Hej friends! Cool to see you here!
For this week’s article, I wanted to do something a bit more practical, more step by step, of the things, I probably, would have like to read when arriving to Sweden. When one arrives in a new country, it is just like starting an essay – you don’t know from where to start! So here are the 6 things, I believe all expats should do from the day they step in Sweden!
So, I believe that all these things are more or less linked and pretty administrative-related, however, if you do not do one, you might not be able to do the next one. Also, these things are things that no one else can do for you, so I think that it is important to just have in mind.
1. Get a personnummer
Getting a personnummer is basically getting the key to open all doors in Sweden. If you don’t have one, it is honestly hard to get through many obstacles in this country. Without it, you cannot even get a loyalty card from your usual grocery store. So, once arrived in Sweden, just head to Skatteverket, with your ID documents (you may want to check online which documents to take with you) and there you go!
2. Get an ID card
Once you receive your personnummer, apply right away for a Swedish ID-card, as it is in the same place, and you might also need it later.
3. Open a bank account
It is always useful to open a local bank account when living elsewhere for an extended period of time. There are different reasons behind it, in fact, when you work in another country than your home country, it will be much easier to get your salary transferred locally. But it is also a great way to avoid paying too much fees, if there are no agreements between banks. And guess what, to open a bank account, you need an ID-card!
4. Register to “försäkringskassan” and 1177
Försäkringskassan is the health care system, and you may need to do this procedure as soon as you receive your personnummer, otherwise this may take up to 10 months (yes, you read it correctly). This is actually very important, because not only it allows you to get a European Health Care card, but it is in charge of sick and maternity leaves or pensions. On the other hand, 1177 is the system to manage doctor offices, and where your information will be sent to gain time when you will visit the doctor. This last operation takes around 2 minutes, so just do it!
5. Register to SFI
SFI stands for Swedish For Immigrants, meaning that it is the place to learn the language. Of course it is up to each and everyone to choose whether to register or not. What is good to know, it that depending on the city and language level, you get between 300 and 500 hours of free classes, either during day time or evening which is great if one is working. Those classes will give you the basic knowledge of Swedish language and it is also a great place to meet other people.
6. Register to your embassy
It does not cost anything nor time and you can probably do it online. You can get direct access to many information, and easier access to formalities. Usually embassies want their people to register if one stays in a country for at least 6 months.
I hope this is a little helpful if you are planning on moving to Sweden, or even if you just arrived to the country.