Over 4,000 International Students Waiting for News on Their Swedish Residence Permits


Sweden’s preventive measures regarding the Coronavirus have left nearly 4,000 students in anxiety and confusion, waiting to find out if they can stay in Sweden this autumn or not.

Authorities in Sweden have previously reported that the issue depends on how much of their courses will be taught remotely.

According to the current Swedish law, the Migration Agency is permitted to give students residence permits only if more than 50 percent of their courses will be conducted on campus.

Thousands of international students outside the European Union may be rejected for a new residence permit or a permit extension if they fail to prove that the majority of their courses will be taught on campus.

Some universities in Sweden yet have not clarified how the coming academic year will be organised.

“The government would need to step in and give new directions to the Migration Agency so that no students fall between the cracks,” acting deputy principal of undergraduate courses at Chalmers University, Patrik Höstmad pointed out.

According to the Migration Agency states that it expects studies to be conducted on campus in spring, so “if persons intend to study a full academic year in Sweden, you only need to have a small part of the teaching on campus during the autumn semester in order to be able to receive a permit for the entire time”.

The Migration Agency urges students who find themselves amid this unclear situation to wait before they extend their residence permit, as long as they apply before the current permit expires.

The country decided to prolong the temporary ban imposed to the European Union via Sweden until August 31. The Ministry of Justice had earlier this year announced through a press release that the decision came due to the Coronavirus situation.

Sweden started to accept visa applications in some locations in Morocco, Thailand, the Philippines, as well as in China, from June, as the situation related to the Coronavirus permitted such a step to be taken.

Due to the Coronavirus situation, many universities are considering to follow a “safer” path, which is online studying. According to a survey, 52 percent of international students may cancel their studies in Europe, if they have to take online classes.

The survey provides detailed information regarding students’ perspectives about online learning.

According to the survey, 30 percent of the students who participated in the survey noted they would for sure cancel their studies in Europe if their university turned to fully-online classes.

Another 17.1 turned out to be undecided on the issue, while the rest, 13.3 percent went with probably no, and a 17.3 percent with definitely no.

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