A Comprehensive Guide on Moving to Sweden

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Knowing how to move to Sweden depends on your nationality. Citizens from EU/EEA countries have a right of residence in Sweden and will generally find it easy to move to the peninsular country. Non-EU/EEA nationals will need an offer of employment from a Swedish company before arrival.

If you are wondering why you should move to Sweden, all you have to do is read this guide to figure it out. Benefits of moving to Sweden include a high-quality school system, world renowned healthcare, and a society intent on promoting equality no matter someone’s gender, age, or social status.

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All You Need to Know About Relocating Your Household Goods and Pets

The process of moving to Sweden is simple as long as you have all of the correct documents. Like most aspects of moving to Sweden, if you are an EU citizen there is very little you will have to do. For example, EU nationals moving from within the EU to Sweden do not need to declare their goods at the Swedish border. However, if an EU national is moving to Sweden after having spent a year or more in a non-EU country, then they will have to declare their goods. Nationals of countries outside of the EU will have to show evidence that the household goods they are moving are their own, used personal goods.

Pets moving to Sweden are not required to be quarantined as long as they have had their required vaccinations. If your pet is coming from a country deemed “high risk” for rabies, they will need to be vaccinated one month before arriving in Sweden. If your pet is not coming from a “high risk” country, a normal yearly vaccine should suffice. For expats, only standard vaccinations are required to move to Sweden, although the recommendation of a tick-borne vaccination may surprise newcomers.

Read our complete guide on relocating to Sweden

The Guide to Visa Types and Work Permit Requirements

Knowing the steps for how to get a Swedish visa depends on your nationality. EU/EEA residents have a right to residence in Sweden and do not need permission to live and work in the country. Likewise, EU/EEA residents can also move to Sweden without a job and spend a few months job searching.

For non-EU/EEA residents moving to Sweden, the main visa requirement is to have a job offer before entering the country. The employer will then begin the visa application process on behalf of the expat by starting an application online through the Swedish government’s website. There are different types of visas for expats depending upon whether their job is considered highly skilled or not, and the visa cost is generally the same for each. Until an expat receives permanent residency, they will have to update their visa every time they change jobs in Sweden.

Read our complete guide on visas & work permits in Sweden

Everything You Need to Know About Finding a New Home in Sweden

Finding accommodation in Sweden is difficult. When looking how to rent a house in Sweden, you will need to familiarize yourself with the concept of first and second-hand leases. A first-hand lease refers to someone who rents directly from the owner of the apartment. A second-hand lease refers to renting from the first renter. This is also called a sublet in other countries. Second-hand leases typically last only one year before the original renter must return, or the landlord will put the apartment back on the market. Due to second-hand leases, many Swedish natives and foreigners alike find themselves needing to find a new place every year.

To avoid the complication of first and second-hand leases, foreigners planning to stay in Sweden long-term should look into buying a house. The process to buy a house in Sweden as a foreigner is fairly straightforward and expats will not face many restrictions. Like with rentals, average house prices are high even when buying, but expats will have many types of houses to choose from.

Expats moving to the Scandinavian country should be aware that much of their salary will go towards their housing in Sweden. Whether it is the cost of the average rent or Swedish utility prices, prices throughout the country are high. In recent years, Sweden’s housing shortage has gradually improved, but, on the whole, expats still find this shortage to be one of the most frustrating aspects about moving to Sweden.

Read our complete guide on housing in Sweden

Health Insurance and the Healthcare System of Sweden Explained

Sweden’s healthcare system and health insurance is world renowned. The country has such an effective scheme in place that many other countries around the globe use it as a model for their own healthcare system. Part of the reason is that the public health system is so comprehensive that many residents do not feel the need for private insurance in Sweden. In fact, less than 10% of native Swedes use private insurance.

Expats who want to use Sweden’s healthcare system will need to register as a Swedish resident first. If you do not register, you will need to buy private health insurance instead. Private health insurance is more expensive than using the public system, but benefits include shorter wait times and a great selection of practitioners when looking into how to find a doctor. Expectant mothers are required to get Swedish residency as there is very little pre-and post-natal care within private hospitals. Pregnant expats can also expect to give birth with the aid of a midwife rather than a doctor.

Read our complete guide on insurance & healthcare in Sweden

Connect with like-minded expatriates

Discover our welcoming community of expats! You’ll find many ways to network, socialize, and make new friends. Attend online and in-person events that bring global minds together.

See all upcoming events for expats in Sweden

Our Global Partners

  • Nathan Reed

    With InterNations I quickly connected with other Canadian members who became close friends over time.

  • Barbara Melington

    The best thing about InterNations? Definitely the offline get-together. Meeting other expats in real life helps a lot.

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