may have the right to Swedish student finance if you have a specific connection to Sweden. We refer to this as a lasting connection. You may have the right to student finance if you fulfil the following qualifications:

    1. You have right of residence as you are a family member of an EU/EEA citizen.
    2. You have a lasting connection to Sweden.
    3. You live in Sweden.
    What applies for British citizens and their family members?

    To be entitled to student finance through lasting connection as a British citizen after 31 December 2020, you must be a family member of a citizen of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland. It is not enough that the Swedish Migration Agency has granted you residence status. Residence status is not the correct type of right of residence for you to have a lasting connection to Sweden.

    What is a lasting connection?

    You can have a lasting connection to Sweden in different ways, for example; because you reside and are employed here, are married here, or were under the age of 20 when you moved here.

    You have worked in Sweden for at least 2 years

    You must have been residing and employed in Sweden for at least 2 years. You must have held at least a half time employment (50 per cent).

    There are other types of occupations, besides employment in exchange for salary, that also count as an employment. These also count:

    • period during which you have been registered as unemployed with a Swedish employment service
    • employment training or other employment policy measure
    • municipal adult education in Swedish for immigrants (sfi)
    • education in Swedish at primary and lower-secondary school level at the highest, at least half time
    • time during which you have been receiving sickness benefit, activity compensation, or similar
    • care of your own children under the age of 10
    • fulltime care of a close relative.
    Married or cohabiting with an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen in Sweden for at least 2 years

    You are married to or cohabiting with an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen, and you have lived together in Sweden for at least 2 years.

    Your partner must also satisfy the conditions in order to be entitled to student finance. They must either possess a permanent residence permit, fulfil the lasting connection or special reasons conditions.

    What counts as a cohabiting partner?

    A cohabiting partner is someone you live with in marital relationships. If it is two friends living together, that is not considered cohabiting.

    You were under 20 years of age when you came to Sweden

    You were under the age of 20 when you moved to Sweden with your parent and you both have right of residence as EU/EEA citizens or family members to such a person. Your parent resides and is employed here.

    Long-term resident status

    You may be entitled to student finance if the Swedish Migration Agency has granted you a long-term resident status in Sweden. That is also the case if you have a long-term resident status in another EU country, and therefore received a residence permit in Sweden.

    Family member of a of a person working in Sweden (EU law)

    You may be entitled to student finance if you are a family member of a person who is employed or operating a business in Sweden. Your family member must work for a sufficient amount for this to apply.

    This counts as employment or operating a business

    Employment

    Your family member can be considered an employee in Sweden if he or she meets these conditions:

    • He or she is working to a sufficient extent. This normally means at least 10 hours per week with a minimum employment period of 10 weeks.
    • He or she receives wages or other compensation for their work.

    Operating a business (self-employment)

    Your family member can be counted as self-employed in Sweden if he or she meets these conditions:

    • He or she is working to a sufficient extent in the company. This normally means at least 10 hours per week with a minimum employment period of 10 weeks. Your family member also needs to have sufficient turnover in the company and a certain level of income or profit.
    • He or she has registered the company with the Swedish Tax Agency and have an F-tax certificate.

    Conditions

    The conditions that must be fulfilled depend on the country that you or your family member are citizens of, amongst other things.

    Family member of a citizen of the EU/EEA or Switzerland

    You are considered a family member if you are the partner, child or stepchild under the age of 21, to an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen. In some cases, you may also be considered a child even if you are older than 21 if you can prove that you are financially dependent on your parent. This does not normally apply if your family member is a Swedish citizen.

    You can also be counted as a family member if you are the parent of an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen who is employed or operating a business in Sweden. In that case, you need to be able to prove that you are financially dependent on your child.

    Family member of a British citizen

    If you are a family member of a British citizen and he or she was working in Sweden before 1 January 2021, you can be treated as a Swedish citizen under EU law and be entitled to student finance. Your family member must continue to work during your studies, and he or she must work a sufficient amount. If your family member has stopped working, he or she can still be considered an employee or self-employed person in Sweden if he or she meets certain conditions.

    Family member of a Swedish citizen

    If your family member is a Swedish citizen, and you had a relationship in another EU/EEA country before moving to Sweden, you may be treated as a Swedish citizen under EU law in some cases.

    Your family member must be employed or run a business in Sweden after living abroad. They must also work a sufficient amount during your studies.

    If your family member has stopped working, he or she can still be considered an employee or self-employed person in Sweden if he or she meets certain conditions.

    Family member of a Swedish citizen who has lived in the UK

    If your family member is a Swedish citizen and you had a relationship in the UK, you may be treated as a Swedish citizen under EU law in certain cases. Your family member must have returned to Sweden before 1 January 2021 and also be employed or run a business in Sweden after returning here. They must also work a sufficient amount.

    If your family member has stopped working, he or she can still be considered an employee or self-employed person in Sweden if he or she meets certain conditions.

    Child of a Turkish citizen

    If you are a Turkish citizen and have a Turkish parent or stepparent who is working in Sweden, you may be entitled to Swedish student finance. This is the case if your parent or stepparent is working or running his or her own company in Sweden. Your parent or stepparent needs to work at least 10 hours a week during your study period. Both of you must have residence permits, and you must have been living together in Sweden.

    Child of a guest researcher

    If you are the child of a guest researcher in Sweden and wishes to apply for study allowance for studies in upper secondary school, there are special rules.

    Contact us for further information

    Child of a person holding an EU Blue Card

    If you are the child of a person holding an EU Blue Card and you wish to apply for study allowance for studies in upper secondary school, there are special rules.

    Contact us for further information

    Child of a person holding an Intra-Corporate Transfer (ICT) permit

    If you are the child of a person holding an ICT permit and you wish to apply for study allowance for studies in upper secondary school, there are special rules.

    Contact us for further information

    If your family member has stopped working

    If your family member has stopped working, he or she can still be considered an employee or self-employed person in Sweden. Your family member must meet one of these conditions:

    Your family member is getting further training

    Your family member is going to further their education within their professional field and the course content is connected to the previous work in Sweden. The time since they stopped working may not be excessively long.

    Further training within a vocation includes, for example

    • a teacher getting further training in pedagogy
    • a musician studying at a music academy
    • an assistant nurse training to be a nurse.
    Your family member gets ill or injured

    Your family member is temporarily unable to work because of illness or an accident. You need to be able to prove this with a medical certificate or a certificate for sickness allowance from Försäkringskassan.

    Your family member has been given notice

    Your family member has been dismissed from their employment and registered as a jobseeker with a Swedish employment agency. If they have been employed in Sweden for less than one year, they can be considered an employee for six months after leaving the employment.

    British citizen working in Sweden (EU law)

    If you are a British citizen and already worked in Sweden before 1 January 2021, you may in certain cases be treated as a Swedish citizen under EU law and therefore be entitled to student finance. You also need to work at least 10 hours a week during your study period. If you have stopped working, you can still be considered an employee or self-employed person in Sweden if you meet certain conditions.

    Icon for updated Updated: 2021-07-20
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