Sweden opens online student visa service

The Swedish National Migration Board will allow visiting students to apply online for their entry visas and residence permits, as well as pay their fees on its website. The goal of the move is to offer better service, as well as reduce the waiting time to process applications. The service will be initially introduced on a small scale, then gradually be introduced to Swedish embassies and consulates.

Two groups of applicants can now make use of the electronic services. Those who do not need an entry visa to visit Sweden can apply for a residence permit for visiting students on the agency’s website. The application will then be processed in Sweden and the permit issued by the embassy or consulate indicated by the applicant.

For Chinese residents, those who must apply for a visa for any kind of visit to Sweden, or a residence permit for visiting students can do so online for applications handled by the Swedish embassy in Beijing.

Applicants can submit all their information online and pay the application fee electronically before the mandatory embassy visit, making the application process more efficient.The Swedish consulate in Shanghai will also offer these services next month. They will be rolled out at other Swedish missions next year.

According to the agency, in 2009, Sweden’s embassy and consulate received nearly 2,500 applications for visiting student permits out of about 16,900 in various other countries around the world.