New in Sweden: Things to do After Moving to Sweden

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You finally arrived in Sweden and think… now what?

You may feel that you don’t know where to start. I did too! Although, I was lucky that a relocation agent was assigned to me to somehow helped me get started. I still did my own research since my situation is a bit different than other expats in Sweden.

The first few weeks are going to be busy and could be stressful, but just trust and enjoy the process! The good thing about it is you only have to do it once. That’s why I put together a list of things to do after moving to Sweden so you’ll know where to start!

things-to-do-after-moving-to-sweden

12 Things to do after moving to Sweden

When living in Sweden, you only need two things to get access to any e-services available: personnummer & bankID.

To help you understand more where to start, I have created a list of things to do after moving to Sweden! I hope this post will help you.

Get a residence permit card

When you get a residence permit, you will also get a residence permit card as proof that you are allowed to live in Sweden.

If you need a visa to visit Sweden, then you should already have your residence permit card before your travel.

But, if you don’t need a visa to visit Sweden, you can get your photograph and fingerprint taken as soon as you arrived. You can book an appointment as early as you can since the slots in Migrationsverket are often fully booked.

Apply for a Swedish personal number

To apply for a Swedish personal number, you need to register your move to Skatteverket. It is the Swedish tax agency that is responsible for national tax collection and administering the population registration.

Once you are registered, you will receive your Swedish personal number or personnummer.

You should apply as soon as you can since the processing time now usually takes between 4 to 18 weeks. There will be a lot of struggles without a personnummer in Sweden.

  1. Use the online application form at Move to Sweden service 
  2. Print the application form
  3. Bring the necessary documents 
  4. Submit the documents to Skatteverket 

I have a comprehensive guide on how to get a Swedish personal number & what you can in Sweden if you have one.

Note: You should have a residence permit with at least 1-year validity.

Get a Swedish ID

Once you receive your Swedish personal number, you can apply for a Swedish ID. Unfortunately, your residence permit card is not a valid document since it is only proof that you can live in Sweden.

When you apply for a Swedish ID, you need to pay 400kr.

  1. Book an appointment to the nearest Skatteverket that issues an ID card
  2. Pay the application fee
  3. Visit Skatteverket

Here are more detailed steps on how to get a Swedish ID card.

Open a Swedish bank account

One of the concerns of expats in Sweden is opening a Swedish bank account while waiting for their personnummer. Some foreigners in Sweden are using Revolut in the meantime. Although, some companies would still require a Swedish bank account for payroll.

If you don’t have a personnummer yet, there are banks that can help you open a basic account. I had the same problem when I moved here, and I was able to open a bank account with Handelsbanken. I only showed: my passport, job contract, residence permit card, and rental agreement.

When opening a bank account, you need to book an appointment. The next schedule might be in a few weeks, so you should also book as soon as you arrived.

When you already have a bank account, you can now get a mobile bank ID & Swish. These two apps are widely used in Sweden. You can ask your bank to set it up for you.

A BankID in Sweden is used to securely identify yourself digitally. A Swish is an app that lets you send and receive money in real-time.

Opening a Swedish bank account can be difficult without a personnummer. Some banks can also reject your application despite having a personnummer. You can read more details on how to open a Swedish bank account to guide you.

Find a place to stay

Most foreigners who immigrated to Sweden for work will receive assistance from the employer to find a place to stay.

It depends on the company, but some companies will provide at most one month’s accommodation. There will be a relocation agency also that will assist you in finding a long-term apartment.

If you are on a student visa, you can register and apply for student housing.

You can also plan on buying an apartment in Sweden. The requirements & buying process are not that difficult based on our experience.

You should be working for at least 6 or 12 months (depending on the bank). You also need to consider your living expenses if you have dependents.

Related post: Looking to rent an apartment in Stockholm, you don’t have the information you need? Read my comprehensive guide on how to find an apartment for rent in Stockholm.

Register your address

When you applied for a personnummer, you will be automatically registered to the address you indicated in your application form.

But, if you moved to another apartment, you have to register your new address to Skatteverket and it will be updated to the population register too.

If you have a bank ID, you can sign in to Skatteverket’s e-service, fill out the form, and submit it.

While filling out the form, you need to input your apartment number (lägenhetsnummer). It is a 4-digit number that indicates the floor you live on and the unit number.

Register to Försäkringkassan (Swedish Social Insurance Agency)

Försäkringkassan is where you can get a lot of benefits for the Swedish social system. Some of the benefits include a European Health Insurance card, pregnancy benefit, care for a sick child (VAB), parental benefit, housing allowance, assistance allowance, and nursing allowance if you are a person with a disability, and many more!

Dental care is costly in Sweden and it’s not covered by your health insurance from your company. But, you can get 300 or 600kr per year from Försäkringkassan.

If you have a bankID, then you can use their e-service. Otherwise, you need to fill out the application form & submit it to them.

Get an EU-card

If you are planning to travel outside Sweden and within the EU / EEA, Switzerland, or the UK, then you should order an EU card. It serves as an insurance card and you are entitled to medical and dental care.

As long as you are insured in Sweden (Försäkringkassan), then you are eligible to get an EU card.

More information about EU cards can be found here & you can use this link to order an EU card.

Signup to Kivra to get your important documents

You can get important documents from the Swedish government by paper, but you can receive them faster if you signed up for a digital mailbox.

Digital mailbox

I’m using Kivra but you can choose any digital mailbox that you like!

Register to Arbetsförmedlingen (unemployment services)

If you moved to Sweden for work & your family joined you, whoever is unemployed can register to Arbetsförmedlingen, the Swedish public employment service.

You will not get the unemployment benefit initially since it requires you to have worked in Sweden for 6 months in the past year.

But if you just moved recently, this service can help you get started in the Swedish job industry. They are the ones who give support & facilitate contact between job seekers and employers.

Once you are registered, you can book a planning discussion with an employment officer.

Here are some important links about Arbetsförmedlingen

Signup to trade union & unemployment insurance fund

There are several parties in the Swedish labor market including försäkringskassan and aerbetförmedlingen.

Being part of A-kassa (unemployment insurance fund) entitles you to get paid a certain amount of money for a while until you find a new job.

A trade union is another organization that mediates between you and your employer. If you have concerns with your employer including the compensation, work environment, and anything related to your workplace, you can get help from your trade union.

I am a member of Unionen & Unionen’s A-kassa. I only pay 375kr per month for both!

Signing up for both trade union and unemployment insurance funds should be also on top of your list of things to do after moving to Sweden. It is nice to have security in case you lost your job also.

Take advantage of the free Swedish lessons for foreigners

One of the things to do after moving to Sweden is to also take advantage of the free Swedish lessons for foreigners.

You can register to your municipality and have an option to choose between

  1. Swedish for Immigrants (SFI)
  2. Swedish for trained professionals (SFX)

The only difference is the Swedish for trained professionals is an SFI that specializes in your profession.

Some SFX courses are

  • Swedish for bakers
  • Swedish for bus drivers
  • Swedish for entrepreneurs
  • Swedish craftsmen
  • Swedish for engineers and architects
  • Swedish truckers
  • Swedish for medical staff
  • Swedish for teachers
  • Swedish for economists, lawyers, sociologists
  • Swedish for programmers

So far, those are the important things to do after moving to Sweden! I hope this guide helped you get started at least.

It may take a while to get a Swedish personal number & bank account, but as soon as you have both and also a bankID, then you can access anything online in Sweden.

Related post: Are you curious to know if living in Stockholm is expensive or not? I created a detailed post about the cost of living in Stockholm & how our monthly expenses look like.

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12 comments
  1. Congratulations on the move, Ate Karen! Better late than never. I am so happy for you. It’s also a dream of mine to move in another country and have a place to call my home. For now, Philippines isn’t one despite being my home country. You know what I mean.

    Augustin Ra | alwaysra.blogspot.com

    1. Philippines will always be my home, but I don’t feel safe there. 🙁 I love Sweden, and hopefully I’ll stay here for good. It is so much different. I hope you’ll move to another country soon.

  2. Congratulations on your big move to Sweden! Looking forward to hearing more stories from you.
    I remember nung nagbakasyon din kami ni hubby sa Europe, may bayad mag toilet so nagtotoilet lang ako kapag wiwing wiwi na ako! Haha

  3. Karen!! OMG you did it!! After all the stress and hassle from the PH gov’t, you’re finally in Sweden!!! Idk why but I’m so happy you did. HAHA. Can’t wait to hear more about your stories in Sweden (aka more reasons to convince us to start looking for a job there).

    1. Thank youuuuu! Grabe talaga ung experience ko while processing my documents in Manila. Take note: I wasted all those time and money para lang makapag exit! I don’t really understand how they were able to come up with that process. Sobrang waste of time. But still!! Hahaha. You’ll like it here! <3

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