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Moving to Sweden

Moving to Sweden

If you move to Sweden and are from a EU/Nordic country and have work or sufficient means to support yourself you don’t need to apply for a residence permit. As a Swiss citizen you have to apply for a residence permit latest three months after arrival.

Non-EU citizens with a work or residence permit as well as Swiss citizens who have received their residence permit approval must visit the Migration Board after arriving in Sweden to leave fingerprints and be photographed for a residence permit card. This should be done as soon as possible after you enter the country.

If you live longer than a year in Sweden you have to register with the Tax Agency. When you are officially registered as a resident of Sweden and be able to pay taxes you will receive your personal identity number and be eligible for a Swedish identity card. You must keep the Tax Agency informed if you move within Sweden, marry or divorce, or move away from Sweden.

Once you are in Sweden you have to decide whether you want to rent or to buy an apartment or a house. If you want to rent a home you can do so through a first-hand contract, which means you are signing a contract directly with the owner of the building. This contract can be either for a limited period of time or permanent. If you have a first-hand contract it is possible for you to later on sublet the apartment to somebody else.

A subletting contract is signed between the tenant and the person who either owns or holds a first-hand contract for the individual flat. Though subletting is common in Sweden, especially in big cities, it is important to make sure your landlord is trustworthy and to receive a signed formal contract.

As a tenant in Sweden you have comprehensive rights regarding everything from your monthly rent to maintenance in your building. The Swedish Union of Tenants (Hyresgästföreningen) is a membership organisation that can assist you if you have any questions regarding your rights as a tenant.

If you buy an apartment in Sweden you actually buy the right to live in the apartment similar to a leasehold. You actually buy a share in the building, which includes access and joint decision rights concerning the building’s courtyards and common facilities. It also means that you must ask your building’s housing board for permission if you want to sublet your flat to others. In addition to the price paid for the apartment itself, you will also pay a monthly fee that covers building maintenance, renovation and other costs.

If you purchase a house in Sweden, you will have full ownership of the house and its property.

Even though most people in Sweden speak English and some companies even use English as working language it is always a good idea to learn Swedish if you wish to get to know your neighbors, make new friends and just feel like home here. You can learn the language before arriving in Sweden through online courses or at different language schools and universities worldwide. The Swedish Institute co-operates with 240 universities offering Swedish courses in over 35 countries. And as soon as you’ve received your Swedish personal identity number, you can sign up for state-funded courses in Swedish for immigrants, commonly referred to as SFI. SFI courses are administered by each municipality so you have to contact your municipality for information on courses in your area.

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