My International Movers

Moving to Sweden from the US – All You Should Know About the Elongated Country

Kate Holland May 17, 2015
Posted May 17, 2015 In Living Abroad,
Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

Scandinavia has both naturally beautiful scenery and quality of life that is above average. That’s why some Americans consider moving to Sweden from the US. But, before you pack your belongings, and sit on a plane, consider the requirements and get to know the country a bit.

A nation that is considered the spine of Scandinavia is beautiful and picturesque in every sense of the word. Wherever you look, you can find rolling lowlands with a background of scattered mountains. And among the country’s population of over 10 million people, about 26% of residents have a foreign origin. If you want to move to another country for the love of the Nordic lifestyle, this is a good destination and one of the greatest European countries to live in. But, is it difficult to move to Sweden? And what are the things you should know ahead of time?

Information on the Requirements for Moving to Sweden From the USA

Can you just move to Sweden? First of all, let’s consider step one for relocating overseas to this Nordic gem. To move or spend more than 90 days there, you are required to have a residence permit, and you can not enter the country without it. Although the Corona pandemic measures are still on in most countries, you can submit your application in person or by mail to the Embassy in Washington. All interviews for residence permits will be conducted there, as well. You can also apply through any Swedish consulate in the US, except for the Consulate General in New York and other consulates within that consular district.

Guaranteed prices for International Moving. No Hidden fees or surprises! Free Estimate

The Embassy of Sweden in Washington Requires Certain Documents

You will be notified by Sweden’s Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) to schedule your interview, and you will be asked to submit two copies of the following documents needed to travel abroad:

  • Application form for the residence permit for visitors or two copies of the application for a child under 18 years of age, which are filled out, signed and dated. They should also contain detailed contact information.
  • Copy and notarize those pages of your passport that show your identity and the validity of the document. Copies of any other permits in your passport should also be included.
  • Family details appendix for applicants (Appendix D)
  • Bank statement.
  • A confirmation letter from your insurance company is also required. It has to clearly state that you are internationally insured for any emergency medical expenses, such as emergency hospital treatment or repatriation for medical reasons.
  • The minimum amount of coverage must be EUR 30,000 (that’s equivalent to $37,000), and it has to be valid for the entire duration of stay.
  • Return ticket.

Your case will be forwarded to the SMA as soon as you hand over all the required documentation. You can read the status of your application and processing time on their website.

Can US Citizens Move to Sweden on a Work Visa and Study Permit?

All non-EU residents, US citizens included, are required to be offered a business position before they are eligible for a work permit. If you’ve managed to get a job in Europe as an American, the salary should be close to Swedish collective agreements’ set amount or average for that industry. The monthly income should be enough to sustain yourself, and the minimum amount is 13,000 Swedish Kroner (SEK) or $1,500.

Obtaining a business position before you move will make living in another country much easier, but you can also move to this Scandinavian nation to study. Those who wish to study at a university and learn a language abroad, attend higher education or folk high school for more than three months, should apply for higher education permits. You must obtain the permits before you travel. An entry visa is enough if you plan to stay and study for less than three months.

Moving to Sweden without a job is also possible if you are joining a family member. They can apply for you if you give them power of attorney. When they send the online application, a copy of a power of attorney should be sent as an attachment.

Interested in Becoming a Citizen? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’re wondering how to live abroad and become a Swedish citizen, your residency there must be a continuous period of five years. You should also have proof of identity and be 18 or older. You are required to have a permanent residence permit since a temporary residence permit can’t be applied. A right of residence or residing card also applies if you are a citizen of the EU or a close relative of one. It’s also essential that you’ve conducted yourself well while living there. The following video summarizes all that this Nordic gem has to offer and why all the administrative issues are worth it.

The Overview of Top Swedish Cities

Stockholm is the country’s capital, and the residents rightfully name it “beauty on the water” because it spreads across fourteen islands. It has a breathtaking mix of modern and traditional architecture, and walking down the cobblestone streets surrounded by water will only take away your relocating stress.

Gothenburg is the nation’s second-largest city, and the European Commission has named it the European Capital of Smart Tourism 2020. It’s a vibrant place, offering views on electric trams that run along the streets, past the local people riding bikes. It smells of roasted coffee, craft beer, and one of the best seafood cuisines in the world. This is why it’s probably one of the greatest places to live abroad.

The third in size, but equally charming as the previous cities, is Malmo. It is across the Baltic from Germany and also bordering Copenhagen. Different cultures have long influenced it, so you should expect a more exotic choice of foods and markets here. Because of its diversity, it’s perhaps a bit richer with expat communities.

The Housing Prices and Other Costs in the Country

Before you invest in international moving services from a reliable overseas moving company, it’s good to know what to expect in your destination in terms of expenses. The national currency is the Swedish Krona (SEK.) Like in most other countries, the cost of living and housing prices depend on where you live – in an urban area or a more rural region. If you are moving from the US to Sweden to study, you can expect that your monthly costs will be around SEK 7,070 (about $820.) The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is about $870, and for one with three bedrooms, it’s around $1,470.

If you are relocating across the world with your kids because this is one of the best places to live abroad with family, you are probably interested in housing prices. The average price for an apartment in the city’s center per square foot is $520. The essential monthly utilities, such as electricity, heating, cooling, garbage, and water for a 915 sq ft apartment, are around $90. The average net income after tax is about $3,000.

The Benefits of the Healthcare System

The healthcare system is top-notch and primarily funded by taxpayers. It’s a decentralized universal system for everyone and is mostly free or with meager fees. It works by a simple principle – those who require urgent medical care are a priority and are treated first. When living overseas in this Nordic nation, the maximum amount you can expect to pay for routine visits to the doctor for 12 months is SEK 1,150 or $133.

What to Expect if You Move to Study

Universities are free for citizens of both the EU and Switzerland, and they set their fees which vary between $9,300 and $16,200 per year of academic study. Although these prices are not low, the quality and international standing are such that the Universities in this nation are consistently considered among the best in the world. If you move there to study, you can share your experiences of academic life in Scandinavia while you keep in touch with friends.

Living in Sweden as an American Will Allow You to Enjoy Allemansrätten

You can enjoy Sweden’s nature in each corner of this nation because the government has given people the right of public access, which is called allemansrätten. If you are relocating with dogs, we are sure they will enjoy the outdoors. Just make sure you get all the needed documents for your pet, too. You may feel like you’re in one of the friendliest countries in the world because others will be helpful and address you by the first name. They will also expect the same from you during the conversation. Job titles are also dropped in communication, and it’s standard practice. Another everyday custom you should know is that a sign of respect for the home you’re entering is shown by taking off the shoes.

If you work full-time, you are entitled to at least 25 days of paid holiday annually, and most people tend to use it during July, which is the country’s warmest month. Another Sweden’s norm is drinking tap water because it’s clean and fresh. This way, you can save on costs and protect the environment.

Getting Around Is Easy With Great Public Transport

If you look at cities like Stockholm, the smartest way to get around is by the excellent public transport system. Biking is another popular option for getting around, but if you still want to bring your car with you when you move, make sure you invest in a reputable company that will handle the vehicle shipping overseas.

The Gulf Stream Keeps the Climate Moderate

This Nordic nation generally enjoys a temperate climate. If you look at the south, winter is usually mild with an average temperature above 32°F degrees, but above the Arctic circle, the temperatures in the winter are severe. Depending on the location you’ll be living in, it will be easier to determine what to pack when relocating abroad and will you need more sweaters and coats. The country’s position is such that it has very long nights in winter and many hours of daylight in summer.

Most Swedes Speak English

English is a popular language here, but as with most countries, breaking the language barrier and speaking fluently is vital to full integration. If you manage to find some good tips for learning a new language and learn a bit of Swedish, it can help you when you contact the authorities, such as the Tax Agency. While the first step to prepare for relocating is to invest in packing service, the primary steps for learning the local language, both spoken and written, are SFI courses. They are offered through adult educational projects (kommunal vuxenutbildning, or komvux) in the local municipality.

From Hiking to Visiting the Palace, There’s a Lot on the to-Do List

If you are a fan of hiking, this is one of the best countries to live in and enjoy the outdoors. The King’s Trail (Kungsleden) is the country’s longest and most well-known hiking trail. It’s over 250 miles long, and it has cabins and huts along the way. If you would love to enjoy dining and fika (“a coffee and cake break,” but with friends) while in a picturesque place, Sigtuna is the perfect destination. It’s the oldest town in the nation and is exceptionally well-preserved with a medieval town center.

Drottningholm Palace is the permanent home of Their Majesties, the King and Queen, but it is also on the World UNESCO Heritage List. The entire palace, including the grounds, is open to the public the whole year, except for the southern wing.

Is Sweden Worth Moving To?

When you decide to start your life in this Scandinavian nation, the only thing you should think about is getting storage service for all the possessions you won’t be taking with you since you’ll bring your relocating abroad checklist to IKEA. Many consider this nation one of the greatest places to live in Europe, but it can also be viewed as one of the best places to retire in Europe. After all, this is a nation that is both beautiful and offers many benefits to its residents. It makes moving from the USA to Sweden a wise choice, whether you’ll be working or studying here.



      Ready to Move With Us?

      Get a Free Estimate 888-888-8449