Sweden offers a special kind of residence permit for "visiting researchers". As far as I understand this "visiting researcher" permit is different from a proper residence permit and more akin to a D-type "long stay" visa (although I am not certain of this, since as the name implies this is a "permit" and not a "visa").

Concurrently, the European Comission's "guide to VAT refund for visitors to the EU" defines a "visitor" who is eligible for VAT refund as follows:

A ‘visitor’ is any person who permanently or habitually lives in a country outside the EU. Your address as shown in your passport or other identity document will be taken as the place where you permanently or habitually live.

Example: Eduardo lives and works in Brazil but spends three months every summer in Portugal, where he has a time-share in a villa. Eduardo’s permanent address is in Brazil, so he is a ‘visitor’ to the EU while in Portugal.

In some countries, you may also qualify as a ‘visitor’ if you are living in an EU country for a defined period of time for a specific purpose, but your permanent home is outside the EU and you are not intending to return to the EU in the immediate future. EU citizens permanently living in non-EU countries are also eligible for the VAT refund.

Example: Paul is a Belgian citizen but lives permanently in Canada. Once a year, he returns to Belgium to visit his parents. Paul is a ‘visitor’ and can apply for a refund on a basis of his Canadian residence card.

So, as indicated by the title, the question is: Are non-EU nationals holding and traveling with a Swedish "residence permit for visiting researchers" (while employed in Sweden) eligible for VAT refund when traveling outside the EU?

  • 1
    The question is 'where do you live' and not 'where are you permitted to live'. A visa or a residence permit itself does not necessarily say anything about where your place of residence is. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Jan 31 '17 at 15:00
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo edited to perhaps clarify - I am employed in SE. However, I think being a 'visiting researcher' leaves this question open still. It implies that I am 'visiting' - hence a 'visitor' - but also 'residing'. My 'permanent' residence is outside EU, but it can be argued that I am an EU 'resident' temporarily. – mbaytas Jan 31 '17 at 15:59
  • Will you spend at least 6 months in Sweden? If so, yes, you are a resident. – JonathanReez Jan 31 '17 at 16:45
  • 1
    @JonathanReez Can you point to a reference? – mbaytas Jan 31 '17 at 17:36
  • Some EU countries seem to have published more detailed guidelines on exactly how to prove residency for this purpose, but I can't find any from the Swedish authorities. An oddity is that the EU-wide guidelines refer to 'your address as shown in your passport or other identity document', since it can not be taken for granted that everybody has something like that. The only official id document I can obtain is a passport and my passport does not tell anything about the place of residence. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Jan 31 '17 at 20:51