Guidance

Living in Sweden

Official information British people moving to and living in Sweden need to know, including registering, residency and healthcare.

EU exit: what you need to know

Sign up for email alerts on living in Sweden.

There will be no change to the rights and status of UK nationals living in Sweden while the UK remains in the EU.

While the government continues to negotiate EU exit, you should:

Before you go

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

See moving or retiring abroad.

You must do one of the following before you leave the UK:

You should also have arranged accommodation.

If you are moving to Sweden for more than 1 year, making these arrangements will allow you to register with the Swedish Population Register once you are in Sweden and get an ID number (personnummer). You need a personnummer for things like opening a bank account, renting an apartment and getting non-urgent healthcare.

Visas and residency

See entry requirements for Sweden in our travel advice.

If you plan to live in Sweden for more than 1 year, you can 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 have comprehensive travel insurance. As an EU citizen, 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 don’t fall into another category that gives you a right of residence for 1 year or more.

If you’re planning to move in with a family member who lives in Sweden and you cannot support yourself, you must apply for a residence permit.

The UK and EU have agreed the full legal text of the draft Withdrawal Agreement in principle. The agreement on citizens’ rights will allow UK nationals to stay in their Member State of residence after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.

In the event of changes to residency rules or registration processes after 29 March 2019, we will update this page as soon as information is available.

Healthcare

See our travel advice for Sweden.

The NHS has information about healthcare for British people living in and visiting Sweden.

Once you live in Sweden, you’re no longer entitled to NHS medical treatment in the UK.

You need a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get emergency medical treatment during temporary stays in EU countries. You also need comprehensive travel insurance to cover anything not covered by your EHIC.

See Swedish social insurance.

You can search for a doctor or dentist in Sweden. For non-urgent health issues you can call 1177 “vårdguiden” (the equivalent of NHS Direct).

You should check your prescriptions are legal in Sweden. Many medicines available over the counter in the UK are only available on prescription in Sweden. You can only buy medicines (prescription and non-prescription) at Apoteket (authorised chemists).

S1 form – healthcare paid for by the UK

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Sweden and get an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit.

You need to apply for a S1 form – contact the Department for Work and Pensions’ International Pension Centre.

Working in Sweden

See working in another EU country.

Some jobs may require a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check).

See the Swedish Public Employment Service for information about working in Sweden.

Tax

See tax if you leave the UK to live abroad and tax on your UK income if you live abroad.

We recommend you get professional advice on paying tax in Sweden.

See paying income tax in Sweden.

You may be able to pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.

Pensions

See State Pension if you retire abroad and new State Pension.

If you have worked in Sweden, you should claim your pension through the Swedish Pensions Agency.

If you haven’t worked in Sweden, you should claim your UK state pension by contacting the International Pension Centre.

If you’ve worked in several EU countries, see state pensions abroad.

Life certificates for UK state pensions

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

See claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad.

Find out which UK benefits you might be able to get while you’re abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit can’t be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

You may be eligible to claim some Swedish benefits – see social security in Sweden and the National Board of Health and Welfare.

Driving in Sweden

See driving abroad and driving in Sweden.

See driving licence renewal and exchange and taking a vehicle out of the UK.

Voting

British citizens living abroad can vote in some UK elections – you’ll need to register as an overseas voter.

If you’re resident in Sweden, you can vote in local municipal and European parliamentary elections.

Births

See register a birth abroad.

Deaths

See what to do after someone dies.

See also:

Getting married

See getting married abroad.

Renewing passports

See overseas British passports applications and get an emergency travel document (sometimes called an emergency passport).

Pets

See travelling with pets.

UK nationals will still be able to travel to and from the UK with a pet (cat, dog or ferret) when the UK leaves the EU, but the rules will change. See pet travel to Europe after EU Brexit for more information.

Other useful information

Returning to the UK

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

See tax if you return to the UK.

See bringing your pet to the UK.

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 22 November 2018 + show all updates
  1. 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.
  2. Updated link to driving in Sweden
  3. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.
  4. updated
  5. updated information
  6. updated information
  7. updated information
  8. Added an updated Living in Sweden guide
  9. First published.