Moving to Sweden – Step-by-step Guide to Relocate

Sweden is in the top spot of the countries that are the best choice for expats to move in. Regarding the quality of life and economic stability, Sweden offers plenty of job opportunities. Excellent public services and a great environment with kind people are just a small list of advantages, as Sweden has the potential to suit your preferences perfectly.

Even if it is about moving to such an orderly country, this process is accompanied by several uncertainties. However, in the scope of cooperation with IMovingTo, all the obstacles are perfectly solvable, and you can enjoy integrating into the new environment properly.

How to Get a Residence or Work Permit?

If you don’t represent one of the Schengen-agreed-upon nations, 3 months to 15 working days before your travel, you must first submit a visa application to enter Sweden.  You must submit your application through your nation’s authorized Spanish Visa Application Center, Swedish Embassy, or Consulate.

Your application must be supported by:

  • A valid passport that has at least 2 blank pages is valid for at least 3 months beyond the time you want to remain.
  • A current, passport-compliant photo of yourself that is the proper size, and you took it no more than 3 months ago.
  • Proof of your travel plans.
  • Proof of your residence in your home country or the country you are currently living in permanently.
  • Proof of your employment or student status.
  • Proof of having enough financial resources to support yourself.

You must have already received a job offer from Sweden to be eligible for a work permit there. Your potential employer must have advertised the job widely, and there should be no qualified  Swedish, EU, EEA, or Swiss candidates to apply.  Your company must be willing to offer you health, life, employment, and pension insurance and pay at least SEK 13,000 per month.

After your employer applies for your work permit, you should complete the application form. With your family, you will be granted residence permits as soon as your work permit is issued. Additionally, on the website of the Swedish Migration Agency, you can acknowledge special rules for certain occupations, including researchers, performers, seasonal workers, athletes, and volunteers.

Types of Visas in Sweden

There are 3 kinds of visas in Sweden: tourist visas, business visas, and working visas. Citizens of the U.S. and the U.K., as well as of EU/EEA countries, are not required to have a visa to stay in Sweden for up to 90 days.

You will need a business visa if you plan to visit Sweden temporarily for business purposes. Moreover, as a self-employed person, you can work in Sweden for up to 3 months without a permit. After 3 months, you will need to obtain a self-employed visa. The same regulation concerns EU/EEA nationals.

Regarding the requirements for a permanent residence visa for Sweden, if you are married, partnered, or the child of a Swedish resident, you may apply for a residence visa. 

While EU citizens will automatically be granted permanent residency after five straight years of living in Sweden, non-EU citizens must have a valid residence permit and proof of living in Sweden continuously for 5 years. Additionally, they must be able to support themselves and their families financially.

Managing Finances in Sweden

As an expat, creating a structured plan to manage your finances and protect and pass on your wealth through savings, investment, and tax planning are crucial.

Paying Taxes

The Swedish Tax Agency registration is the most crucial requirement for new residents. Your inclusion in the system for tax collection, personal identity, monitoring of your marital status, mailing address information, and insurance purposes is ensured by this registration process.

After registering with the Tax Agency, you will have a unique personal identification number. This crucial number serves as your legal identification in Sweden and is required for routine official actions like opening bank accounts and receiving paychecks from your employer.

If you move to Sweden, you’ll have to contribute to the country’s well-developed social assistance system by paying taxes. The tax system is a little more complicated for self-employed people. 

You must sign up for F-skatt to launch your business as a sole trader.   Howevery, taxes are automatically deducted from your paycheck each month if you work for a company.

Opening a Bank Account

It’s easy to open a bank account in Sweden. Typically, you need a valid passport along with a Swedish personal identity number or ID card for this process. You can obtain the required credit or debit cards and financial services from the bank. While paying bills is frequently conducted online, a bank account is quite helpful.

Overlook ordering a BankID from the Swedish bank you’ve chosen, and download the BankID app onto a smartphone. Since so much online identification in Sweden is based on the BankID, having one is essential to get by. After obtaining a BankID, we advise you to download the Swish app.

How to Relocate Your Belongings?

Whether you are moving to Sweden from within the EU or from outside the EU will affect how you move your household goods and possessions there. You will immediately be exempt from paying customs tax if you move from the EU. Additionally, you are not required to show your belongings to Swedish Customs. If you are relocating outside the EU, you will request relief from duty and VAT on personal belongings.

Various methods are available for exporting items to Sweden. Cargo ship shipping is a popular choice because it is usually the least expensive but takes the longest. Shipping by water might take up to several months, depending on where you are shipping your products.

The most common transportation methods are air and land since they are more convenient and efficient. Given that finding a permanent home takes foreigners and native Swedes months, Sweden offers a range of storage solutions to suit the demands of any expat. Thus, storage spaces are in high demand since there is a shortage of homes.

Relocating Pets in Sweden

If your pet is coming from a country deemed “high risk” for rabies, they require to be vaccinated 1 month before arriving in Sweden. In the usual case, a regular yearly vaccine will be sufficient. However, the recommendation of a tick-borne vaccination may surprise newcomers. Furthermore, as an additional requirement, your pet needs to be microchipped and have a valid veterinary certificate or EU passport.

If your animal arrives before or after you, it must be declared at the Swedish border within 5 days of your arrival. In addition, obtaining an authorization form stating that the animal is yours is necessary.

How to Get an Insurance: Healthcare System in Sweden

Sweden’s healthcare system and health insurance are well-known internationally. Many other nations utilize this system as a model for their own medical practices since it is so efficient. The Swedish have the highest GDP expenditure on healthcare in Europe, and taxes are used to fund the healthcare system.

In Sweden, since the public health system is so comprehensive, many citizens do not consider private insurance to be necessary. The index of native Swedes who use private insurance instead of public insurance is less than 10%.

Everyone in Sweden is insured by Sweden’s healthcare system, whether they are citizens or foreigners. Expats must first register as Swedish residents in order to access Sweden’s healthcare system. 

You will need to purchase private health insurance if you do not register. Even while private health insurance is more expensive than accessing the public system, there are certain advantages, such as reduced wait times and a wide range of practitioners to choose from when seeking a doctor.

How To Find a Place to Stay in Sweden?

Finding accommodation in Sweden is a complicated process. In Sweden, it might be difficult to find housing. Renters who interact directly with the apartment’s owner are considered to have a first-hand lease. Obtaining a lease from the first renter is referred to as a second-hand lease.

Most second-hand leases are only valid for one year, following which the original renter returns or the landlord relist the apartment on the market. Many people in Sweden, both citizens, and foreigners, find they have to move every year due to second-hand leases.

Foreigners intending to stay in Sweden for an extended period might consider buying a house to avoid the complications of first and second-hand leases. That way, expats probably won’t encounter many obstacles when trying to buy a home in Sweden as a foreigner.

Things to Know Before Moving to Sweden

Before moving to Sweden, obtaining information about its characteristics and specific aspects is essential. This will simplify the process of integration with the country and its people. 

  • Many people consider Swedes among the best speakers of English as a second language. As a result, learning Swedish may take far longer for you. You can communicate more easily with the government, including the Tax Agency if you know some Swedish.

’’Swedish for newcomers” (SFI) courses are often the initial step in learning both spoken and written Swedish. Swedish language proficiency can be greatly enhanced with SFI training. You must contact your local municipality as the courses are provided through each municipality’s adult continuing education program.  

  • Sweden requires full-time employees to take at least 25 days of paid vacation each year, and many do that in July, which is traditionally the warmest month overall. Consequently, service will generally be delayed, and many small enterprises will shut down for the entire month.
  • Due to its geographical location, Sweden frequently experiences chilly, dark winters. There may be as little as three hours of sunlight each day in some northern regions of the country above the Arctic Circle during the depths of winter. 
  • Sweden values punctuality, here, it is accepted practice always to respect “time,” whether you are attending a friendly gathering or an official appointment.

Pros & Cons of Moving to Sweden


Affordable public transportation

In Sweden, having access to affordable public transportation is considered a human right. Sweden offers a complex system of reasonably priced and reliable public transportation, with options ranging from the metro in Stockholm and the renowned trams in Gothenburg to rural buses that can go to even the most remote locations.

The metro, commuter trains, railroad, tram stations, buses, and even boats are all accessible with a single transportation card that is available to purchase. It should be noted that the Stockholm Metro is the most convenient form of transportation.

Environmentally friendly

In 1967, Sweden became the first country to pass an environmental protection law. You will note tap water tastes great, and the air seems clean, even in the larger Swedish cities. 

With more policies intended to protect the environment than most other EU countries, Sweden is proud of its clean air and water and takes great care to keep it that way. Recycling is another common practice that is followed while living in Sweden.


Unwritten social rules

Being respectful of one another’s personal space, Swedes maintain their distance from one another naturally, which contributes to the very distant nature of Swedish culture. 

Furthermore,  Swedish society places a high value on gender equality. Therefore,  if you run around the car to open a woman’s door or perform any other comparable acts of gallantry, she might take offense. The purity of the line order and lining up for things are other strangely important concepts to Swedes.

Expensive Consumer Products

Since Sweden has established a policy of high taxation on consumer goods that may harm public health, goods like cigarettes, alcohol, and meat are subject to greater taxes than other goods, making them relatively expensive compared to other European countries.

Final Thoughts

If your future plans involve moving to Sweden and sharing all the advantages associated with living in this country, IMovingTo will comprehensively ease your tension throughout the relocation. Our experienced team of professionals in the international moving industry will assist you in adjusting smoothly to your new environment.

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