Welcome to Sweden! If you’ve recently relocated or are contemplating moving to Sweden, you’re in for a treat. This guide will help you navigate the initial steps to ensure a smooth transition and acclimate to your new home in Sweden.
Whether you’re moving to Sweden for work, study, or just a change of scenery, Sweden will capture your heart with its natural beauty and modern culture.
From securing your personal identification number (personnummer) to obtaining a Swedish bank account, I’ll cover everything you need to know to settle in like a local.
So, grab a fika, and let’s get started with this 10-step checklist for moving to Sweden.
Get a residence permit card
Moving to Sweden as a non-EU citizen requires a residence permit card, which serves as proof that you are authorized to live in Sweden.
If you already have a visa to visit Sweden, you should ensure you have your residence permit card before leaving for your travel.
However, if you don’t have a visa to visit Sweden, you can schedule an appointment to have your photograph and fingerprints taken immediately upon arrival.
It is advisable to book an appointment as soon as possible since the slots at Migrationsverket (Sweden’s Migration Agency) can fill up quickly.
Sweden’s Migrationsverket is the go-to source for all permit renewals, even if you’ve already received your residence permit. Keep them in mind so that any future renewal needs are taken care of efficiently and successfully!
Register your move with the Tax Agency (Skatteverket)
You must apply for one with The Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket), which is responsible for overseeing national tax collection and population registration. Don’t forget, you must have a residence permit that’s valid for at least one year to get a personnummer.
To make your application, you’ll need to fill out an online form at Move To Sweden – then print it off along with any relevant documents before submitting all materials directly to Skattverket.
Processing time can vary from 4-18 weeks – so be sure not to start this process early on! If you’d like more details about how to get yourself registered in Sweden, I have put together an easy guide on how to get a Swedish personal number that you can refer to.
Get a Swedish ID
With your personal number in hand, the Swedish Tax Agency is waiting to help you take another important step – getting a Swedish identity card.
This useful document can be relied upon for opening bank accounts, using credit cards, or picking up packages from the post office and at doctor’s appointments – just some examples of when it will come in handy!
You may already have a residence permit that proves you’re allowed to stay here but this won’t do as an official form of ID; so make sure you apply for one today if all is ready on their end.
Here are more detailed steps on how to get a Swedish ID card.
Open a Swedish bank account
Opening a Swedish bank account without a personnummer can be a concern for foreigners in Sweden. While some turn to Revolut as a temporary solution, a Swedish bank account may be required for payroll.
The good news is that some banks offer basic accounts to those without a personnummer. When I faced this challenge, I was able to open an account at Handelsbanken with just my passport, job contract, residence permit card, and rental agreement. Don’t let the lack of a personnummer hold you back – you can still access the financial resources you need!
To open a Swedish bank account when moving to Sweden, you need to book an appointment, so it’s best to do so as soon as possible. Once you have an account, your bank can set you up with a BankID and Swish. These apps are widely used in Sweden, with BankID providing secure digital identification and Swish enabling real-time money transfers.
Getting a bank account in Sweden without a personnummer can be tricky. Even if you have one, your application can still be rejected by some banks. You can read more details on how to open a Swedish bank account to guide you.
Find a home
If you’re moving to Sweden for work, your employer will likely help you find a temporary place to stay, with some offering up to one month of accommodation. A relocation agency can also assist in finding a more permanent apartment.
International students can register for student housing, while those who plan on staying long-term may consider buying an apartment. Don’t worry, the requirements and buying process aren’t too difficult based on our experience! Just ensure you’ve been working for 6-12 months (depending on the bank).
If you’re looking to rent an apartment in Stockholm, you can refer to my comprehensive guide on how to find an apartment for rent in Stockholm.
When you register your move, Skatteverket will automatically update your new address based on the application form you submitted, but if you’re moving to another apartment, you’ll need to register your new address. The process is easy. Simply sign in to Skatteverket’s website with your Bank ID, and voila! Your new address will be updated on the population register in no time.
Register to Försäkringkassan (Swedish Social Insurance Agency)
At Försäkringskassan, you can take advantage of the numerous benefits that the Swedish social system offers.
You can enjoy a wide range of benefits like the European Health Insurance Card, assistance allowance, housing allowance, care for a sick child (VAB), parental benefit, and nursing allowance among others.
Dental care can be expensive in Sweden but you can get a small amount annually from Försäkringskassan.
If you have a bank ID, you can easily access the e-service. If not, simply fill out the application and mail it to them.
If you’re traveling outside Sweden to the EU / EEA, Switzerland, or the UK, make sure to order an EU card for insurance purposes and access to medical and dental care. Luckily, if you’re already insured in Sweden through Försäkringkassan, you’re eligible for an EU card. Get more info on EU cards and order one here.
Signup to Kivra to get your important documents
Instead of waiting for paper documentation, you can sign up for a digital mailbox. There are several options to choose from such as:
Personally, I recommend Kivra but feel free to explore and select the digital mailbox of your choice.
Register to Arbetsförmedlingen (unemployment services)
If you’ve moved to Sweden for work and your family has joined, anyone without a job can register with Arbetsförmedlingen, the Swedish public employment service.
Although you won’t initially receive the unemployment benefit, since it requires 6 months of work in Sweden in the past year, this service can help you get started in the Swedish job industry.
They provide support and facilitate contact between job seekers and employers. Once registered, you can book a planning discussion with an employment officer. Check out the important links below to learn more.
Here are some important links about Arbetsförmedlingen
Signup to trade union & unemployment insurance fund
The Swedish labor market involves various parties, such as försäkringskassan and arbetsförmedlingen.
If you’re part of A-kassa (unemployment insurance fund), you’ll receive a certain amount of money for a period, which gives you peace of mind while searching for a new job.
A trade union is another organization worth considering to mediate issues between you and your employer. For instance, if you’re unhappy with your compensation or work environment, you can seek assistance from your union.
When my previous employer refused to pay me a benefit despite my multiple attempts to contact them, Unionen was there to help. I worked with Unionen and got the support I needed to get the compensation.
If you’re a foreigner who has moved to Sweden, taking advantage of the free Swedish lessons is a smart move. Learning common Swedish phrases is also helpful in adjusting to your new home. You can register with your municipality and choose between two options:
The only difference is the Swedish for trained professionals is an SFI that specializes in your profession.
Some SFX courses are
- Swedish for bakers
- Swedish for bus drivers
- Swedish for entrepreneurs
- Swedish craftsmen
- Swedish for engineers and architects
- Swedish truckers
- Swedish for medical staff
- Swedish for teachers
- Swedish for economists, lawyers, sociologists
- Swedish for programmers
Moving to Sweden can be an intimidating process, especially when you don’t know the language or how to navigate the bureaucracy. By following this checklist, you should be able to get your Swedish residency and start living out your life in this amazing country!
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