How to become an expat in Scandinavia

How to become an expat in Scandinavia

July 8, 2020 Off By Ludvig Hoel

This is the perfect article for anyone wanting to become an expat living in Scandinavia. There are actually a lot of things you need to think about before moving here and today, we will try to cover the most essential of them. 

Get a reason to move

Moving to a completely different country is hard. It really is. Most people don’t realise exactly how hard it really is. Before you move, you therefore need a reason for why you are moving. A reason that can motivate you when it gets hard and you really want to move back to the safety of your home country. This reason will keep you going so make sure it’s a good one. 

A good tip would be to write this reason down, preferably on a piece of paper. Whenever it gets hard you simply take out this piece of paper and read it. That will give you new motivation to keep going a bit longer. If you do this long enough, you won’t need motivation anymore because Scandinavia will be your new how. You just have to keep going until you reach that point. 

Do a test run

Before actually packing everything up and moving you should try doing a test run. Move to Scandinavia and stay for a month or two. If it feels like something you could keep doing, then you can consider actually moving. Sometimes you will feel right at home immediately and sometimes you will realise that Scandinavia was not for you. Better to realise this on your test run then when you have actually moved everything here. 

Apply for a permanent visa

Without this, you can’t stay here for as long as you want. Getting one of this is not very hard. If you have your own income and can prove that you can take care of yourself, it shouldn’t be much of a problem. Becoming an actual citizen however, that’s a bit harder. To do that you first have to live here for many years. Then you can apply but that’s no guarantee you will be approved. One of the best ways is to marry a Swedish citizen. This will make your case a lot stronger. Of course, you should always marry for love and not for citizenship.

Without the right visa, you are not even allowed to work in Scandinavia. A simple tourist visa won’t cut it unless you are a EU citizen. Of course, if you are a EU citizen, you won’t even need a visa. You are free to stay in Scandinavia for as long as you want. That is one of the great advantages with the EU. 

What should you bring?

What should you bring when moving to Scandinavia? This depends on a lot of different factors, the biggest one being how far you are moving. If you are moving here from the states you have to cross the Atlantic. This is not easily done with a lot of furniture so we recommend leaving that at home. Just pop into IKEA and get some new for a good price.

We do however recommend bringing things that are easy to pack. This includes clothes and other small items. Expensive things, like computers and TV’s can be brought if you are good at packing. But really, you don’t need a lot of stuff. Almost everything you want can be bought when you arrive. If you sell all of your old stuff you will even have the funds to buy all of the new stuff. 

We hope that you are now a bit readier to become an expat in Scandinavia. We can’t recommend moving here enough. 

Ludvig Hoel
Ludvig Hoel is the owner and driving force behind Scandinavia.life. A native Norwegian with ties to Denmark, Sweden and Finland, he is the perfect guy to guide you through the delights of Scandinavia.
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