Extending your residence permit: it is the time to consider

If you are a first year master student, February can be a good time to think about extending your residence permit, as you may start applying as early as six month before your residence permit expires on 31/08/2018. Trust me, you would want to do it sooner rather than later!

 

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

The migration agency in Sweden will tell you that the process differs from case to case. It is true, though I can provide you with my own the timeline, which might be typical for a student visa extension:

I started my application in the middle of May and the entire application takes as long as 3.5 months for me. As summer is usually the peak of all kinds of applications at Migration agency (“Migrationsverket” in Swedish), it is really important not to apply at the last minute!

 

ONLINE APPLICATION

Online application is the most common and the easiest way to extend your permit. You will be asked to:

  1. Create a user account through this link: migrationsverket.se/admextanvandare/?tjanst=ansokanstud&locale=en
  2. Confirm your account via the link sent to your email
  3. Upload the required documents to complete the application
  4. Pay SEK 1000 application fee

The process usually takes less than an hour, if you have the required documents ready. They usually include:

  • A scanned copy of your passport

  • Letter of Admission from your current programme

  • Financial proof that you can support your living expenses

 

Financial Proof/ Bank Statement

According to the Migrationsverket, one should have:

It means that for a typical 12-month extension, an applicant should have at least SEK 81,900 at his/her bank account. This instruction seems to be pretty comprehensible. But misunderstanding can happen: the case of Miranda Andersson is probably a nightmare for every foreigner.

Due to a careless mistake,the American student Miranda transferred part of the money from her Swedish account to her parents’ account in the US for the sake of safe-keeping, only for a very short interval in summer. Then, her application of visa extension was rejected because of this “suspicious transection”. (Read the entire story at: “American student told to leave Sweden over money error” at thelocal.se) In reality, most of the rejection is a result of a small mistake in financial proof. But this can be easily avoided, through these three simple means:

  • Open your own bank account and deposit money there

  • Use your own credit card, but NOT under your parents/friends

  • Have sufficient money (SEK 81,900 for one-year extension) AT ALL TIME from the time you start applying until your application is approved

Actually, in the time line above, you will notice that I am requested to clarify the large transection at the end of June, although I can recall very clearly that I have done so in the first online application. But don’t worry: it happens to many of my classmates as well so that I guess it is readily a integral part of the standard procedure.

Just state the fact: whether the money come from your parents/ a scholarship / monthly income  etc.

 

FINAL APPROVAL & DATA RECORDING FOR A NEW CARD

The day immediately after submitting the clarification online, I received an Email from Migrationsverket informing me that my case was settled. Here, it doesn’t imply if my application was approved or not; instead, I will be informed about the result later by mail.

The good news came eventually at the end of July, when I checked my post in a morning! But there is one more thing to do: in Sweden, every non-EU citizen has to have a residence permit card. As the original visa is renewed, the residence permit has to be renewed too. Therefore, one need to visit the Migrationsverket in person to re-record his fingerprint and take photograph.

For this purpose, you need to first book a time at your local Migrationsverket. You may start from here:

migrationsverket.se/English/Contact-us/Book-an-appointment-before-you-visit-us.html

Hint: start from the orange rectangle 🙂

In addition, it is completely feasible to visit the Migrationsverket BEFORE your application is granted. It will save you some time in getting a new card.

 

A NEW CARD, A NEW YEAR!

I got the notification by mail that my card was ready. Normally, you can 1) pick your card in person at Migrationsverket 2) ask them to send to your registered address. The officer at migrationsverket will asks your preference at the time of data recording.

My general impression is that the entire process is easy. I really enjoy the elegancy of the Migrationsverket as most of things are digitalised: no photocopying, no queuing, no hand-writing etc. In the entire period, I only visited the Migrationsverket once for recording fingerprint, and it took less than 30 minutes. On the other hand, it allows little flexibility regarding what kind of documents you have to submit; as far as I know, Miranda Andersson is not the sole case. So, always be careful and good luck with your application 😉

 

11 thoughts on “Extending your residence permit: it is the time to consider

  1. Syed

    Hi. Thanks for this timely post. I have few questions which can you please clarify?

    1. How many month’s of Bank Statement did you show for the extension application? for example was it for 3 or 6 months back tracked from the date of your application?

    2. The extended permit remains valid till which month of the following year for 2 year’s masters program?

  2. Tianlin He Post author

    Hi Syed, sorry for the late reply, I was out during the weekend 🙁
    1. I don’t remember if it is specified (I think I submitted the three-month one), so please refer to the instruction given by Migrationsverket when you apply for extension. Remember to submit the most updated one that you can get!

    2. Most of my international classmates and friends have 30th June 2018 as their last day of staying in Sweden given the extension is successful. I would guess (though with confidence) that it is the standard for all second-year master students.

    If you have questions, feel free to ask me again 🙂

  3. Douglas Garcia Torres

    Hi Tianlin,

    In case that you are a second-year master student and want to extend your permit (e.g. because of delays in your thesis), do you know how this process differs?

    Thanks!

  4. Tianlin He Post author

    Hi Douglas,

    First I must confess as a second-year master student myself that I am probably not the best know-how on this topic.

    But, as far as I know, in addition to the documents mentioned in this blog, you need to submit a certificate from your thesis supervisor explaining why you need more time. If your supervisor doesn’t have such template (which is very likely), you may contact your programme director or academic counsellor, who should be specialised in this issue. The time course of this kind of extension should be more or less similar.

    I found two webpages that might be helpful in explaining how this happens:
    One from University of Borås, page 9:
    https://www.hb.se/PageFiles/42697/Extension%20of%20residence%20permit.%20Presentation%20April%202015.pdf

    One from Chalmers: https://student.portal.chalmers.se/en/studentlife/residencepermit/Pages/extendresidencepermit.aspx

    Hope that helps!

  5. Amulya Rao

    Hi,
    Do you know for how long must the bank statement be valid from the date it has been signed, sealed and printed?

    Is there a two-week validity or such?

    Thank you! 🙂

  6. Tianlin He Post author

    Hi Amulya,

    I never heard about the two-week validity (hmmm maybe it does exist, but I didn’t pay much attention), but the most updated bank statement is always encouraged.
    And also be aware that Migrationsverket usually asks most of the applicants to upload the most recent bank statement again (and make clarification of large transections), when they start evaluating individual case, 1-2 months after the original application was submitted. So read the instructions carefully and keep an eye on your email inbox!

  7. Mahir Mahdee

    Hi Tianlin,
    In case of my 1st time visa application (not extension), for how many months do I have to show my bank statement??

    Thanks in advance. Hope to hear from you soon.

  8. Mahir Mahdee

    Hi Tianlin,

    In case of my 1st time residence permit application (not extension), for how long do I have to show my bank statement??

    Thank you!

  9. teju

    Hi,

    1.i wan to extend visa to my mother in law. could you please let me know what documents needed.
    2.how long before i need to apply for visa.

  10. Tianlin He Post author

    Hi Teju,

    Sorry that I was away during the long weekend.
    I am not going to pretend that I am an expert on this issue; instead, I would like to advise you to peruse the instructions and guidelines at the webpage of Migrationsverket, so that you don’t miss anything.
    In theory, you could file the application starting from six months before the current visa expires. Usually do it early will give you more flexibility.
    Hope that helps!

    Tianlin

  11. Tianlin He Post author

    Hi Mahir,

    It happens that your messages end up in the spam inbox: that’s why I didn’t see it 🙁 I highly suspect that this is because the messages were sent within a rather short interval.

    In regard of your questions:
    1. I checked the website of Migrationsverket at , but it doesn’t mention the exact time term. I would guess your bank statement is regarded as valid, as long as it is up-to-date! The one I provided is a six-month one.
    2. I would say, apply once you have paid your school fee (as early as possible) to give you more flexibility in time!

    All in all, I hope that it is not a late reply (but it probably IS). I promise that I will check the spam inbox more frequently 😉

    Tianlin

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