Living in Sweden

Information for British citizens moving to or living in Sweden, including guidance on residency, healthcare and working.

This guide sets out essential information for British citizens moving to or living in Sweden. Read about how our embassy in Stockholm can help.

This information is provided as a guide only. You should get definitive information from the Swedish authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is not liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Support for British nationals abroad sets out how British nationals can stay safe abroad and how the FCDO can help if you do get into difficulty.

Read general guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

To stay up to date:

Before you go

See our travel advice for Sweden for up-to-date information on entry requirements, local laws and customs, safety and emergencies.

If you were living in Sweden before 1 January 2021

Some parts of this guide only apply if you have been living in Sweden since before 1 January 2021. You should read these in addition to the rest of the guidance in each section. 

You should also read our living in Europe page for information about citizens’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Visas and residency

You must tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

Check the entry requirements for Sweden and read the Swedish Migration Agency’s guidance on entry permits. If you plan to live in Sweden for more than 1 year, you must register with the Swedish Population Register. The Swedish authorities will issue you an ID number (personnummer).

To be granted a work permit, you need to have an employment contract.

Visas and residency if you were living in Sweden before 1 January 2021

If you applied for your new uppehållsstatus residence document by 31 December 2021, your rights are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement pending a decision on your application. You should continue the process to get your new residence document if you do not have it yet.

If you have a card or certificate for residence rights under EU law (uppehållsrätt), this is no longer valid (since 1 January 2022). The general application period for residence status ended on 31 December 2021. The following groups still have the opportunity to apply for residence status:

  • family members of a British citizen with residence status or permanent residence status
  • biological and adopted children who have at least one parent who is a British citizen with residence status or permanent residence status

Read more information on the Migration Agency’s website

Sweden applied new rules for British citizens following EU Exit. Guidance and online applications for residence permits are available on the Migration Agency’s website

If you are planning to move to Sweden to join your partner you should apply for a permit for moving to join someone in Sweden

If you have a card for residence under Swedish law (uppehållstillstånd), you do not need to apply for the new uppehållsstatus residence document, but you have the option to. The new uppehållsstatus residence document allows you to stay longer outside of Sweden without losing your residency rights. It also makes it easier for family members to come and live with you in Sweden.

If you have not had a response to your uppehållsstatus application, you can contact the Migration Agency using ‘My page’ on the Swedish Migration Agency website.

You must renew your uppehållsstatus when it expires. Read the Migration Agency’s information on how to renew a residence permit.

Appeal process

If your application for a new uppehållsstatus residence status is refused, you will be notified about the appeal process. Read the Swedish government advice on how to make an appeal.

Late applications

The deadline for applying for a new residence status was 31 December 2021.

An application submitted after 31 December 2021 by someone who does not belong to any of the groups mentioned above can sometimes be accepted under the Withdrawal Agreement, so long as the applicant can cite plausible reasons for submitting her/his application after the deadline. To determine whether plausible reasons exist, an individual assessment must be made.

Read more information on the Migration Agency’s website.

If your municipality has a municipal guide (medborgarkontor) and you are vulnerable and require assistance with your application, you can ask them for help. Not all municipalities provide this service.

Family members

If you have been granted a new uppehållsstatus residence status, your close family members continue to be able to join you and settle in Sweden in the future. Find more information on who this applies to in the Living in Europe guidance. Read the Migration Agency’s information on making an application for a family member.

Nationals of certain non-EU countries may need a visa before travelling to Sweden. The Swedish authorities should issue family reunion visas free of charge.

Passports and travel

You can apply for or renew your British passport from Sweden.

Check the Sweden travel advice for passport validity requirements.

Always carry your passport when travelling within the Schengen area. If you have citizenship of an EU or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) country, in addition to your British citizenship, you should enter and leave Sweden using your EU or EFTA passport.

If you stay in Sweden with a Swedish residence permit or long stay visa, this time does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit for the Schengen area.

If you visit other Schengen area countries outside Sweden, make sure you do not exceed the visa-free 90 days in any 180-day period. You are responsible for counting how long you stay under the Schengen visa waiver, and you must comply with its conditions.

Different rules apply if you are travelling to other EU and Schengen countries as a resident of Sweden. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

If you were living in Sweden before 1 January 2021

When you travel, carry your residence document (uppehållsstatus) or frontier worker permit issued under the Withdrawal Agreement, in addition to your valid passport.

You must proactively show your residence document, or other evidence of residence status, if you are asked to show your passport at border control. If you have applied for, but not yet received, your residence document, show your certificate of application.

If you cannot prove that you are a resident in Sweden, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the EU. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in the country or countries where you live or work. If a passport is stamped, the stamp is considered null and void when you can show evidence of lawful residence.

If you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you can enter and exit Sweden with a valid passport. You do not need any additional validity on the passport beyond the dates on which you are travelling.

Healthcare in Sweden

Read the guidance on healthcare in Sweden and make sure you are correctly registered for your circumstances.

If you cannot register for healthcare as a resident in Sweden, you must ensure you have private healthcare cover for Sweden.

NOTE: UK Travel insurance providers will not generally cover your healthcare costs if you live overseas.

Read the Swedish government guidance on the Social Insurance Agency’s website (Försäkringskassan).

Travel insurance is not intended to cover healthcare costs if you live overseas.


If you are on a prescription for any medication you should ensure you have a supply of it, or are able to obtain it when in Sweden. Certain medicines may not be available in Sweden (including major brands readily available in the UK), and you may be prohibited from taking them into the country. You should consult your GP before travelling to Sweden to find out about any alternative medication.

Read the guidance if you need to travel with medicines

Many over-the-counter medicines in the UK are only available by prescription in Sweden. You can only buy medicines at authorised chemists (Apoteket).

You should also read our guidance on:

Working in Sweden

If you are planning to move to Sweden and work, you may need a visa. Read the Swedish government’s guidance on working in Sweden as a foreign national and how to get a visa.

To apply for a job you may need to provide a UK police certificate


If you work in Sweden, even if you work for a UK-based company, this may affect where you pay National Insurance-type contributions. Read the National insurance and social security contributions section for more information.

If you were living in Sweden before 1 January 2021

You have the right to work under the Withdrawal Agreement, if you have an uppehållsstatus residency document, or have applied for one.

If you live in Sweden and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country before 1 January 2021, read our guidance for frontier workers.

Professional qualifications

You may need to get your professional qualification recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in Sweden.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Sweden before 1 January 2021

If the relevant regulator in Sweden officially recognised your professional qualification before 1 January 2021, or you started the recognition process by this date, make sure you understand the terms of your decision. You should get advice from the relevant regulator.

Studying in Sweden

If you plan to study in Sweden, you must meet all visa requirements before you travel.

Contact the relevant higher education provider in Sweden to check what fees you may have to pay.

Read guidance on:

If you were legally resident in Sweden before 1 January 2021

The studying in the European Union guidance includes information if you were already living in Sweden before 1 January 2021.


The UK has a double taxation agreement with Sweden so that you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief.

You should get professional advice on paying tax in Sweden. Find an English-speaking lawyer in Sweden.

Read guidance on:

National insurance and social security contributions

National Insurance-type contributions (NIC) are called ‘social security contributions’ (SSC) in Sweden. Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Sweden.

If you plan to move to Sweden and work, even if you continue working for a UK-based company, you and your employer may need to pay social security contributions in Sweden. These social security contributions would entitle you to certain benefits, such as healthcare, in Sweden.

Read guidance on National Insurance for workers from the UK working in the EEA or Switzerland

You can also check your UK National Insurance record.


UK benefits

Read guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Sweden.

Check which UK benefits you can claim while abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as pension credit and housing benefit cannot be paid to you if you are abroad for more than 4 weeks.

Swedish benefits

You may be eligible to claim some Swedish benefits. To find out contact:


Read guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Sweden.

If you retire in Sweden, you can claim:

Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper’s guidance on pension and retirement for more information on cross-border pensions.

Life certificates for UK State Pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you must respond as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended if you do not.

Money and banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA depends on local laws and regulation.

Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper guidance on banking, insurance and financial services for information on cross-border banking.

Accommodation and buying property

You can rent ‘first-hand’ or ‘second-hand’ in Sweden. First-hand (första hand) means you sign an agreement with the owner of the building, while second-hand (andra hand) means you sign an agreement with someone who owns the flat or has the first-hand contract on the flat. In the big cities, obtaining a first-hand contract generally requires several years of queueing. For second-hand contracts, there are many dedicated accommodation websites. Most ads are in Swedish, but you will find some in English too. If you are moving to Sweden as a student, check first with the university you will be studying at. Some universities provide guaranteed housing for international students, but not all. Most universities have some kind of accommodation service available.

Read guidance on how to buy or let property abroad.

Municipalities (kommuner) often has information on how to look for housing in their area, for example Gothenburg or Umeå

Driving in Sweden

You cannot renew or replace your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man licence if you live in Sweden. If your licence is lost, stolen or expired, you will need a ‘certificate of entitlement’ to be able to apply for a Swedish driving licence.

A certificate of entitlement sets out the categories of vehicles you are entitled to drive. You should obtain this from the authority which issued your licence.

Read the guidance on what you must do to drive legally in Sweden:

Exchanging your UK or Gibraltar licence

If you live in Sweden you can use your UK or Gibraltar driving licence. Although there is no time limit for exchanging your licence, you may find it helpful to exchange your licence for a Swedish licence. Some employers require an EU licence.

To exchange your licence for a Swedish licence you must be a permanent resident, provide a ‘certificate of entitlement’ and you may need to meet certain medical requirements. You do not need to take a driving test.

You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of exchanging your licence.

If you have a licence from Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man

The UK and Sweden are currently negotiating long-term arrangements for exchanging these licences without the requirement for a test. Sign up for email alerts to get notified when we update this page.

Disabled drivers

If you have a UK Blue Badge and live in Sweden, you must return it to the original UK issuing authority. You can apply for a new Swedish disabled parking card (in Swedish).

Read the EU guidance on the EU parking card for people with disabilities.

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Sweden

Read guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.

Read Swedish government guidance on taking vehicle to Sweden.

Driving outside Sweden with a Swedish licence

You can use your Swedish licence when visiting the UK. Keep up-to-date with the UK Highway Code.

If you go to live in the UK, you can exchange your Swedish licence for a UK one without taking a test.

To drive in another country, in addition to your Swedish licence, you may need to apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP) (in Swedish).

Read the Swedish government information on:

Read the EU guidance on:


You can vote in Swedish local elections after 3 years of residency.

Only Swedish citizens can vote in general elections. To vote in European Parliament elections you must be a Swedish citizen or citizen of another EU country and resident in Sweden.

You can read more information on the Swedish government’s election authority website

You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:

Births, deaths, marriage and civil partnerships

If your child is born in Sweden, you do not need to, but you can register the birth with the UK authorities in addition to registering locally. If your child has British nationality, you do not need to register the birth with the UK authorities to apply for a British passport.

If someone dies in Sweden read our guidance on:

Find out how you can get married or get a civil partnership abroad.

You may also need English-speaking lawyers in Sweden, or notary services in Sweden.


If you’re moving to Sweden with your pet, read the guidance and ensure you comply with the regulations:

To visit other countries with your pet, check the rules for the country you’re travelling to. Contact your vet to get the travel documents your pet needs.

Read guidance on:


Dial the European emergency number 112 in Sweden for the police, ambulance or fire brigade.

Dial the EU 116 000 hotline to report a missing child in the EU country where you live or in another EU country.

If you need guidance on child abduction, read the guidance on international parental child abduction; the EU guidance on child abduction and the EU guidance on child abduction to another EU country.

If you want to report a crime which is non-urgent, call 11414 or visit The Swedish Police website

If you are the victim of a crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis, contact the British Embassy Stockholm.

Returning to the UK

Tell the Swedish and UK authorities if you are planning to return to the UK permanently.

If you get healthcare in Sweden through the S1 form, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 (0)191 218 1999 to cancel your S1 at the right time.

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, among other things, bringing family members, tax and access to services.

Useful information

Support for British nationals abroad: a guide sets out how to stay safe abroad, and explains how the FCDO can support you if you get into difficulty.

For more information see:

Published 2 January 2014
Last updated 8 August 2023 + show all updates
  1. Visas and residency, healthcare, accommodation and buying property, and births, deaths, marriage and civil partnerships sections updated.

  2. Important information in the Working in Sweden, and National insurance sections if you work in Sweden, even it if it is for an employer based in the UK.

  3. Visas and residency guidance updated, following the 31 December 2021 residency deadline for people with rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

  4. Visas and residency section updated: deadline for residency applications extended to 31 December 2021.

  5. Guidance reviewed for Money, tax and banking, Benefits, Births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships, and Useful information sections.

  6. Guidance reviewed for Passports and travel, Healthcare, Working in Sweden, Studying in Sweden, Emergencies, and Returning to the UK sections.

  7. Professional qualifications section updated for British citizens who are moving or moved to Sweden after 1 January 2021 and those living there since before 1 January 2021.

  8. Working in Sweden section updated: new guidance for frontier workers

  9. See Driving section for when you can exchange your UK driving licence; see Working in Sweden for update on frontier worker permits; see Studying in Sweden for student healthcare registration.

  10. Healthcare section updated including guidance on the S1 form and applying for EHIC and GHIC cards; working and studying in Sweden section updated with link to Department for International Trade (DIT) guidance on working or providing services, updated with information on funding eligibility for students, and with link to DIT guidance on recognition of professional qualifications.

  11. Coronavirus section updated with a link to guidance on vaccines.

  12. Updated as the transition period ends with new information on pet travel and moving to Sweden

  13. Visas and residency section updated on how to apply for the new residence permit. Passports and travel section updated on carrying proof of residence when travelling.

  14. Healthcare section updated on how to apply for a new UK EHIC as a student or S1 holder. Working section updated with information on frontier workers

  15. Passports and travel section updated to include information on passport validity and entry requirements when travelling to other European countries from January 2021

  16. Brexit update: includes further details on passport validity, healthcare rights and State Pension uprating if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

  17. New information on the proposed Swedish special residency process permit added to the ´visas and residency after Brexit´ section.

  18. Brexit update: Register for new Q&A session for UK nationals on 7 October in central Stockholm. See the ‘attend one of our citizens outreach meetings’ section.

  19. Brexit update: healthcare section updated to reflect transitional arrangements announcement

  20. Brexit update: Pensions section updated to include further details on State Pension uprating.

  21. The guide contains new links to government guidance on returning to the UK in case of a no-deal Brexit.

  22. EU Exit update: updated EU Exit information in the visas and residency, healthcare, driving licences and working sections

  23. We have updated the contact details you need to apply for an S1 form.

  24. EU Exit update: Added information about outreach event to EU Exit section

  25. EU Exit update: Updated information on passports. You must use the checker tool to see if your passport is still valid for your trip.

  26. EU Exit update - Updated information on access to healthcare

  27. EU exit update - updated information on pensions and driving

  28. EU Exit update: New information in residency and visa section on draft withdrawal agreement in principle between the UK and EU. Plus information on travelling with pets in Europe in Pets section.

  29. Updated link to driving in Sweden

  30. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.

  31. updated

  32. updated information

  33. updated information

  34. updated information

  35. Added an updated Living in Sweden guide

  36. First published.