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Foreign citizen – Student finance for studies outside of Sweden

Are you a foreign citizen that wishes to study abroad? Here you will find information on the conditions you could qualify for in order to have the right to student finance from CSN.

The right to Swedish student finance

Normally, only Swedish citizens are entitled to student finance for studies outside of Sweden, but in some cases foreign citizens can as well. This applies to language courses as well. First, you must satisfy the conditions necessary to be entitled to Swedish student finance. Read more about them here on the page.

You must also meet the other conditions

If CSN decides that you have a right to Swedish student finance, you must also meet the other criteria for receiving study grants. For example, the programme you are attending must meet our standards.

Is employed in Sweden and an EU/EEA citizen

You may be entitled to Swedish student finance if you work or have your own company in Sweden and continue working during your studies. In order for this to qualify, you must work a sufficient amount. You can then be treated as a Swedish citizen under EU law.

Has a relative employed in Sweden

You may have the right to Swedish student finance if you are the relative of a person who is employed or operating a business in Sweden. In order for this to qualify, your family member needs to work a sufficient amount. You can then be treated as a Swedish citizen under EU law.

Family member of a 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 Swedish citizen

If your partner or parent is a Swedish citizen and you have also had a relationship in another EU/EEA country, you may in some cases be treated as a Swedish citizen under EU law after moving to Sweden.

Your partner or parent must be employed or run a business in Sweden after living abroad. They must also have worked a sufficient amount.

This counts as employment or operating a business

In order to be considered an employee or self-employed, you or your family member must meet these criteria.

This counts as employment

You or your family member can be considered as an employee in Sweden if you meet these conditions:

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

You or your family member can be counted as self-employed in Sweden if you meet these conditions:

  • You or they are working to a sufficient extent for their 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 or they have registered the company with the Swedish Tax Agency and have an F-tax certificate.

If you or your family member have stopped working

If you have stopped working, you can still be considered an employee or self-employed person in Sweden. This also applies to your family member. You or they must meet one of these conditions:

You or your family member are getting further training

The person is going to further educate themselves within their professional field and the course content is connected to their work in Sweden. An excessively long period of time may not have passed since you stopped working. The same conditions apply to your family member.

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.
You or your family member gets ill or injured

You are 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.

You or your family member have been given notice

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

You have a permanent right of residence (PUR)

You may also have a right to Swedish student finance if you have permanent right of residence in Sweden. You can then be treated as a Swedish citizen under EU law. Normally, EU/EEA nationals have permanent right of residence (PUR) if they have lived legally in Sweden for five years without interruption.

Early permanent right of residence for persons working or who have worked in Sweden, and their relatives

In some cases, you 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 is no longer able to 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 permanent 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.

Language courses can be exchange studies

Sometimes language courses can be considered exchange studies. There are multiple paths for you to meet these criteria for exchange studies, as your right to Swedish student finance will be tried both with Swedish regulations and EU-law.

Whether the language course can be considered to be exchange studies is something we determine while processing your application.

Right to student finance for exchange studies

Icon for updated Updated: 2020-12-07
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