Guide: moving to Sweden
Are you moving to Sweden to work or study, or are you planning to live as a pensioner in Sweden? Before you depart, there are a number of things to arrange.
There are always some practical matters to plan before moving However, when you move between two countries, there are even more preparations involved, as there is more to consider than new education facilities, public transport, and places to shop.
If you are moving to Sweden, you must check the regulations regarding tax, registration in the Population Register, unemployment insurance funds, jobseeking, social insurance, schools, and housing. This checklist can help you prepare your move to Sweden from Denmark, Finland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, or Åland.
Registration in the Swedish Population Register and personal identity number
If you are moving to Sweden from another country, and are planning to live in Sweden for more than 12 months, you must register in the Swedish Population Register. You register in Sweden by visiting the local office of the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) in the municipality to which you are moving. Take your passport, a document showing your civil status, and birth certificates of any children.
Once you are registered in the Swedish Population Register, you will be allocated a Swedish personal identity number. The Swedish personal identity number does not replace the identity number from your home country.
In some countries, you must also notify your relocation to the population register in the country from which you are moving.
Nordic citizens do not need a right of residence (uppehållsrätt) or a residence permit (uppehållstillstånd) to register in Sweden.
EU/EEA citizens must have either their own right of residence or a family member with a right of residence to become registered in Sweden.
Citizens of countries outside the EU/EEA must have a residence permit in Sweden, and it must be likely that they will be living in Sweden for more than one year, to register in the Swedish Population Register.
Redirection of mail to Sweden
Contact the postal service in the country from which you are moving, to see whether your mail can be forwarded to your new address in Sweden.
ID cards and electronic identification (e-ID)
In Sweden, an ID card (identitetskort) is often needed to confirm your age and prove identity at, for example, the pharmacy, the bank, or in shops. If you need to identify yourself online, you can use e-ID (e-legitimation).
You can apply for an ID card from the Swedish Tax Agency. When you apply for an ID card from at the Swedish Tax Agency you also receive e-ID, which you can use when you log in to various public agencies’ services.
Banks in Sweden
One of the first things you should have prepared for when you move to Sweden is your everyday personal economy. It is a good idea to find a bank in your new country. You can then get an account with a bank card so that your employer can pay your salary and you can make and receive payments.
If you are moving to Sweden temporarily, you can keep your account in your home country, but this may limit what advice you can get and which products you can use.
Be aware that, when you move to Sweden, you will not always have the same credit status as in your home country. A letter of introduction from your bank in your home country can help in some situations.
Bank-ID and Swish in Sweden
Contact your bank in Sweden to get a Bank-ID. Bank-ID is an electronic proof of identity issued by banks. Bank-ID gives you access to public services in Sweden. Bank-ID gives you, for example, access to the various services of public agencies.
You must have a Swedish personal ID number before you can set up a Bank-ID. You do not need to be a Swedish citizen, but you must have a Swedish personal ID number before you can get a Bank-ID. Foreign citizens who move to Sweden can get a mobile Swedish Bank-ID, and thereby Swish, if they register in Sweden and get a Swedish personal ID number.
Swish is a popular and simple way to transfer money from your account to another person’s account. With Swish, you can use your mobile phone to send money to other people’s bank accounts. The money is taken from your account and arrives in the recipient’s account in a couple of seconds.
Tax in Sweden
Tax regulations and tax rates in Sweden can differ from the tax regulations in your home country, so make sure you read up about this in advance. When you move, your tax obligation in your home country can continue wholly or partly, or cease completely.
Sweden has tax agreements with many countries. These ensure that you do not pay tax twice on the same amount, and that you do not collectively pay more in tax than you would otherwise pay in the country with the highest tax rate. The Nordic countries have signed a Nordic tax agreement that governs the country in which your income can be taxed and how double taxation can be avoided.
It is generally a very good idea to get advice from the tax authorities in both Sweden and your home country when you move to, or work in, Sweden.
You must have a tax card so that your employer can deduct tax from your salary. If your employer does not know which tax card you have, more tax will be deducted. It is therefore important that you show your tax card to your employer. If you need a tax card, you can order one from the Swedish Tax Agency.
TV licence in Sweden
In Sweden, the radio and TV fee is a general public service fee collected through tax.
Social insurance in Sweden
You are normally covered by social insurance in the country in which you work. If you are not working, you are normally covered by social insurance in the country in which you live. However, there are many special situations, so you should contact the authorities in the country in which you live, work or study, to find out where you are covered by social insurance.
The country in which you are covered by social insurance is important for which country’s regulations apply for pensions, unemployment insurance, sickness benefit, family benefits, parental leave, etc.
If you are covered by social insurance in Sweden, you should apply for the European health insurance card in Sweden.
Doctors and the healthcare system in Sweden
When you move to Sweden you should must choose a healthcare centre (vårdcentral). You should contact the healthcare centre if you become ill or need treatment. If you need emergency medical treatment outside your healthcare centre’s opening hours, call 1177, which will refer you to the nearest A&E.
Unemployment insurance funds in Sweden
Membership of an unemployment insurance fund (a-kasse) in Sweden is optional. If you want to be a member of an unemployment insurance fund, you should generally be a member of an unemployment insurance fund in the country in which you work.
If you move to Sweden to work, you should therefore switch to an unemployment insurance fund in Sweden. The unemployment insurance fund in your home country can help you with information about how to transfer your membership to a Swedish unemployment insurance fund.
Find the unemployment insurance fund that is best for you, and read more about the membership rules and how you can combine insurance periods if you have worked in another Nordic country
Pension in Sweden
You earn the right to a pension in Sweden if you are covered by social insurance in Sweden. If you have lived or worked in a Nordic country, you are entitled to a pension even if you move to another Nordic country.
If you receive a pension from another Nordic country, contact the pension authority in that country to see what you can receive if you move to Sweden. You should also learn about the regulations that apply regarding tax of the pension in the country from which you are moving and in Sweden, by reading on the Nordic tax authorities’ portal, Nordisk eTax.
If you have private pension savings in another Nordic country, you should contact the company for more information about whether your savings would be affected by a move to Sweden.
Housing in Sweden
There are a number of different types of housing in Sweden. You should think about where and how you want to live, and look into which type of housing you want. When you are looking for housing, you can check advertisements.
If you are looking for a rental apartment, you can contact property companies in the town/city in Sweden you want to move to. You can search for "fastighetsbolag" or "bostadsföretag" to find information.
If you want to buy a house or a tenant-owned apartment (bostadsrätt) in Sweden, you can contact a property agent (fastighetsmäklare) for information. If you want to buy a property in Sweden, contact your bank to find out what loans they can offer.
If you are selling a property in the country you are moving from, you should be aware that, in Sweden, the value of any capital gain is taxed when a property is sold. If the property is sold after you have moved, you will be taxed on the capital gain according to the Swedish tax regulations. If you sell your property in the country you are moving from before you register in the Swedish Population Register, the capital gain will not be taxed in Sweden.
Removal goods to Sweden
If you move from an EU country to Sweden, you are free to bring your personal belongings, but you should be aware that special rules apply for importing wine, spirits, and cigarettes. If you are importing a greater quantity than is permitted, you must contact Swedish Customs (Tullverket).
If you are moving from Iceland or Norway, you should contact Swedish Customs for more information.
Bringing pets to Sweden
If you are bringing your dog or cat to Sweden, you must check the regulations on importing animals to Sweden.
In Sweden, all dog-owners who live permanently in the country must register themselves and the dog in the Central Dog Registry (Centrala hundregistret) administered by the Swedish Board of Agriculture (Jordbruksverket). You must also have dog liability insurance that provides cover in the event of the dog causing injury or damage to people or property.
Insurances in Sweden
Some insurance policies are obligatory by law in Sweden. Insurance cover is to help you if something unforeseen happens. Insurance can help you pay for things that have broken or have been stolen. Your insurance company can give you advice and guidance if you have been burgled and you do not know what to do.
You can take out insurance for bicycles, mobile phones, cars, dogs, and much more.
Bringing a car to Sweden
Your car should generally be registered in the country where you have your actual residence. If you are bringing your car from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, or Norway when you move to Sweden, you must register the car in Sweden.
Driving licences in Sweden
If you have a valid driving licence issued in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, or Norway, it is also valid in Sweden. You can change your driving licence to a Swedish driving licence if you are planning to live in Sweden for a long time.
Schools and childcare in Sweden
In Sweden, the municipalities are responsible for schools and nurseries. Contact the municipality in Sweden to which you are moving for more information about childcare and schools, and how you can put your child/children on a waiting list for a place in a daycare centre.
The right to vote in Sweden
When you move to Sweden, you are entitled to vote in municipal and regional elections. If you are a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA, you become entitled to vote when you have lived in Sweden for three years.
If you are a citizen in a EU country, you can choose whether you want to vote in the EU election in Sweden or in the country where you are a citizen. If you want to vote in the EU election in the country where you are a citizen, apply to the election authority in your home country to make sure you are on the electoral role.
In order to vote in elections to the Swedish Parliament (Riksdag), you must be a Swedish citizen.
Work permits and residence permits in Sweden
If you are a citizen of a Nordic country, you can travel freely to Sweden to live and work. You do not need a visa, a work permit, or a residence permit.
If you are a citizen of another EU/EEA country, you can travel freely to Sweden and stay for up to three months. If you are planning to stay in Sweden for longer, you must register in the Swedish Population Register.
If you come from a country outside the EU/EEA and want to move to Sweden, you must apply for a residence permit in Sweden. The main regulation is that you must apply for this, and the application must be approved, before you move to Sweden.
If you have a residence permit or work permit in Denmark, Finland, Iceland or Norway, this is not valid in Sweden. Contact the migration authority in your home country before you apply for a work or residence permit in Sweden for information about whether this would affect your permit in the home country.
Things you should do in your home country when you move
If you are planning to move from one of the other Nordic countries to Sweden, there are a number of things you must do before you travel to Sweden.
On the links below, you will find information about what you should think od when you are moving from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Island or Åland to another Nordic country.
If you have any questions, please fill in our contact form.
NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.