Imagine calm, equal wages, no racism, and a high standard of living, this is how life in Sweden actually is.
That’s why many Americans are moving to Sweden.
Well, if you’re one of them or making up your mind to take the next step, you’re at the right place.
In this article, we’ll guide you in detail with all the essential information from applying for a visa to living happily there.
So, sit tight because your ride to Nordic Land is going to be amazing!
How To Move To Sweden From US?
US citizens don’t need a visa, if they are visiting Sweden for less than 90 days. If you’re planning to stay for longer than 90 days, submit the following documents (2x copies) at the Swedish Consulate in the USA.
- Completely fill out the application form
- Notarized copies of the passport or other permits
- Valid return ticket
- Your bank statements
- Confirmation letter from an insurance company (coverage equivalent to $37,000)
- Appendix D or the Family Details Appendix
- Application fee
- Other additional documents
The application must be submitted to a Swedish Consulate in the USA except for the consulates in Philadelphia, Boston, and New York.
There is another way to move to Sweden from US, the work permit route. If you have a job offer from any company physically based in Sweden with a minimum $1300 salary before taxes, then submit your application with a job offer letter.
Sweden Citizenship Requirements
Once you get your visa to stay more than 90 days in the country, you need to fulfill the below-listed requirements for Swedish citizenship.
- Must be 18 years old.
- Must have lived in the country for 5 years or have permanent residence.
- Shouldn’t have any criminal record.
- Must have a valid passport.
All of these requirements must be met. Otherwise, your application will be rejected.
How Much Does It Cost To Move To Sweden?
From the US, a direct flight to Sweden usually costs between $330 to $1200 depending on the airline.
Sending your luggage will cost around $3 to $15 per pound. Then you also need to pay for the taxi, on both sides adding an additional $300 to $450.
You also need to pay the visa and application fee costing you $1500. Once in Sweden, a single person will need $800 to $1200 (8651 – 12977 SEK) per month without rent.
A family of 4 will need around $3500 (37850 SEK) for utilities and $500 to $800 (5407 – 8651 SEK) as rent for an average 4-bedroom home.
Now, we’re done with the basic steps for moving to Sweden from US and the average cost. Let’s dig deeper and explore every aspect before you make the big move.
1. Sweden Visa For US Citizens
The requirement from any individual for a Visa purely depends on your nationality. Certain EU citizens can work and earn indefinitely in Sweden.
Similarly, Canadians, Australians, and New Zealand nationals can visit and stay in Sweden for a period of three months.
For other nationals like Americans moving to Sweden for over 90 days, you will have to apply for a visa prior to visiting Sweden.
One of the most important requirements is to have an employment offer from a Swedish company.
You will only be able to enter Sweden on the successful completion of the application process.
This includes submitting a photocopy of your passport and paying the required fee for a visa.
|TYPES OF VISA||DESCRIPTION|
|Tourist Visa||Permitted only for those who want to visit Sweden for a period up to 90 days|
|Business Visa||Only for those who want to conduct business activities in Sweden|
|Self-Employment Visa||Permitted for those with considerable work experience in their field who want to work in Sweden. Up to a period of 3 months stay without a permit is allowed.|
|Family Visa||If you are married and of legal age but in a “marriage-like relationship” then your partner/spouse is allowed to apply for this visa.|
For citizenship, all you need is to be 18 years old, have stayed in Sweden for the last five years without any police cases and you are eligible to apply for a permanent residency.
- You will need to complete filling out the documents online and send the documents with a photocopy of your passport and criminal record.
- You will be required to make a fee payment of 1,000 SEK which is 93 USD for permanent residence application.
- Americans moving to Sweden as students or on temporary work permits will not be eligible.
Sweden permits dual citizenship which means you are free to retain your American citizenship even after immigrating to Sweden from USA.
3. Sweden Banking System
The banking system in Sweden is modern but extremely strict. You will need what is called a personnummer which is a Swedish tax identification number.
How To Open A Bank Account In Sweden?
- Visit the nearest bank branch of your preference.
- Most banks require a personnummer to open an account.
- To open a bank account you’ll need a valid passport and a Swedish ID Card or personnummer.
- An initial deposit of 250 SEK is required.
- Usually, it’ll take 4-5 weeks to open a bank account in Sweden.
The total number of banks in Sweden stands at 123 and you will also find the presence of international banks here.
For expats, it can be difficult to pick any bank but worry not we’ve got you covered on this too. Here’s what you need to know:
Largest Banks In Sweden
- Svenska Handelsbanken AB
- Nordea Bank
- SEB Bank
4. Taxes In Sweden
As an American ready to immigrate to Sweden from US you might be surprised to see that the power to issue marriage and death certificates lies with the Swedish Tax Agency.
The tax structure in Sweden is interesting. You have to know about three levels of tax:
- The federal level (stat)
- The County level (landsting)
- The municipality level (kommun)
As an expat depending on your income, you will be either taxed the second or third level or in case your income is really high you will end up paying the federal level tax.
How Much Tax Pay In Sweden?
As per the report by OECD, the average single worker pays around 24.5% net average tax. Capital income is generally taxed at a flat rate of 30%.
Property owners are also liable to pay municipal or national property tax, 0.75% of taxable value.
|Taxable Income||National Income Tax||Municipal Income Tax|
|From 0 to 613,900 (SEK)||0%||32%|
|Over 613,900 (SEK)||20%||32%|
5. Jobs In Sweden
The job market in Sweden depends on where exactly you decide to stay. The salaries are pretty high but you will also notice that the cost of living is correspondingly on the higher side.
Large Corporations in Stockholm advertise for jobs that do not have a requirement for you to know Swedish. However, it adds to your resume to know the local language.
Here’re some perks and keynotes of working in a Swedish company:
- A healthy work-life balance is guaranteed.
- Employees get holidays as well as the work times which end by 5 pm in the evening.
- Maternity and paternity leaves are provided.
- Private and supplemental health insurance by the company.
In Sweden, the average salary earned by an individual is pretty high and is clocked at 26000 SEK which comes to approximately 2600 USD.
Jobs In Sweden For English Speakers
If you want to kickstart your career in Sweden, there are many jobs for foreigners and especially for English speakers.
There are several teaching jobs, medical and finance-related jobs available for English speakers.
Here’re the top 5 highest paying jobs:
- Teachers & Professors
- Software developers
The jobs with the highest demand are often in the IT industry. Keep in mind that there is no wage difference between any gander. You are paid as of your skill set.
6. Sweden Education System
For a country that gives prominence to computer and IT systems, Sweden focuses on equal opportunity for both genders and for students of all backgrounds.
Students have the freedom to move between private and public schools at no extra cost.
The schooling system focuses on teaching the same subjects to students till they can make a decision regarding their careers and higher education.
The education system is governed by the Swedish National Agency. The structure of schooling begins from:
- Daycare and Kindergarten
- Primary school
- Secondary school
- Higher Education
Is Education Free In Sweden?
Yes, education is free in Sweden for those with a residence permit and EU/EEA citizens. International students have to pay a fee for school, college, and university education till their Master’s. PHD is free for everyone in Sweden.
International Schools In Sweden
There are also international schools and top universities that cater to a wide diaspora of students. Some of the popular schools and universities are:
- British International School of Stockholm
- Tanto International School
- Bladins International School of Malmö
Best Schools, Colleges, And Universities In Sweden
The education system of Sweden ranks at #9 in the World. The purpose of education here is to ensure the creation of sound minds.
Have a quick look at the table given below to find out more about the top institutes:
|Stockholm International School||Royal Institute of Art||Stockholm University|
|The Tanto School AB||University West||Uppsala Universitet|
|Kungsholmens Gymnasium||Gävle University College||Lund University|
|Grier School||Dalarna University College||KTH Royal Institute of Technology|
|Östervångsskolan||Mälardalen University College||Linköping University|
7. Sweden Healthcare System
The best thing about Sweden is that it doesn’t differentiate between the residents and the non-residents when it comes to healthcare accessibility.
Often ranked as one of the best healthcare systems in the world, and many countries have tried to model themselves after Sweden.
- You will need the personnummer if you want to avail of the public healthcare services.
- The average health insurance cost is 4000 SEK per year.
The healthcare system in Sweden is decentralized to the point that the elected government makes the national healthcare policy.
And it is headed at the grassroots level by the municipality which is headed by county council officers for each particular region.
Almost 70% of costs related to healthcare come in the form of taxes collected by the local government.
Is healthcare good in Sweden?
Even though healthcare is not free, it’s extremely inexpensive to seek healthcare in Sweden. If you are below the age of 20 then you can avail of medical services free of cost. We will just give you a basic understanding of the costs to seek out healthcare in Sweden:
|COST||TYPES OF HEALTHCARE ACCESSED|
|110 to 220 SEK (10–20 USD)||Usually what it costs for basic health needs|
|400 SEK (40 USD)||Appointment with specialists in the field|
|120 SEK||For the first 10 days of hospital stay. You will be charged 60 SEK for the period beyond 1 day.|
8. Real Estate In Sweden
The housing market in Sweden is interesting to observe. There are two types of properties you can rent or buy when moving to Sweden from USA.
- Firsthand Property: It means you are inking an agreement with the individual who owns the building.
- Second Hand: It means you are signing up with someone who owns only the flat. This process is also called subletting.
Often there are long waiting periods for first-hand contracts and people access information regarding this online.
Even for second-hand properties, you can check out the various property listing websites for helpful hints.
Sweden Housing Market
Though the property prices are high like the cost of living, the smaller towns are more affordable. However, Sweden ranks in some of the worst countries where the property market is overvalued.
We suggest if you have the finances then rather than renting it out, like the other expats that immigrate to Sweden from US, you should consider buying a property.
There are quite a few types of properties available for you to choose from:
- Apartment houses
- Vacation homes
- Terraced homes
- Link houses
9. Cost Of Living In Sweden
The average cost of living in Sweden can be quite high depending on where you decide to set base.
- If you were to do a comparison of the cost of living in Sweden vs the US, you will find the USA is almost 35% more costly than the Scandinavian nation.
- It is the 33rd most expensive country in the world.
- For an individual living and earning in Sweden, the cost of living can be about $1400 (15010 SEK) per month.
- Rent in Sweden is 17.5% lower as compared to the US.
- Utilities and groceries are very affordable and around 23% inexpensive compared to the US.
Due to affordable rent, groceries, and utilities, many expats consider Sweden the best place to live and retire.
Have a quick look at the table given below to find out the cost of living in Sweden for a single person:
|Entity||Average Cost in SEK|
|Dining Out||120 – 800|
|Basic Groceries||300 – 350 (monthly)|
|Transportation||835 monthly pass|
|Utilities (Electricity, Heating, & Water)||1100|
|Sports and Leisure||300 – 700|
|Clothing and Shoes||500 – 1200|
|Average Rent||7000 – 10,000|
10. Best Places To Live In Sweden
Be assured that it is one of the best countries in the world and has an open culture with vigorous quality of life. Here’s the list of the top 10 cities.
1. Stockholm – Richest And Largest City
Packed to the hilt with buildings of historical prominence, mountains, public parks, and also has some of the world’s best universities, Stockholm always features in the list of best places to live in Sweden.
2. Gothenburg – Best For Expats
By the shore of the Baltic Sea lies this capital city of West Sweden. It’s a smart city with a lesser population.
With an enticing combination of the scenic outdoors, beautiful canals, and excellent places to eat, Gothenburg is a favorite of those scouting for the best place to live in Sweden.
3. Solna – Best For Raising Family
The third city on our list of best places to live in Sweden is the exquisite Solna which boasts of job opportunities galore coupled with close proximity to Stockholm.
In Solna, you get a quiet place with lots of beaches, parks, and even palaces.
4. Malmø – Enjoy The Exotic Mountain Views
A great reputation for highly welcoming vibes, Malmo is the city from where you can enjoy the mountain in Sweden.
Life here is calm and not to mention that the city has some of the best schools in the country.
5. Marstrand – Best For Vacation
The favorite haunt of the people who are economically well-to-do, it has been equated with being the Hollywood of Sweden.
Showing a keen fascination to enjoy what it gives, people from all walks of life flock to Marstrand to enjoy the warm summers.
6. Kiruna – See The Northern Lights Here
Because of its geographical location, being in the north, Kiruna enjoys a cold winter-oriented climate.
Thanks to its far-away location, you can see northern lights in the town. It also has the Esrange Space Center, which is a major center for studying the Aurora Borealis.
7. Uppsala – Best For Finding Job
Lying on the banks of the Fyris River, Uppsala is the fourth largest city in Sweden. It has a large student population owing to the presence of various universities existing since medieval times.
Thanks to its growing population, now it is one of the best cities in Sweden to find work.
8. Västerås – Most Beautiful City
This city is how they describe the perfect combination of old meets new. If you are looking out for an awesome place to spend near beaches and islands then Västerås is the place to be.
9. Örebro – City Of Castles
If boat trips excite you then this city on the banks of Sweden’s largest lakes will be your place to hang out.
You also get to cycle around this quaint little town with a little piece in history in the form of a 13th-century castle looming above the horizon.
10. Lund – Best City For International Students
With a population of roughly 90000 people and holding an attraction for history students, this city has the unique distinction of being the oldest city in Sweden.
With universities found in 1666 still functional, this indeed is a magnet for students.
11. Swedish Culture and Climate
Sweden is a country of quiet, reserved, generally affable people. The culture is such that it welcomes everyone irrespective of their race or sexual orientation.
- People are calm and talk quietly. They don’t prefer loud boastful words and avoid arguments.
- The food preference in Sweden is reflective of the climate there. A staple diet is the potatoes often served with meat or fish.
- It is the birthplace of countless beers and one of the most famous Swedish drinks is the popular Absolut Vodka.
- Sweden offers an extreme climate for both summers as well as winter.
- The North of the country is perennially covered in snow while the south only gets snow during the winters.
Generally, you enjoy a moderate climate thanks to the Gulf Stream. Winter here can be extremely freezing, dry, and often cloudy.
12. Interesting Facts About Sweden
Here are some of the interesting and fun facts about Sweden:
- It has one of the fastest and most affordable internet connections in the world.
- Sweden doesn’t have a minimum wage.
- It has one of the oldest populations in Europe.
- Swedes are some of the highest drinkers of Coffee.
- The Swedish Government controls the consumption of alcohol.
- The only place you can purchase alcohol is at the Government controlled store.
If you’re travelling to Sweden from USA, remember the Swedes can also be quite aloof as they prefer to avoid unnecessary contact and remain in their comfort zones.
If you want one of the best countries in the world offering affordable healthcare, and super-speed internet while giving you the benefits of the great outdoors, then Sweden is the place to be.
This land of opportunity has everything you ever need in a country.
Right from excellent career options to the history, beaches, lakes, parties to even mountains, snowboarding, and ice hockey among other things, a perfect package for you.