Moving to Sweden from Dubai in 2021 takes careful planning and attention to details and documentation. We provide everything you need to know before moving from Dubai to Sweden. Start your move today by obtaining up to 6 competitive moving to Sweden quotations FREE.
Anyone moving to Sweden can anticipate, a progressive society, innovative design, and even their cosy coffee culture. But more than this, there is so much to discover in Sweden. Tourists and ex-pats love the country’s gorgeous green spaces. This large sparsely populated country is every nature lover’s dream. Even living in Stockholm, allows you to easily access nice parks, forests or a shoreline.
If you plan a move to Sweden we can help you transition better into the Swedish community. This guide will help you learn everything from lifestyle, culture and cost of living, to visa options, banking choices, education, and even healthcare.
We got everything covered, so all you have to do is sit back and read our ultimate moving to Sweden guide.
Some people say moving to Sweden can initially make you feel isolated. Though this may be true, the flip side is it does mean you will have more freedom to decide for yourself without worrying about the judgmental society. This also means that you get to decide what to do with your life, without your nosy neighbours questioning your every move. And this also means that you can start afresh and spend time assimilating with the locals’ culture. After going through the process, you realize that isolation only means you get to keep yourself away from all the stereotypes and pressures you‘re so used to dealing back your country of origin.
The truth is that Swedish society values equality and freedom so much that such values reflect their lifestyle, choices, and advocacies. Women here are considered as prominent figures in their society because they’re fiercely independent. This is why ex-pats from male-dominant societies might find this culture overwhelming. The people also value their freedom, which takes would literally shut down their businesses for a month to enjoy a season.
If you have made up your mind to move to Sweden, we will prepare you for that one big step - your milestone. We will share tips on how you can make it in this beautiful country. Through this, you will have a better understanding of the people and their culture. Thriving won’t be a problem here.
There are elements of Swedish life which are not exactly a secret, such as the high cost of living and an excellent healthcare system. Then again, there are also a couple of facts that you may find surprising like an extra competitive housing market and a black market for property leases.
The country is known for its accepting culture, which has permeated many aspects of Swedish life, including the social/business culture and education system. Swedes believe everyone is equal despite differences in beliefs, gender, or class.
The Swedes describe themselves and the government as the very first feminist government in the whole world. They focused their policies on fighting domestic violence, enhancing feminist foreign trade policies, and focusing on gender equality.
More than half of the Swedish parliament and government ministers are women. Aside from that, the government itself is committed to promoting equal rights and gender equality throughout Swedish society. In schools, both female and male students are treated equally. Since 1980, gender discrimination in the workplace was also made illegal. In 2009, a law was passed, directing all employers to promote gender equality among its workers actively.
Because they value equality, the Swedes dislike hierarchy. This explains why, regardless of their position at work and social standing, they are called by their first name. For them, this is a sign that they are equal. Even students use their teacher’s first name when referring to them in a conversation. Government officials, even on state business, use their first names when introducing themselves.
The country ranks high when it comes to the most number of single people on the entire planet. However, this doesn’t mean that Sweden is ideal for ex-pats to look for a long-term relationship. This country promotes independence that the Swedes shy away from dating and tend to stick to themselves. The Swedish culture, in general, doesn’t encourage mingling with strangers, which explains why the Swedes interact minimally in public or on the street.
One thing you notice after moving to Sweden is punctuality is a prized value to the Swedes, and this is seen in their culture and business. It might be frowned upon for you to be late for a meeting, appointment, or social engagement. The irony is when you show up too early, that will put off people, also. So, when meeting someone, be there at least five or ten minutes early.
For those working in Sweden, the good news is salaries are relatively high. But if you live here, you might not get to feel this advantage since it’s also directly proportional to your cost of living. When you plan to relocate here, you need to consider some practicalities to avoid depleting your savings. For starters, you can find your feet with a short-term rental (accommodation) instead of going for a long-term lease or immediately buying a property.
Like in other countries, your cost of living and day-to-day expenses will fluctuate mainly depending on your location. Despite this, you can still say that the country’s average cost of living is still high. A massive chunk of this cost is attributed to rent prices, that can be extremely expensive.
The most expensive city to live in is Stockholm, followed by Gothenburg and Uppsala. If you have the option and want to save on your daily expenses, choose Nykvarn or Södertälje. Without factoring in rent, you need around 3,900 USD to live in Stockholm with three other family members. If you’re single, you need roughly 1,400 USD per month.
Grocery prices are generally high since the country is geographically out of the way. The Swedes prefer to eat at home, since cooking together is considered as a social activity. Eating out is considered as a luxury, so you might end up spending 11 USD for the cheapest meal and around 100 USD for a nice dinner with drinks. Essential utilities can range from 150 USD to 300 USD per month, depending on your house and household size.
There are a couple of ways to bring your monthly cost of living down to a bare minimum. First, opt to prepare your food and eat like the locals. Go for locally-sourced ingredients. Next, you can watch how you use your electricity, water, and gas. If you get smart with your essential utilities, you can also significantly lessen your monthly spending on it. And you can again try to settle in less expensive cities like Nykvarn or Södertälje. Here, life is slower and even way cheaper than the main cities.
The Swedish public education system is free. However, if you choose to send your kids to private schools and international schools, you will still pay less for tuition since the government is regulating these schools. You can expect to pay somewhere around 3,500 to 11,500 USD per year.
In the latter part of this guide, you’ll understand more why the Swedish healthcare system stands out from the rest of the world. Aside from being efficient and effective, it’s also very affordable. Their healthcare system is considered as a model healthcare system for other countries. You only need a personnummer to access these services. If you have a personnummer and visit a public healthcare provider, expect to pay around 12 to 35 USD only. If you see a specialist, the cost can go slightly higher at 45 USD.
The good thing about the Swedish road system is the fact that they’re generally safe and well-maintained. However, if you have to drive during winter, you need to acquaint yourself with the roads. The challenge now is getting a license. Because the Swedes take driving proficiency and road safety seriously, everyone applying for a permit must go through a tedious, expensive, lengthy, and complicated procedure. But if you’re up for the challenge, why not get a car?
OF LIVING IN SWEDEN
When moving to Sweden from Dubai, the following documentation is required in order to import Household Goods and Personal Effects
For a more in-depth look at documentation please check the International Association of Movers.
If you’re moving to Sweden for work, your country of origin will determine whether or not you need an employment visa or work permit. If you are a citizen of an EU and EEA country, you have all the right to stay in the country without a work permit. Regardless of your purpose of staying in the country, you only need to show your passport.
If you’re an EU or EEA citizen and already found a job in Sweden, you need to register with their Tax Agency. For non- EU/EEA residents, you will need a job offer to secure a work permit. This permit should be confirmed before you even enter the country. Otherwise, you will never be granted entry nor be granted a work permit.
To get a Swedish work permit, you need to comply with the following requirements:
Here are the different types of Swedish visas ex-pats can apply for:
EU/EEA citizens and nationals of non-EU countries are permitted to open a bank account in the country. However, there is a slight difference in the number of requirements they need to submit. Aside from the differences in conditions, the latter group might also encounter a few restrictions, but overall, they should have no problem opening and accessing their account.
If you’re a non-resident, you will be required to register with the country’s tax system if you intend to stay in the country for six months or more. The only challenge you have to face is getting a personnummer. This is akin to your tax identification number, a document that will be required if you want to open a bank account in the country.
If you’re a resident of EU/EEA countries, you need the following documents when opening a bank account in Sweden:
If you’re a non-EU/EEA citizen, you are required to present all the requirements set above, including your personnummer. Without this, you will still be allowed to open a bank account but only a basic one. This means that you will not be issued a debit card, and you can’t transact online until you can show them your personnummer. In this case, you will be forced to visit the bank for every transaction. Apart from this, you also need to contact your bank when you intend to open a bank account. Otherwise, you won’t be accommodated.
There are almost 115 Swedish banks ex-pats can choose from, but the most prominent ones include the following:
Skatt is the Swedish term for taxes, and it also means treasure. This explains why the Swedes don’t mind paying exceedingly high taxes. In the country, the tax agency has more power than the government.
When a child is born, he is automatically issued a tax number. When the parents register the child’s name, the said tax agency has the right to turn down the parent’s given name. However, this only happened in extreme cases and mostly for the child’s benefit. The said agency is also responsible for regulating marriage and death certificates. This means that you have to get acquainted with the country’s tax system if you wish to stay here longer.
To make things simpler, Sweden can be divided into three regions: south, middle, and north. In the southern region of Malmo and Gothenburg, winters are milder and shorter. Daytime temperature ranges from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius. Since it’s humid here, the warm days are warmer, and the cold days also colder.
The middle region runs from Stockholm to the southern part of Norway. This is where you will find Svealand, with a climate that’s cooler than Gotaland. The average temperature in this region is below zero, with more common snowfall.
The northern region where Norrland is located has dry, cold, and long winters with temperatures going down to sub-zero. They also have more snow here, with short summers with a comfortable 15 degrees Celsius temperature.
As mentioned above, rent prices will eat a massive chunk of your monthly budget. And the rental costs will differ depending on the location. If you rent properties within Stockholm and other city centers, you can expect to pay at least 1,400 USD per month for a one-bedroom rental property. If you wish to rent a bigger space, expect to pay around 2,400 USD per month.
If you wish to live within Gothenburg, the rent is slightly lower at 1,150 USD per month for a one-bedroom property and 1,900 USD per month for a three-bedroom apartment.
Yes, you can, but you have to note that the process can be a bit challenging for ex-pats. The duration of the process will also vary depending on your nationality. If you’re a citizen from an EU/EEA country and you’re self-sufficient or study and work in the EU, you can buy properties right away.
However, if you’re a non-EU resident, you need to get a resident’s permit and prove that you have sufficient funds to purchase a property. Either way, expect to pay around 8,600 USD per m² for Stockholm properties and other more expensive cities. In other areas, the average rent is approximately 5,200 USD per m².
As mentioned above, healthcare in the country is one of the world’s best. Such ranking is mostly because of the country’s life expectancy, healthcare cost, and overall efficiency.
In the past, the country’s healthcare sector received complaints regarding the long waiting time when seeing a doctor. The moment the authorities heard about this, they immediately took strides to remedy the problem. Now, you can meet your doctor after three to seven days after you booked for their services.
The country’s healthcare system is decentralized. Though the government decides on the overall policy, the municipality of kommun exercises the most significant influence. These kommuns are headed by council officials who serve for four years.
The municipality is responsible for overseeing the health services and healthcare of his respective region. This is practised so that the services will be customized according to the need of every region. The county councils also oversee the management of the hospitals in their districts and regulate the service quality and prices of private healthcare providers.
Yes, healthcare services for citizens under 20 years old are free. However, for those over this age, they need to pay to access public healthcare. But the good thing is that even if these services are not for free, they are also not expensive, especially if your point of comparison is other European countries.
As mentioned above, you only need a personnummer to access these services. If you have a personnummer and visit a public healthcare provider, expect to pay around 12 to 35 USD only. If you see a specialist, the cost can go slightly higher at 45 USD.
The government also set up concessions for individuals who need frequent healthcare. The yearly cap for their out-of-pocket fees is at 100 USD. If they exceed this amount, the government will cover the excess. For prescription meds, the annual cap is at 230 USD. Anything in excess will also be paid for by the government.
The country’s education system is mostly student-based. This means that students are given the right to choose where to enrol, regardless of their place of residence. After completion of their primary education, students will be given a choice to enter secondary school or not. Despite given this option, almost 100% of Swedish students opt to continue to secondary school.
The education system in the country is built on community and equality. Children are taught the same subjects until they are old and capable enough to make career choices or make their education. While kids are encouraged to collaborate and socialize, there is still a strong emphasis on independence. You will be given options so that you get to learn to choose for yourself. And not only that, but there is also an emphasis on treating your classmates equally.
Both private and public schools in the country are highly-regarded, which is why international schools are reserved for international students. Swedish children can still enrol in international schools, but since public schools are of high quality and generally free, it’s quite rare.
If you choose to send your kids to private schools and international schools, you will still pay less for tuition since the government is regulating these schools. You can expect to pay somewhere around 3,500 to 11,500 USD per year.
Moving to a different country can be daunting, and if you don’t get on top of things it can become quite stressful. Moving to Sweden presents its own set of unique challenges, but if you follow the guidelines we have provided, we feel certain you can experience a smooth relocation to Sweden.
You can start the ball rolling by completing our simple form, allowing international movers to get started on your quotation, today!
Note: This document is provided as a guide for people moving to Sweden and for information purposes only. Customs regulations can and do change at any time, usually without notice. Your mover will provide you with more information.