Sweden to make it easier for foreign students to stay

Photo: afroscandic.com

The Swedish government will soon present a bill to the country’s parliament, Riksdag, containing proposals for new rules on residence permit for research and higher education studies.

The proposals will implement the European Union’s ‘Students and Researchers Directive’.

An important aim of the proposals is to attract more students, researchers and other highly qualified people to Sweden, and make it easier for those who have studied in Sweden to stay in the country to work.

“The Government’s proposals strengthen Sweden’s attractiveness and competitiveness for highly educated and sought-after foreign citizens who can contribute with their knowledge. The proposals are therefore an important part of the work to improve skills provision opportunities for Swedish companies,” says Matilda Ernkrans, Minister for Higher Education and Research.

The new rules will mean that researchers and higher education students will be granted a residence permit for at least one year, or a shorter period corresponding to the duration of their research or studies, and that the permit period for researchers and students can be extended.

Researchers and higher education students will also have the opportunity to remain in Sweden for up to one year following the completion of their research or studies to seek work, or examine the possibility of conducting business activities in the country.

In addition, the government is proposing that the maintenance requirement for researchers and students be refined so that both funds the applicant has access to at the time of application, and proof of future access to funds, may be considered in the individual case.

The government bill also proposes that a person who has a residence permit for research or higher education studies issued by another EU Member State will, in certain cases, be allowed to stay in Sweden on the basis of that permit to conduct part of their research or studies.

“Research is international in nature. Therefore the purpose of the new rules is to make it easier for more people to conduct research and studies in several EU Member States.” says Ms Ernkrans.

The government bill also proposes new rules on residence permits for internships related to higher education, volunteering within the framework of the European Voluntary Service and au pairing.

The proposals implement Directive (EU) 2016/801 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, training, voluntary service, pupil exchange schemes or educational projects and au pairing (the ‘Students and Researchers Directive’) in Swedish law.

It is proposed that the legislative amendments enter into force on 1 January 2020.


Swedish Government