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Moving to Gothenburg?

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Gothenburg at a Glance

Moving to Gothenburg

Gothenburg may not yet be a famous expat destination. However, the archipelago, the delicious sea-food and the cultural relevance are just some of the many reasons that make a move to Gothenburg interesting for expats-to-be. Find out more about the city, climate and more in this guide.

About the City

Situated by the Kattegat on the west coast of Sweden, Gothenburg is the second largest city in the country, and the fifth largest of all the Nordic countries, with territory of 3,694.86 km2 in total. Of its population of nearly one million (as of 2015), 78% self-identify as native Swedes. However, like many Swedish cities, it also has a large population of foreigners and expatriates, including large Somali, Iraqi, Polish, Norwegian, and Finnish communities.

The city center also has a large number of expatriates that work in financial institutions or for one of the many manufacturing firms. Although the official and most widely spoken language is Swedish, expatriates moving to Gothenburg will be pleased to hear that English is widely spoken, and many people of the younger generations will be fluent. As a result, Sweden is ranked first of all the countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) in the Migration Integration Policy Index (MIPEX).

The Climate in Gothenburg

Expatriates moving to Gothenburg will need to adjust to an oceanic climate. The city's northern altitude would normally mean cold temperatures throughout the year, but due to the warming influence of the Gulf Stream, Gothenburg has mild weather all year round. In fact, it experiences warmer temperatures than many Swedish cities located further south, including Stockholm.

Summers, which run from May to August, are warm and pleasant, with temperatures between 12°C  and 20°C on average. However, it is not uncommon for temperatures to reach between 25 and 30°C in July and August. The winter months are significantly cooler, with temperatures of around -3 to 3°C. Gothenburg receives lots of snowfall, mainly between December and March.

Visas for Sweden

Whether or not you will need a visa to move to Gothenburg depends on your nationality. Sweden is a full member of the European Union, so EU citizens do not need a visa to enter the country, or a residence permit to stay for longer than 90 days. They must, however, inform the Swedish Migration Board of their arrival and register with them within three months of moving to Gothenburg.

Non-EU citizens will need a residence permit to stay for longer than the 90 days stipulated on a tourist visa. You will only be able to get a residence permit for Gothenburg if you have already secured work in the city, after that you will need to apply to the Swedish Migration Board before entering the country. You will usually be granted a temporary residence permit, which will then need to be renewed should you wish to outstay its time period.

For more detailed information on this topic, check out our article on Moving to Sweden.

InterNations Expat Magazine