Your Legal Residence Process

Obtaining your visa

Your Legal Residence process refers to the process you will undergo to apply for and obtain the necessary documentation to reside in Sweden legally. As a DIS student, you will need a Visitor’s Permit for your time abroad in Sweden.

Your Visitor’s Permit qualifies you as a legal resident of Sweden. When traveling outside of the country during the semester, you may be asked to show your Visitor’s Permit at passport control to prove that you have the right to come back into the country.

Upon admission to DIS Stockholm, all students who do not hold an EU or Norwegian passport will be required to apply for a Swedish Visitor’s Permit. DIS will send you the necessary paperwork; do not begin the application until you are directed to do so by DIS.

Please note: DIS staff do their best to provide unofficial guidance on visa matters, however, we recommend that students with specific questions consult the Swedish embassy in Washington D.C.

How Do I Apply for a Swedish Visitors Permit?

Your Legal Residence Process is based on your passport. You should not begin the application process on your own; we will notify you of the steps specific to you and assist you after your acceptance to the program. Click into the links below to find more information about your specific process.

Information for Students from Entry Visa-Free Countries

If you are a student from an Entry Visa-Free country, you may legally enter Sweden without a Residence Permit up to approximately 80 days in advance of your DIS term start. However, DIS requires you apply for a Residence Permit before you depart.

If your passport nationality is not on this list, you are considered ‘Entry Visa-Free’

Information for Students from Entry Visa-Required Countries

If you are a student from an Entry Visa-Required country, you are required to obtain your Swedish Visitor’s Permit card prior to your departure. Note: part of the application requires you to submit your biometrics in person at the Swedish Embassy in your home country or the U.S.

If your passport nationality is on this list, you are considered ‘Entry Visa-Required’

For the application, you will need:

  • A passport valid six months beyond the end date of your DIS term
  • A bank account statement in your name that contains a minimum of USD $3,000
  • Additional materials provided by DIS

What if I Have More Than One Passport?

If you have more than one passport, please contact the DIS North American Office at 800-247-3477. We’ll advise on which passport you should travel on. Note that whichever passport you inform DIS you are traveling on and use to enter Sweden, you must follow that country’s application process to obtain your Swedish Visitor’s Permit.

If You Plan to Travel Before Your Semester with DIS

The Schengen Region and its Laws

The Schengen Region is a zone consisting of 26 European member countries. Read more about the Schengen Region. Sweden is included in the Schengen region.

Prior to the start of your semester, all US/Canadian passport holders can travel anywhere in Europe without a visa, for less than 90 days, except Turkey or Russia.

Traveling During Your Semester

Once you have spent 90 days in the Schengen Region, you must carry both your passport and your Residence Permit Card with you when traveling outside of Sweden.

We suggest you to also travel with photocopies of both your passport and Residence Permit Card. Store these copies separate from the originals in case of loss or theft.

If You Plan to Travel Before/After Your Semester with DIS 

The Schengen Region and its Laws 

The Schengen Region is a zone consisting of 26 European member countries. Read more about the Schengen Region here. Sweden is included in the Schengen region. 

According to Schengen and Swedish law, if your passport is from an Entry Visa-Free country (such as the United States), you are allowed 90 days of visa-free travel within Sweden and the Schengen area within every 180-day period. Your Swedish Visitor’s Permit will be valid for the DIS program dates: Arrival Day through the last day of DIS Housing. The Swedish Embassy has confirmed that your visa-free days automatically reactivate at the end of your Visitor’s Permit validity without you needing to leave the country. That means you can stay in Sweden and/or travel within the Schengen Region beyond your semester independently up to 90 days (minus any travel within the Schengen Region before your Visitor’s Permit began).  

Please note that these laws are subject to change.