Visas & Permits
The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains a list of countries whose citizens need a Visa as a tourist, business traveler, while visiting friends and relatives, or when passing through Sweden in transit. You can find that list, by clicking here, from the Swedish government.
For those wishing to study in Sweden read everything you need to know here from Sweden.se. If you are a citizen from outside of the E. U. and the Nordic countries, and plan to study for longer than three months, in addition to your Visa, you will need a resident permit. This must be obtained in your home country prior to your arrival in Sweden. Resident permits are issued by the Swedish Migration Board. You can apply for this permit at the Swedish Embassy in your home country. Students are allowed to work during their stay in Sweden.
A resident permit may also be obtained if you are married, cohabiting, or intend to marry or cohabit with someone who is a Swedish citizen or permanent Swedish resident. It also applies to unmarried children under 18. You can get an application for a resident permit under these circumstances from the migration office here.
If you want to work as an employee in Sweden and you are not a student or an E. U. citizen, you must obtain a work permit prior to arriving in Sweden. Check with the Swedish authorities in your home country for information on how to apply for a work permit.
What to do once you arrive
Once you are in Sweden you will need a personnummer. You need this number to get an ID card, bank account, loyalty card at the department stores, medical appointment, basically everything. You may apply for your personnummer at your local Skattemyndigheten. When you arrive at the office, ask which button you should push for a number for the queue, so you don't wait in the wrong place. Once you have your personnummer you can apply for an ID card at the post office. A Swedish resident will have to go with you with their personbevis, and you will need two passport photos. NOTE: The requirements for getting an ID card have dramatically changed.
Keeping in touch with friends and family back home
Use your mobile phone to make inexpensive international
Rebtel is designed for
making super low-cost international calls from your
Skype, a great Swedish invention, is a great way to keep
in touch with friends and family back home. With a
number your family and friend can call you at their
local call rate. Just choose a number that starts
with the same area code as home.
number and make inexpensive calls around the world.
Get the accessories you need at the
Skype Store Europe
. If your new apartment doesn't come
with Internet, you can find a list of low cost Internet
here. And to keep from
getting too lonely, you can also connect with other
expatriates in an online group on
XING. If you are
not a member of XING you can join for
Driving in Sweden
EU citizens with valid driving licenses can continue to
use their license or trade it in for a Swedish license.
Citizens outside of the E. U. can use their valid
permits for one year, but then must pass the Swedish
driving permit exam. You can find more details
from the authorities,
along with information on registering your foreign car.
Be warned that Sweden has a zero tolerance policy
against drinking and driving.
Swedish language lessons
Driving in Sweden
EU citizens with valid driving licenses can continue to use their license or trade it in for a Swedish license. Citizens outside of the E. U. can use their valid permits for one year, but then must pass the Swedish driving permit exam. You can find more details here from the authorities, along with information on registering your foreign car. Be warned that Sweden has a zero tolerance policy against drinking and driving.
Swedish language lessons
The Employment Office
With your ID card in hand you have the right to register with the Arbetsformedlingen, the Swedish Employment Agency in your region. You will be asked to enter your education and work details in their database, receive a login and password, and be given an appointment with a counselor who will work with you until you are employed. If you don't speak Swedish your counselor can find language classes for you. You will also learn how to prepare a Swedish CV and application letter, interview etiquette, and how to get your university diplomas evaluated for the Swedish job market. This will determine if you will need additional qualifications.
Working in Sweden
McKinsey Global Institute
estimates that Sweden’s jobless rate is 15%. The
government gives lower figures, around 5%, so perhaps
the truth lies somewhere in the middle. However, there
are lots of jobs advertised in Sweden, particularly in
the technical and production sectors. There are lots
of jobs for English speakers, be sure to visit
daily for updates. If you speak Swedish it will be
easier to find a job in the small towns. But depending
on your location, English as a working language is a
reasonable expectation. I personally know expatriates
working in the hospitality industry as well as the IT
industry. As in any job market, your education,
professional and work experience, and determination will
best determine your prospects of finding a job in
Sweden. Average monthly salaries in Sweden are 21,239
Swedish Kronor, and in most industries
salaries are negotiated by a
Use this free
salary calculator to
learn what you should be earning.
The average work week is 40 hours, with 32 days
Legally, any employment contract can be oral or in writing, but the employer has an obligation to inform the employee in writing of the terms of the employment within a month. The information must include the name and address of each party, date when the employment starts, place of work, specifics regarding the work to be done and the title of the job, what kind of employment in question i.e. full-time, part time, temporary employment etc., the salary, vacation and working hours, denote if any union agreement is applicable, and state if it is an employment abroad, specifics regarding the length thereof, in what currency the salary is paid and eventual benefits.
Before a person can be fired from his job the employer is to consider alternative employment. If no other position can be found within the company then notice of termination can be issued. The notice must be in writing and contain terms to be upheld by the employee if he wants to dispute the notice or claim damages. Furthermore the notice shall inform the employee that s/he has a right to reemployment and state those terms. This notice must be given in person. If applicable, the union must also be notified.
Taxes - Individual taxes
The Invest in Sweden Agency provides the following information on taxes in Sweden. Individual earned income is taxed mainly by municipality of residence, at rates ranging from 28.9 to 34.04 percent. On taxable earnings above SEK 291,800, individuals pay another 20 percent and above SEK 441,300 another 5 percent in national income tax. In addition, compulsory pension contributions effectively increase the tax rate by roughly 1 percent on incomes below SEK 342,168.
Sweden's Value Added Tax (VAT) referred to as "moms" (short for mervardesskatt), is 25 percent. However, a reduced rate of 12 percent applies to for example food and hotel charges. A rate of 6 percent applies to personal transportation, newspapers, books and magazines, entrance fees to commercial sport activities and cultural events. Certain services are exempt from VAT, including medical and dental care, social services, banking and financial services etc.
Paying taxes in your home country
Voting at home while abroad
Find a place to live in Sweden
Depending on where you live finding an apartment may be hard to do. For example, affordable places are hard to come by in Stockholm. However, starting your search early can make it easier in the long run. Get a good map, like one from Lonely Planet Maps. Here are just a few places to look:
Check in Apartments
The Ice Hotel
If you re a non-EU citizen you'll need to start your Visa application for Sweden in your home country. Here is a link to the Foreign Ministryy where you can find an embassy or consulate near you. Below are several additional embassy links.
Australian Embassy in Stockholm
Swedish Embassy in Washington, DC
US Embassy in Stockholm
Shopping for clothes, shoes and more
in Sweden are the same as continental sizes. If
you are unfamiliar with continental sizes, a sizing
chart for women, men and children can be found
here. You can
always bid for Klader
(clothes) online. And to compare prices on a
variety of goods try
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