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 is the most common and the easiest way to extend your permit. You will be asked to:
- Create a user account through this link: migrationsverket.se/admextanvandare/?tjanst=ansokanstud&locale=en
- Confirm your account via the link sent to your email
- Upload the required documents to complete the application
- 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 I 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:
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 😉