- More information about Sweden.
- 5 reasons to work in Sweden
- 20 things to know before moving to Sweden
- Working in Sweden
On the following webpages we have gathered the most important information that you need before you make the decision of joining working life in Sweden. The information is mainly about the rules that apply for international employees. To find out more about HR-related questions like salary, vacation, agreements and policies, health and safety etc, we advise you to go to medarbetare.lnu.se/
There are three important authorities that you will need to communicate with during the process of moving to Sweden; the Swedish Tax Agency, The Migration Agency and the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. You can find comprehensive information on each authority’s website, and they expect you to study it carefully. It is important to know that the authorities´ don´t exchange information with each other so you need to make sure that they all have the information they need.
You can apply for a Swedish ID card (Identitetskort) from the Tax Agency once you have received your personal number. Your ID card can be used to confirm your age and to prove your identity, for example when collecting prescription medication at a pharmacy, paying by card in a shop or banking. To get the ID you need to pay the application fee before you visit one of the Tax Agency offices in person and prove your identity.
The Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) handles the population register, ID cards and taxation in Sweden. We recommend you to navigate through the Swedish Tax Agency´s website.
There are some exceptions to the ordinary tax system, such as tax relief for foreign key personnel, a special income tax for non-residents (called SINK) and possibilities for tax deduction due to dual residency.
In Sweden, citizens normally pay 27% to 33% of their income in tax. This percentage can vary so make sure that you contact the Swedish Tax Agency. The taxes are withheld at the time of salary payment as employers are obliged to deduct tax from your salary before you are paid.
To avoid double taxation, if you, for example, work in two countries, Sweden has agreements with several countries. The content of these agreements varies and changes can be made from one year to another. Information about these agreements may be obtained from the tax authorities in your own country or in Sweden. We strongly advise you to contact a tax consultant or the national tax authority in your home country before travelling to Sweden.
When you start working at Linnaeus University, you must send a tax registration certificate to the HR-Office so that we can guarantee that the correct amount of taxes is deducted from your salary. You can order a tax registration certificate from the Swedish Tax Agency
You are obliged to inform the Tax Agency when you move to a new address or if you are leaving Sweden for a longer period of time. If you are relocating within Sweden, you need to inform the Swedish Tax Agency as well, they will forward your new address to other governmental bodies.
Living in Sweden less than a year
You will not be registered at the National Registration and will not obtain a personal number. However, you need to be registered with the Tax Agency for tax purposes. You will then get a coordination number, (samordningsnummer), which is an identification number for persons who are not registered in the Swedish population register. Please note that a coordination number does not entitle you to any healthcare benefits connected to the personal identity number.
If your stay in Sweden is for less than 6 months, you need to apply for SINK tax. Costs for travel to and from Sweden at the start and end of the employment, as well as costs for housing are exempt from SINK. Use the form 4350 to apply for SINK tax
If your stay in Sweden is longer than 6 months but less than a year, you have to apply for preliminary tax in the form 4402
Living in Sweden over a year
If your stay in Sweden is one year or more, you and your family members need to visit the Tax Office upon arrival. At this meeting, you are required to provide the following information: your home address in Sweden, your passport, residence permit and, if you are married, the marriage certificate.
At the Tax Office you make a National Registration (folkbokföring) and an application for a personal identity number (personnummer). The personnummer consists of 10 digits: your date of birth and four extra digits. The personal identity number is important in Sweden and is used for all official transactions, such as gaining access to the Swedish health care system, get a telephone subscription, obtain a digital bank-ID, register for a driver’s license and so on. When you receive your personal identity number, make sure to notify the HR-Office at the university.
Tax relief for foreign key personnel
Foreign experts, researchers and others may qualify for a special tax relief when working in Sweden. One main criterion for qualifying for the tax relief is that people with the requested skills or talents are very difficult to recruit in Sweden. You or your employer must apply for tax relief within three months of the start of your employment. If you are granted the tax relief, you are not expected to stay in Sweden for more than five years. More information about the tax relief for key personnel can be found on Forskarskattenämnden's website.
Income tax return
Everyone who has been working in Sweden, needs to submit an annual tax return form for the previous year (Inkomstdeklaration). This income tax return form is sent out by the Swedish Tax Agency in April to everybody who had an income in Sweden. Large parts of the tax return form have already been filled in by the Swedish Tax Agency. You need to verify the information, make eventual corrections, and submit information on any taxable incomes that have not been pre-printed. You will also receive a specification of the income statements which has been submitted to the Swedish Tax Agency by the university. You must submit the tax return form by a set date in the beginning of May. This may be done online, by mobile phone, telephone, or text message.
Watch this film about how to fill in the annual tax return form. You can choose language by clicking on the CC button.
Banking in Sweden
In principle, the ability to have access to a bank account covered by the State’s deposit guarantee scheme, and basic payment services, is open to everyone. This applies regardless of your citizenship and whether or not you have a Swedish personal identity number. Regardless of whether or not this is where you would like to open a personal bank account, you must inform the university on firstname.lastname@example.org about what bank account you would like your salary to be forwarded to.
If you plan to stay in Sweden for a longer period, we strongly recommend you to open a bank account in Sweden. You can go directly to a bank to open your account. When you open a bank account, you can get a debit card and Internet and telephone services linked to the account. We also recommend that you get a Bank ID. It's a service that you get from your bank which allows you to do economic transactions digitally.
If you are staying in Sweden for a shorter period of time, we recommend that you keep your account in your current bank. Depending on your bank, there may be costs involved for forwarding your salary, and Linnaeus University will not cover such expenses. Please note that foreign checks usually take a long time to process, and you will have to pay extra for processing fees. Once in Sweden, you will be able to use your international credit or debit card in any store, bank or cash machine/ATM. If you do not have a bank account in Sweden but need to pay a bill, you can, for instance, take your bill to a Forex bank, but please note that you will have to pay a fee for them to handle the payment.
Opening a bank account
At the bank, you must be able to identify yourself. You can identify yourself with a valid Swedish identification document, such as a passport, a national identity card or a BankID. If you do not have Swedish identification documents, you can identify yourself with a valid foreign passport or other photographic identification document that shows your citizenship. Note that the bank may request other documents, such as the employment contract or letter of invitation showing that you are currently working at Linnaeus University. You will need to explain why you need a bank account and how you are going to use the account.
If the bank refuses to start a bank account, you can make an appeal. If this is the case for you, ask the bank for a “Besvärshänvisning”.
Bear in mind that:
- If you need someone to translate for you, you should bring an interpreter to the meeting with the bank
- As soon as you have received your personal identity number from Skatteverket, notify your bank.
- Your bank account and other bank services may not be used by anyone else unless you have a power of attorney
- The bank may ask you additional questions or stipulate other requirements
- Notify your bank if you change your address or leave Sweden (in order to close your bank account)
Major credit cards are widely accepted at most shops and restaurants. You can withdraw cash with your Visa, MasterCard or Maestro card at any ATM. The use of cheques is very limited in Sweden (and sometimes complicated and pricey). Most bills are paid either through plusgiro or bankgiro, in which case you will receive an inpayment form. Sometimes, there are charges associated with certain bank transactions. These charges vary between banks and over time. By using online banking services, you can both save time and avoid many of these service charges.
Housing in Sweden
If you are moving to Sweden for the first time, we advise you to look for an accommodation to rent. The renting system works in two sectors: private and municipal. The housing in Sweden is of good standard, but finding accommodation can be difficult and time-consuming. Because of the shortage of housing, it is important not to be too choosy. Once you have found a first place to live, you can continue searching for more ideal housing.
Blocket is a popular Swedish website where people buy and sell a variety of things, including accommodation. On Blocket you can create a profile for yourself, stating what kind of housing you are looking for. When you have done that, you can be contacted directly by someone who is interested in renting to you. Blocket is in Swedish, but some advertisements for second-hand contracts are written in English. See this Blocket user guide in English.
Another site where you can look for housing is hemnet.
There are two types of rental contracts, first-hand and second-hand.
A first-hand contract means a contract between two parties (tenant and landlord). You sign it with a housing company. A first-hand contract implies that you do not have to leave the property as long as you fulfil the requirements for having the contract A first-hand contract require several years in the housing queues. The landlord determines the rules for the property.
A second-hand contract is when a private person rents out a flat/room that he/she rents with a first-hand contract. This creates a binding contract (with or without an actual physical contract) between these persons, and thereafter the so-called Renting Law (Hyreslagen) applies. A second hand contract is often for a limited time.
A flat that you buy to live in is called an owner-occupied flat (bostadsrätt). Besides the purchase sum, you pay a monthly fee to cover repairs and maintenance, renovations and other shared costs for the building. If you buy a house, you will have full right of ownership to both the building and the land it stands on. A real estate agent can help you find and buy a house or flat. The website hemnet is a good starting point; you can browse flats and homes for sale throughout the country and get an idea of the offerings and prices in different areas.
It is important to sign an insurance for your home. The insurance is called a "householders insurance and liability insurance" (Hem och ansvarsförsäkring). To enquire and sign up for such insurance, you can contact any insurance company. You will find more information about insurances under Working at Linnaeus University. The university has some insurances; however, insurance for your home is something that you need to regulate privately.
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