New in Sweden
If you have just moved, or plan to move, to Sweden to study or work it is important to know what to think about and where to turn in the Swedish welfare system.
Below we have gathered information about important aspects to remember and links where you can read more.
Register with the Swedish Tax Agency
If you plan to stay in Sweden for more than a year, you should begin by registering with the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket). Then you will be given a Swedish personal registration number. Many of your rights and obligations are dependent on the fact that you are registered and where you are registered. For example, benefits via the Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) and the insurance policies that are part of your membership of Naturvetarna.
Tax deduction for trade union fees
Between July 1st 2018 and April 1st 2019, you had the right to deduct 25 percent of your trade union fee in your declaration. However, after the 1st of April this tax deduction will be abolished
In order for you to receive this deduction, your trade union fee has to add up to 400 SEK per year. You don't need to inform the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) about the deduction, since Naturvetarna has provided Skatteverket with your information. You will not receive a copy of the information that we have sent to Skatteverket.
If you are to study or work as a guest researcher in Sweden for longer than three months, it is necessary to apply for a residence permit from the Migration Agency. If you are a citizen of an EU country you already have the right of residence to study in Sweden and you do not need to make such an application.
Permanent residence permits for PhD students
If you have lived in Sweden and held a residence permit for studies at PhD/doctoral level for a total of four years during the past seven years, you may be granted a permanent residence permit. Studies at a PhD-/doctoral level are studies that will lead to a licentiate degree, licentiate degree in design, doctoral degree or a doctoral degree in design. To obtain a permanent residence permit you must plan to live in Sweden.
If you have got a job in Sweden you have to apply for a work permit. Citizens of EU countries may work in Sweden without a work permit.
Statement to the Swedish Migration Board and the Employment Service
If you apply for a work permit in Sweden or are going to participate in a Swedish labour market programme, Naturvetarna can provide a statement about the employer in certain cases.
The Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) is the Swedish authority that determines and pays out a large part of the benefits included in social insurance. The right to some of these benefits is based on residence and some are based on working.
You are insured with the Social Insurance Agency by having a residence permit and living or working in Sweden. If you have children under the age of 16, the Social Insurance Agency will contact you after you have been registered by the Tax Agency to determine if you are entitled to children's and other family allowances. You can also contact them to notify them you that you have children.
You then contact the Social Insurance Agency to apply for benefits such as parental allowance or sickness benefit. There is a lot of useful and detailed information on the Swedish Social Insurance Agency website.
Benefits when unemployed
If you become unemployed, you may receive benefits from the unemployment insurance fund to compensate for a portion of the income you would have had if you had been working. There are several different unemployment insurance funds in Sweden, and you must apply for membership of one in order to be able to apply for benefits if you become unemployed.
If you are a member of Naturvetarna, the unemployment insurance fund to join is called Akademikernas a-kassa. This is a basic requirement for you to be able to benefit from the Income Insurance you receive through your membership in Naturvetarna.
To be eligible for benefits you must:
- Be registered at the Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) and looking for work.
- Have worked 80 hours a month for at least six months within the last year.
- Ensure that nothing is preventing you from taking work.
- Have a work permit in Sweden.
More useful information
How can I get my degree or professional accreditation translated?
If you have an academic degree, apply to have it assessed and converted to the equivalent degree in Sweden. You can also apply for Swedish professional accreditation in the professions that require this. Read more about:
- Information on accreditation – getting your degree assessed and translated.
- Apply for Swedish professional accreditation as biomedical analyst, dietitian, medical physicist.
- Apply for Swedish professional accreditation as veterinary nurse.
- Prepare yourself for a job in Sweden.
Complement your qualifications and build networks
Studying an additional course within your subject area at a Swedish university may also help to build up your network.
Where can I learn Swedish?
Study Swedish as a second language at a university. This is also a way of building a network. In addition there are online courses.
- Jobbsprånget. Internships/traineeships are often a good path into the labour market. Naturvetarna, The Swedish Association of Professional Scientists participates in Jobbsprånget which, among other activities, offers internships to newly-arrived scientists. Read more about this project here.
- Snabbspår (Fast track) helps scientists with sought-after qualifications to establish themselves on the labour market. Often language training for professionals, parallel with validation and internships. Currently there are Snabbspår for biomedical analysts and veterinary nurses. Read more about Fast track here.
- Korta vägen is a programme for academics born abroad and includes study advice and internships. The aim is to increase people’s chances of finding jobs in line with their qualifications. Read more about this programme here.
Members may join one of our professional associations.
Build your network and stay updated on what's happening in your profession or field of study.
Our professional associations work to shape public policy issues, and to highlight and strengthen the profession's position in professional life.
You must be a member of the Swedish Association of Professional Scientists in order to join one of our professional associations. Apply for membership of Naturvetarna, the Swedish Association of Professional Scientists.
Agronomist? Join our Agronomist Association
The Association provides a valuable contact network that works to market agronomists.
If you are an agronomist, pay attention to the following:
- Why not contact a student counsellor on the Agronomy Programme at SLU?
- Mentor to mentor at SLU.
- Integration Project at Hushållningssällskapet.
Biomedical analyst? Join the Biomedical Analyst Association
The Biomedical Analyst Association is an association of members , within Naturvetarna, the Swedish Association of Professional Scientists, who have graduated as biomedical analysts, are studying such a degree or have acquired similar skills. Biomedical Analyst is a protected professional title and ensures that the holder possesses the skills required to practice the profession.
There is also a fast track for newly-arrived individuals so that they will be able to establish themselves more easily in Sweden. Read more about Fast track (Snabbspår).
An academic qualification in forestry? Join the Forestry Academics
The Forestry Academics gathers together all the members of Naturvetarna, the Swedish Association of Professional Scientists with forestry qualifications.
Dietitian? Join the National Association of Dietitians (DRF)
DRF is for dietitians within Naturvetarna, the Swedish Association of Professional Scientists. Dietitian is a protected professional title in Sweden and ensures that the holder possesses the necessary competence to practise.
Veterinary nurse? Joint the National Association of Veterinary Nurses
The National Association of Veterinary Nurses is for veterinary nurses within Naturvetarna, the Swedish Association of Professional Scientists. It works to disseminate knowledge about this group’s professional competence and to expand this professional role. Professional qualifications are necessary to work as veterinary nurses in Sweden.
There is also a Snabbspår (fast track) for newly arrived individuals so that they will be able to establish themselves more easily in Sweden.
Animal Protection Officer? Join the National Association of Animal Protection Officers
DIRF is an association for individuals who work with animal protection.
Environmental engineer? Join the National Association of Environmental Engineers
The National Association of Environmental Engineers works to strengthen the position of environmental engineers in the labour market. This association is open to everyone who is studying or has studied the environmental engineering programme.
Geologist, geoscientist or physical geographer? Join the GeoSection
The GeoSection consists of geologists and other geoscientists within Naturvetarna, the Swedish Association of Professional Scientists. The GeoSection works to protect and support the interests of the geological professions and to ensure that Europe utilises its natural resources in a responsible manner.
Competence within health and the environment? Join our Health and Environment Network
HoM is an association for people working with nature conservation, the environment, foodstuffs and health protection.
Natural resources teacher? Join the Natural Resources Teacher Association
The Natural Resources Teacher Association organises teachers at natural resource upper secondary schools all over the country and monitors the development within green educational programmes.
Nutritionist? Join the Nutritionist Association
The Nutritionist Association if for nutritionists with academic qualifications within the field.
Work environment inspector? Join the Swedish Work Environment Inspector Section
SSAI is a professional organisation for inspectors within the Work Environment Authority. This group performs workplace inspections with the aim of ensuring compliance with the stipulations of Work Environment Authority regulations.
Cytodiagnostician? Join Swedish Diagnosticians
This association organises cytodiagnosticians from all over the country. This is a professional association within the Swedish Association of Professional Scientists.
Medical physicist? Join the Swedish Association of Medical Physicists
SSFF works to develop the profession of medical physician. Medical Physician is a protected professional title in Sweden that guarantees that the holder possesses the necessary competence to carry out the work.
Medical geneticist? Join the Swedish Association of Medical Geneticists
SSG is a professional association within Naturvetarna, the Swedish Association of Professional Scientists working to develop the profile of medical geneticists and their competence.
Makes it easier to move and work and to recruit young people in Europe.
What is Your first EURES job?
It is an EU mobility project that aims to match employers with hard to fil vacancies with skilled candidates across Europe. Your first EURES job is open to jobseekers aged 18-35 and to employers (focus on SMEs) from an EU country, Norway or Iceland.
It mainly supports jobs, but trough the project partner the Azores (IEFP) a small number of traineeships may also be included. Apprenticeships are not included. Duration of project is until end of January 2019.
Reactivate and relocate make it easier to move and work, and to recruit person 35+ in Europe.
What is Reactivate and relocate?
Arbetsförmedlingen (the public Employment Service of Sweden) is managing the EU mobility project Reactivate.
Reactivate is a project open to unemployed person aged 35+ and to employers with recruitment needs (focus on SMEs) from all EU countries. It aims to match employers with hard to vill vacancies with skilled candidates across Europe. Duration dom project is until end of May 2018.
This project only support jobs. However, traineeships and apprenticeships may be covered by other Reactivate project.
The portal Information om Sverige (Information about Sweden) is for anyone who is new in Sweden and wants to find information about Swedish society quickly and easily. The information is available in several different laguages.
Studyinsweden.se is a comprehensive, official resource on higher education in Sweden for prospective and current international students. www.studyinsweden.se.