• published on 4/17/2024
  • 4min

Living in Sweden as an Expat

Sweden has a population of over 10 million residents and saw nearly 100,000 foreign nationals move to the country according to Statista.[1] Known for its stunning views, multitude of islands and its abundance of coniferous forests, there’s lots to love about Sweden.

Living in Sweden as an Expat

Table of contents

1. Finding a place to live in Sweden

2. Climate in Sweden

3. Transport in Sweden

4. Sweden's healthcare system

5.Residency and visas for Sweden

In this blog, we delve into different aspects of life in Sweden, including the climate, transport and healthcare to provide an overall picture of what it is like for expats to live here.

Finding a place to live in Sweden

For your housing needs, searching online for a property is a good place to start, especially if you haven’t yet moved to Sweden. Alternatively, get in touch with an estate agent to help guide you through this process, or look at advertisements in local newspapers for available properties in the local area.

For those looking to rent, it is good to know that generally rental contracts in Sweden do not have a fixed term. However, they could have a notice period, which you will agree on before moving in, which is normally three months. Check the terms of the tenancy carefully before you sign anything to ensure you know what is included in the agreement, such as whether the flat comes furnished, how much your rent is, as well as other fees you may have to pay.

If you want to buy a property in Sweden, there are no limitations on this for people of different nationalities. Though it's important to remember that this is a big commitment and needs to be approached cautiously so you find a home that suits your individual needs.

For some inspiration on locations to consider living in Sweden, check out our blog here.

Climate in Sweden

The type of climate you experience in Sweden will depend on you where you choose to live. It is typically warmer in the southern part of the country in regions like Gðtaland and Halland, which have shorter winters and mild summers.

Meanwhile, you will find the coldest temperatures in the northern regions, where there is a subarctic climate. Summers are generally quite light and mild here, while in the winter there is a lot of snow, freezing temperatures and short days due to the lack of daylight.

Transport in Sweden

The transport system in Sweden is extensive, offering a variety of options to suit different travel preferences.

Sweden’s modern train system provides international travel as well as domestic, with Copenhagen only 40 mins away from Malmð by train. For cheaper but longer travel, long-distance coaches offer an alternative form of travel, and are particularly useful for those going to remote parts of the country.

The capital, Stockholm, also has a metro system, though this is the only one in Sweden, making travel convenient for its nearly 1 million population. Other travel available in towns and cities across Sweden include trams and buses, allowing for regular travel for people to complete their journeys.

Ferry is another mode of travel available to expats, with central ports incorporating Malmð, Karlskrona and Stockholm. These can be great for both international and domestic travel, especially with there being over 250,000 islands that make up Sweden!

Sweden's healthcare system

Sweden has a universal healthcare system that is managed at local level by its different municipalities. Though funded mainly through taxes and government contributions, its healthcare services are not completely free for patients.

In order to gain access to this system, expats must first acquire a residence permit. Following this, you will receive a personal identification number (personnummer), which enables you to receive medical treatment under this system.

Your GP will normally be the first point of access when you need medical treatment, and can refer you for specialist care if necessary. Other medical treatment included as part of the state system includes emergency care, disability support and outpatient treatment.

Similar to other countries in Europe, it is a pre-requisite when applying for a visa in Sweden that you have a health insurance plan, which must have a minimum coverage of €30,000 and last for the duration of your stay here.

Residency and visas for Sweden

Having a visa is something you might need to consider if you're looking to relocate to Sweden.

EU/EEA nationals have a right to residence in Sweden, which means they do not need to apply for a permit. However, you do need to let the Swedish Migration Authority know this and should you remain in the country for longer than a year, it will be necessary to list yourself on the Swedish Population Register.

Those who are not EU/EEA citizens must have a residency permit to stay in Sweden to live or work for a period of more than three months and obtain prior to arriving in the country.

There is also certain criteria that must be met first if you want to submit a visa application. For example, your job offer/contract has to be in place first with a salary of at least SEK 27,360 per year before you can apply for this.