New in Sweden

How well do you know the Swedish culture?

A short quiz to test just how well you know some of the most common Swedish traditions and habits.

Relevant facts for Newcomers

To settle in Sweden

Click on the subjects to the right to read more about them. You will find useful information for living in Sweden.

Swedish migration

Swedish migration

This is where you will find and hand in applications for residence permit and VISA. You may apply online at the Swedish Migration Board’s website or at their units out in the country. The application for residence permit is free of charge for all citizens of the European Union. For quick handling we advise you to make sure to fill in the correct information and attach all the requested documents from the beginning, as the Swedish Migration Board prioritize complete applications. Note that there are different regulations if your country of origin is part of the Schengen agreement.

Swedish Tax Agency

Swedish Tax Agency

To receive a Swedish identity number (a “personnummer”) and register as living in Sweden, you need to contact the Swedish Tax Agency. The Swedish Identity Number is needed to get insurance, Swedish bank account and more on.

Insurance Drivers licences

Insurance Drivers licences

Körkortsportalen

At their website you will get assistance with any questions regarding driving licenses.

Social insurance system

Social insurance system (Försäkringskassan)

To be registered in the social insurance system you need to contact Försäkringskassan. To be registered here, means that you will get into the health care system.

Arbetsförmedlingen

Arbetsförmedlingen

If you are looking for work in Sweden you may register at Arbetsförmedlingen, an organization that will help you find and apply for work.

Housing in Sweden

Depending on where in Sweden you are planning to stay, the housing situation is more or less difficult. In smaller communities it is easy to find an apartment to rent or a property to buy, whereas in Stockholm the prices are significantly higher and apartment for rent harder to find. If you are studying there are specific student accommodation, which can be rented through universities or specific student accommodation queues found online. If you are looking for rentals, the waiting time in all queues for this are very long in the bigger cities. An advice is to look at the Swedish trading sites where apartments and rooms are sublet in second hand.

Healthcare guide number

If you want Healthcare information call 1177, or visit their website. In an emergency call 112.

Benefits of working life in Sweden

Working life

Sweden is known for its beneficial regulations regarding work-life. These are slightly different from different employers, and it is not uncommon that there are additional benefits to the ones required by law. Below are some prerequisites for an employee in Sweden.

Click on the subjects to the right to read more about them.

5 weeks vacation

5 weeks vacation

One year full-time work generates five weeks of paid vacation, time that Swedes usually spend on enjoying the beautiful Swedish summer.

Maternity and paternity leave

Maternity and paternity leave

Parents in Sweden have the right to 480 days of leave from work to care for their children, during which time they will receive a monthly parent payment. Do not be surprised if your male co-worker takes of for a half-year or more to take care of his children. Paternity leave is common in Sweden, as a part of the gender-equality that often defines the country from an international perspective.

Caring of children

Caring of children (Vab:a)

To “vab:a” is to stay home and take care of your children when they are sick. It is a verb made of the abbreviation of “Vård Av Barn”, caring of children, and in Sweden it is the father who stays home just as often as the mother. There is even a “Vab-month” in Sweden, which is the nickname for February when most children get the flue.

Holidays

Holidays

Swedes call the official holidays for “röda dagar (red days)”, as they are always written in red font in calendars. Sweden’s holidays, with right to time off from work, are New Years, Epiphany, Easter, The National Day, 1st of May, Ascension Day, Pentecost, Midsummer, All Saints Day and Christmas. In addition to these, you will probably hear about Hanukkah, Ramadan and Chinese New Year, since Sweden’s population is multicultural and happily welcome new traditions.

Fika

Fika

Another sacred tradition for the Swedes is the “fika”. Fika is the break for coffee and something more; a cake, a cookie or a Swedish cinnamon bun. It could be a fika during the weekend, in the evening or most commonly; at 3 o’clock at the office. If you want to get more Swedish friends, don’t miss out on the fika!