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For citizens of EU/EEA countries or Switzerland

If you are a citizen of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland and study in Sweden, you may be entitled to student finance in some manner from CSN. Here you can read about what applies if you are working, have family, or a relative working in Sweden.

You can qualify in different ways

If you are a citizen of the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you can qualify for the right to Swedish student finance, in various manners. One way is living and working in Sweden, or being a family member of someone who does. You can also qualify, for example, if you have a permanent right of residence.

After Brexit, you who are a British citizen no longer count as a citizen of the EU/EEA. You can read what applies to you on the page Citizen outside EU/EEA or Switzerland.

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

Permanent right of residence or permanent residence permit

Normally, you may be entitled to Swedish student finance for studies conducted in Sweden if you have a permanent right of residence or a permanent residence permit.

Normally, EU/EEA nationals have permanent right of residence if they have lived legally in Sweden for five years without interruption. Citizens of Switzerland can obtain a permanent residence permit from the Swedish Migration Agency.

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

In some cases, you who are a citizen of an EU/EEA country may be granted early permanent right of residence if you are or have been employed or self-employed. In this case, 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.

Being a relative of someone working in or who has worked in Sweden

You may also obtain an early permanent right of residence if you are the relative of a person who meets one of the aforementioned requirements. You may also obtain a 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.

At least 2 years of employment or a familial connection

Normally, you may be entitled to Swedish student finance if you have a specific connection to Sweden. We refer to this as a lasting connection.

Lasting connection

You may be granted student finance if you have a lasting connection to Sweden. You must meet one of the following criteria:

  • You have worked in Sweden for at least 2 years.
  • You have been married to or cohabiting with someone in Sweden for at least 2 years.
  • You were younger than 20 years old when you moved to Sweden and one of your parents resides and is employed here.

You must also have a right of residence and reside in Sweden. As an EU/EEA citizen you normally have a right of residence if you live in Sweden.

Work in Sweden

You must have been living and employed in Sweden for at least two years. You must have held at least a part time employment (50 per cent).

The following also count as employment:

  • 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)
  • an education in Swedish at primary and lower-secondary school level at the highest, at least part 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.

If you have been employed for less than two years in Sweden, you may still be entitled to student finance, if you can be equated with a Swedish citizen under EU law.

Married or cohabiting

Normally, you are entitled to student finance if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • You are married or cohabiting with a Swedish citizen and you have lived together in Sweden for at least two years.
  • You are married to or cohabiting with a Swedish citizen and you have lived together for at least four years, of which at least one year was in Sweden.
  • You are married to or cohabiting with a Swedish citizen with whom you have children and you have lived together in Sweden for at least one year.
  • You are married to or cohabiting with another foreign citizen and you have lived together in Sweden for at least two years. If you have a child together it is enough that you have lived together in Sweden for at least one year. Your partner must be entitled to student finance in accordance with Swedish regulations. Your partner must also have one of the following:
    • permanent residence permit
    • residence permit as a refugee, as a person eligible for subsidiary protection or the equivalent
    • residence permit based on family ties
    • residence permit according to the law on upper secondary level studies
    • residence permit based on the temporary law that limits the possibilities for asylum seekers to be granted residence permits in Sweden
    • special reasons for right to student finance.
  • You are married to or cohabiting with a citizen of the EU/EEA and you have lived together in Sweden for at least two years. If you have a child together it is enough that you have lived together for at least one year. Your partner must be entitled to student finance in accordance with Swedish regulations.

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

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.

Special reasons - if you have a family connection or are under the age of 20

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

Children with Swedish citizen

Normally, you are entitled to student finance if you are married to or cohabiting with a Swedish citizen with whom you have children and whom you reside with in Sweden.

If you are under the age of 20

Normally, if you are under the age of 20 and reside in Sweden, you are entitled to student finance if you satisfy one of the following conditions. This counts as having special reasons.

  • You and your parent have family ties to a person who resides in Sweden. They must either be a Swedish citizen, have a permanent residence permit, or otherwise have the right to Swedish student finance.
  • You have a parent who is a Swedish citizen.
  • A Swedish authority have placed you in a family care home or institution.
  • You have a custodial guardian decided by a Swedish authority.

Work during the study period (EU law)

You may be entitled to Swedish student finance if you work or have your own company in Sweden and continue working during your studies. You can then be treated as a Swedish citizen under EU law.

This counts as employment or operating a business

You can be considered an employee in Sweden if you meet these conditions:

  • You are working to a sufficient extent. This normally means at least 10 hours per week with a minimum employment period of 10 weeks.
  • You receive wages or other compensation for your work.

You can be considered self-employed in Sweden if you meet these conditions:

  • You are working to a sufficient extent for your company. This normally means at least 10 hours per week with a minimum employment period of 10 weeks. You also need to have sufficient turnover in the company and a certain level of income or profit.
  • You have registered your company with the Swedish Tax Agency and have an F-tax certificate.

Conditions

You may be entitled to student finance if you meet any of these conditions:

You continue working while studying

If you are employed or run your own company in Sweden, you can receive the right to student finance. You will need to continue working while studying and you must work at least 10 hours per week.

You have quit working but meet special conditions

If you have stopped working in Sweden, you may in some cases be entitled to student finance. You need to meet one of the following conditions:

  • You are going to further educate yourself within your professional field and the course content is connected to your work in Sweden. The studies must be professional or vocational. An excessively long period of time may not have passed since you stopped working.
  • You are temporarily unable to work because of illness or an accident.
  • You have been dismissed from your employment and registered as a jobseeker with a Swedish employment agency. If you have worked in Sweden for less than a year, you are only entitled to student finance for six months after you have stopped working.

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.

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

You may have the right to Swedish student finance if you are relative family member of a person who is employed or operating a business in Sweden. The reason is that you are treated as a Swedish citizen under EU law.

Family member of an EU/EES citizen

You are considered a family member if you are the partner, child or stepchild under the age of 21, to an EU/EEA 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 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 in some cases.

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

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.

What counts as employment or operating a business?

In order for the person you are a family member to, to be counted as employed in Sweden, they must meet these conditions:

  • They are working to a sufficient extent. This means at least 10 hours per week for a minimum employment period of at least 10 weeks.
  • They receive wages or other compensation for their work.

In order for the person you are a family member to, to be considered as self-employed in Sweden, they must meet these conditions:

  • They are working to a sufficient extent for their company. This means at least 10 hours per week for a minimum employment period of at least at least 10 weeks. They also need to have sufficient turnover in the company and a certain level of income or profit.
  • They have registered their company with the Swedish Tax Agency and have an F-tax certificate.

If your family member has stopped working

If the person you are a family member of has stopped working, they can still be considered an employee or self-employed person in Sweden. The person must meet one of these conditions:

Your family member is getting further training

The person 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

The person is temporarily unable to work because of illness or an accident.

Your family member has been given notice

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

Icon for updated Updated: 2021-07-20