No documentation from your foreign higher education?

If you do not have any documentation of all or part of your foreign higher education, you can apply to UHR for a “background paper” instead of a recognition statement.

What is a background paper?

A background paper is a document that describes your educational background on the basis of how we would normally evaluate similar qualifications when complete documentation is provided.

The background paper is partly based on the information you provide in your application and partly on the knowledge UHR has about education in the country in which you studied.

This is not the same as a recognition statement, where UHR has also checked the authenticity of your study documentation. The background paper states that it is partly based on information that you have provided. It also says that it may be used in the validation of your skills and knowledge (e.g. in a particular profession).

Who can obtain a background paper?

You can apply for a background paper if the following statements apply to you:

  • You have completed a higher education qualification at a recognised higher education institution outside of Sweden.
  • You cannot obtain the formal documentation necessary for a recognition statement from UHR (e.g. a degree certificate and official transcript).
  • There are good reasons why you cannot obtain your documentation. This may be that you are a refugee or that you completed your qualification in a country at war.
  • You are willing to put time into describing your education, including the subjects you have studied, placements, etc.

How do I apply?

First, apply for a recognition statement via the web application form. UHR will look at your application and then ask you to provide any documentation that is missing. If you cannot send us the documentation we need to evaluate your qualification (and write a recognition statement), UHR will contact you and send information about applying for a background paper instead.

After this, you should:

  • Complete the application form (pdf). Fill it in on the computer and then save it. You must complete one form for each qualification for which you want a background paper, and where you do not have documentation.
  • Please make sure you complete the entire form, even if this is information you have previously provided.
  • Send an e-mail to and submit the form and other documentation you may have. In the subject field, you should write the registration number you received in your e-mail/confirmation from UHR.
  • Submit any documentation you have. This could include certificates from studying and/or work experience, photographs, essays/project work, membership cards for student organisations. State in the form what documentation you are sending.

If you do not know a particular term or expression, you can describe it in your own words. Remember that if your application is incomplete or if what you say does not agree with other information that UHR has, we may close your case without providing you with a background paper.

Last updated: 9 March 2017