Sweden Eases Residence Permit Rules for International Students Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

By Subhashri Roy Updated On - Apr 28, 2021 01:18 PM

The Swedish Migration Agency has removed a previous requirement for international students to be on campus for 50% of their course in order to get a residence permit. This year, non-EU students can get a student permit despite studying online.

In a bid to make it easier for international students to continue their studies and get a residence permit amid the pandemic, the Swedish Migration Agency has eliminated a previous requirement for students to be on campus for 50% of their course.

Unlike in 2020, this year, non-EU students can get a student permit despite many Swedish universities having switched to online learning.

Usually, the student permit required students to be on campus as online learning was not considered sufficient.

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Many international students enrolled at Swedish universities have voiced their concerns about studying online in different time zones and travel restrictions which led to students returning to their home countries as they were unable to renew their permit.

Universities in Swedish switched to online learning in mid-March 2020. However, many universities required students to be on campus at the beginning of their course.

Although the Migration Agency introduced the new move to provide relief to international students, it said that the “starting point” will still require students to stay in Sweden to complete their course.

It added that now a student’s attendance on campus will not be a decisive factor in the agency’s assessment of student permits for full-time students as universities have taken measures with regard to national advice and guidelines.

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This exception would be considered only for those courses which would otherwise be conducted in-person.

The agency mentioned that its previous exception of no longer having student permit holders to leave Sweden in order to apply for a new permit for the upcoming semester during summer holidays will remain as is for the current year.

In addition, students will be able to receive a student permit for university studies from August 1, 2021, irrespective of the start date of the course. Usually, a permit is held valid only from 14 days before the semester starts.

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