Guidance

Living in Sweden

Official information for UK nationals moving to or living in Sweden, including guidance on residency, healthcare, passports and the Withdrawal Agreement.

What you should do

Coronavirus

You should follow the advice of the Swedish Government and your local authority. You can also read our Sweden travel advice for our latest guidance.

Stay up to date

You should:

Attend a citizen outreach meeting

The British Embassy regularly holds events across Sweden for UK nationals. Attend one of our citizen outreach meetings to keep up to date on working and living in Sweden.

The Withdrawal Agreement

The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.

If you are resident in Sweden at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Sweden.

Any rights that are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be the subject of future negotiations. Read this guidance page for more information.

In the meantime, make sure you are registered as a resident in Sweden. We will update this guidance as soon as more information becomes available.

You should also read our guidance on living in Europe.

Visas and residency

Check the entry requirements for Sweden.

Residency

There will be no change in residency rules or registration procedures if you arrive in Sweden before or on 31 December 2020. If you are resident in Sweden before or on 31 December 2020, you will be able to stay.

If there are changes to residency registration processes, we will update this guidance as soon as information is available.

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).

You can only register if you have a right of residence (uppehållsrätt) for a year or more and comprehensive travel insurance. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, you will automatically have this right if you can support yourself, either by work or by other independent means, or you are studying.

You will not be able to register if you are still looking for a job when you come to Sweden and or do not meet other requirements for residency.

If you’re planning to move as a dependent to a family member who lives in Sweden you must apply for a residence permit.

Read the Swedish government guidance on residency for UK nationals in Sweden on the Swedish Migration Agency website (Migrationsverket).

Passports

The rules on travel will stay the same until the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to travel to countries in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU with your UK passport.

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

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.

You’ll need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

We will update these pages with details of any changes to the rules as soon as information is available. You should sign up for updates to this guidance.

Driving in Sweden

Driving licence rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

If you are a resident in Sweden, you should exchange your UK licence for a Swedish one. You can still use your Swedish licence in the UK for short visits or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test if you return to live in the UK.

For more information on driving in Sweden, read:

You must read the EU guidance on car registration and taxes in Sweden. You may be exempt from some of these taxes. If so, you will need certificates of exemption.

Healthcare

If you are living in Sweden or move there permanently before 31 December 2020, you’ll have life-long healthcare rights in Sweden as you do now, provided you remain resident.

Read the guidance on who can access healthcare in Sweden and how to register.

You can also find information on the Swedish Social Insurance Agency’s website (Försäkringskassan).

State healthcare: S1

If you live in Sweden and receive an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may currently be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.

You can apply for an S1 certificate through the Business Services Authority.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you are resident in Sweden, you must not use your EHIC from the UK to access healthcare in Sweden.

When you travel to Sweden for a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, you can use an EHIC to access state-provided healthcare in that country. During that short stay:

  • the EHIC covers treatment that is medically necessary until your planned return home
  • an EHIC is not a replacement for comprehensive travel insurance
  • for more information you can read our travel advice pages and advice on foreign travel insurance

There will be no changes to your healthcare access before 31 December 2020. You can also continue to use your EHIC, as you did before, during this time.

You should also read guidance on:

Working and studying in Sweden

If you are registered as a resident in Sweden you have the right to work in Sweden. You can read our guidance on working in an EU country.

Some jobs may require a UK police certificate.

You can find more information on the Swedish Public Employment Service website (Arbetsförmedlingen).

If you are resident in Sweden on or before 31 December 2020, your right to work will stay the same, as long as you remain resident.

You should check the Swedish Migration Agency website for information on when and how UK nationals can apply for a work permit.

Studying in Sweden

If you are resident in Sweden on or before 31 December 2020, your right to study in Sweden will stay the same, as long as you remain resident.

Read the Swedish government’s guidance on studying in Sweden and our guidance on studying in the European Union.

Money and tax

The UK has a double taxation agreement with Sweden to ensure you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries.

Existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Sweden have not changed.

Read guidance on:

You should obtain professional advice on paying tax in Sweden.

You can find an English-speaking lawyer.

National Insurance

Find out if you can pay National Insurance while abroad so that you protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.

If you are employed or self-employed in the EU and you have a UK-issued A1/E101 form, you will remain subject to UK legislation until the end date on the form.

Pensions

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your pension if you retire abroad.

If you retire in Sweden, you can claim:

Life certificates

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to fill it in promptly or your payments may be suspended.

Pensions after 31 January 2020

There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming the UK State Pension in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

You can continue to receive your UK State Pension if you live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and you can still claim your UK State Pension.

If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020 you will get your UK State Pension uprated every year for as long as you continue to live there. This will happen even if you start claiming your pension on or after 1 January 2021, as long as you meet the qualifying conditions explained in the new State Pension guidance.

If you are living in Sweden by 31 December 2020, you will be able to count future social security contributions towards meeting the qualifying conditions for your UK State Pension.

If you work and pay social security contributions in Sweden, you will still be able to add your UK social security contributions towards your Swedish pension. This will happen even if you claim your pension after 31 December 2020.

Read our guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

Benefits

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

You may still be able to claim some UK benefits if you live in Sweden.

You should:

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

You can request proof of the time you’ve worked in the UK from HMRC if you are asked for this.

Swedish benefits

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

Benefits after 31 January 2020

There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming UK benefits in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020, you will continue to receive any UK benefits you already receive. This will continue for as long as you live there and meet all other eligibility requirements.

If you work and pay social security contributions in Sweden, you will still be able to add your UK social security contributions towards your Swedish contribution-based benefits. This will happen even if you claim your pension after 31 December 2020.

Read our guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

Voting

If you are resident in Sweden, you can vote in Swedish local elections.

You cannot vote in general elections or European Parliament elections.

You can read more information on the Swedish government’s election authority website (Valmyndigheten).

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

Births, deaths and getting married

If your child is born in Sweden, you need to register the birth abroad.

If someone dies in Sweden you can:

Find out how you can get married abroad.

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

Accommodation and buying property

Read guidance on how to buy or let property in Sweden.

Pets

Current pet travel rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

If you’re travelling with your pet for the first time, you must visit your vet to obtain a pet passport.

Read our guidance on bringing your pet into the UK.

Other useful information

Returning to the UK

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

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

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.

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

Disclaimer

Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Swedish authorities. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Published 2 January 2014
Last updated 23 January 2020 + show all updates
  1. Brexit update: includes further details on passport validity, healthcare rights and State Pension uprating if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

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

  3. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  13. 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.

  14. Updated link to driving in Sweden

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

  16. updated

  17. updated information

  18. updated information

  19. updated information

  20. Added an updated Living in Sweden guide

  21. First published.