Guidance

Living in Sweden

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

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.

For information on getting a COVID-19 vaccine as a UK national in Sweden see our coronavirus travel advice.

Stay up to date

You should:

The Withdrawal Agreement

If you were legally resident in Sweden before 1 January 2021, your rights will be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. You must apply for a new residence status by 30 September 2021 to secure your rights.

You should also read our guidance on living in Europe.

Visas and residency

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 will not be able to register if you are still looking for a job when you come to Sweden or do not meet other requirements for residency. This does not affect your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Residency

If you were legally resident in Sweden before 1 January 2021, you must apply for the new residency permit (uppehållsstatus) by 30 September 2021.

Make sure you read the guidance on supporting documents before you apply. You can submit applications for other family members at the same time as your own.

Read the Swedish Migration Agency’s guidance on residency for UK nationals in Sweden. You can also read the Migration Agency’s guidance on the rights of third country national family members.

Moving to Sweden

Check the entry requirements for Sweden and read the Swedish Migration Agency’s guidance on entry permits.

Passports and travel

You should carry your residence permit, as well as your valid passport when you travel. If you have applied but not yet received your permit, carry your certificate of application.

If you have not yet applied for a residence permit, you should carry evidence that you are resident in Sweden. This could include a tenancy agreement or a utility bill in your name, dating from 2020.

If you cannot show that you are resident in Sweden, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the Schengen area, and your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in Sweden.

Passports

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You can apply for or renew your British passport from Sweden.

You must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). This requirement does not apply if you are entering or transiting to Sweden, and you are in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.

Renew your passport before booking your travel if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

As a non-EEA national, different border checks will apply when travelling to other EU or Schengen area countries. You may have to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. You may also need to show a return or onward ticket.

Entry requirements

You can travel to other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism.

To stay longer than 90 days in any 180 day-period, to work or study, or for business travel, you must meet the entry requirements set out by the country you are travelling to. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit.

Periods of time authorised by a visa or permit will not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

Different rules will apply to EU countries that are not part of the Schengen area. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

Travel to the UK and Ireland has not changed.

Driving in Sweden

For more information on driving in Sweden, read:

Healthcare

Read our guidance on healthcare in Sweden and make sure you are correctly registered.

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

State healthcare: S1

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Sweden and you:

  • are receiving a UK State Pension
  • are receiving some other ‘exportable benefits’
  • are a frontier worker who lives in Sweden and commutes to work in the UK
  • have been sent to Sweden temporarily by your UK employer

Read our guidance on using an S1 form in Sweden to ensure you are correctly registered for healthcare.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

If you are resident in Sweden, you must not use your UK- issued EHIC or GHIC for healthcare in Sweden, unless you are a student or a detached (posted) worker. Current EHICs will remain valid until the expiry date on the card.

If you are living in Sweden you may be eligible for a new UK-issued EHIC or GHIC if you’re:

  • a UK student in Sweden
  • a UK State Pensioner with a registered S1
  • a frontier worker with a registered S1

The card you receive will depend on when you moved to Sweden.

Apply now for a new UK EHIC

An EHIC is not a replacement for comprehensive travel insurance.

For more information read our guidance on healthcare when travelling in Europe and advice on foreign travel insurance.

You should also read guidance on:

Working and studying in Sweden

If you were legally resident in Sweden before 1 January 2021, your have the right to work as long as you remain legally resident there.

Some jobs may require a UK police certificate.

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

If you are planning to move to Sweden to work, you may need a work permit. Read the Swedish Migration Agency’s guidance on how to apply for a work permit.

Read the Department for International Trade’s guidance on working or providing services in Sweden and sign up for their updates

Frontier workers

If you live in Sweden and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country, before 1 January 2021 you may need a permit to prove you are a frontier worker. You must also apply for a residency permit in Sweden.

Studying in Sweden

If you were legally resident in Sweden before 1 January 2021, you are eligible for the same tuition fees as Swedish nationals.

You may not be entitled to maintenance grants or loans in Sweden unless you have permanent residence or are a worker in Sweden.

You must apply for a residence permit in Sweden.

Read our guidance on:

Moving to Sweden to study

If you are planning to study in Sweden, make sure you 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 our guidance on studying in the European Union and guidance on coming to Sweden to study on the University Admissions website.

Professional qualifications

Read the Department for International Trade’s guidance on how to get your qualification recognised in Sweden and sign up for their updates.

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 need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Sweden.

Banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA is a matter of local law and regulation. Your bank or finance provider should contact you if they need to make any changes to your product or the way they provide it. If you have any concerns about whether you might be affected, contact your provider or seek independent financial advice.

Read the Money and Pension Service guidance on banking, insurance and financial services changes for more information on cross-border banking.

Pensions

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

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:

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

Life certificates

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended if you don’t.

Benefits

Read our 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’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:

Voting

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

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

If you have a pet passport issued by Sweden or another EU member state, you can use it to travel with your pet to Great Britain and elsewhere in the EU.

A GB-issued EU pet passport is not valid for travel to the EU or Northern Ireland. You should speak to your vet before you travel to get the necessary pet travel documents and ensure you’re compliant with the EU Pet Travel Regulations.

Read guidance on:

Check the rules of the country you’re travelling to for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel.

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, Commonwealth & Development Office will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Published 2 January 2014
Last updated 20 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. 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.

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

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

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

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

  9. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  19. 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.

  20. Updated link to driving in Sweden

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

  22. updated

  23. updated information

  24. updated information

  25. updated information

  26. Added an updated Living in Sweden guide

  27. First published.