Ukrainians Entering Sweden as first timers

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Entering Sweden could well be seen as setting oneself into a basketful of a lifetime experience. For lovers of nature and its gifts, the abundant forests and lakes will keep life rejuvenated and for bookworms the well-equipped schools could just be it. Researchers and businesspeople all have a space to practice their art in the most conducive environment in Sweden.

Sweden is not all about too much work and no rest. Knowing that excess work without rest make Jack a dull boy, there are hiking trails, public recreational facilities, boat rides and many more that lets you try some adrenaline rush during leisure time. Pop music, down street eateries, casino, clubs and many more entertainment activities define Finland. To say the least, Sweden can never be boring to someone who just wants to make life flow.

Natures best gift in Sweden for a troubled Ukrainian refugee

Sweden is one of the safest nations across the globe. It is located in the Scandinavian peninsula. The Swedish are nice individuals and they are so helpful to the foreigners in case they need their assistance.  However, they are so reserved meaning that inn most cases they will not initiate talks with strangers. Also, they have very low crime rates.

Ways of Coming to Sweden

Any person moving to Sweden should have a valid ID card or passport showing their citizenship. One can move to Sweden as an EU/EEA or non-EU/EEA. Therefore, moving to Sweden majorly depends on an individual’s nationality.

Moving to Sweden from within the EU/EEA

People from EU/EEA do not need any permit when coming to Sweden. However, when coming with their families who are non-EU/EEA they will need residence card. As an EU/EEA one has the right of commencing to study or work after arrival.  Also, in registering oneself in the Swedish population register, one should get Swedish personal identity number by contacting the Swedish Tax Agency. As an EU citizen, one do not have to contact the Swedish Immigration Agency.

Moving to Sweden from non-EU/EEA nation

The different ways in which moving from outside EU can come to Sweden include work, marriage, study, AU pair, or researcher. However, before moving, one must apply for residence permit and it gets accepted. In terms of marriage, one has to be a registered partner or married to someone who lives in Sweden already legally.

In terms of work, one can move to Sweden after getting a work permit to work in the country. Also, one can move their as an AU pair, cultural exchange program. Besides, a researcher or even a person who want to study in Sweden can apply for residence permit and move there when the application is accepted. To move as a student, one is supposed to first get a study place in one of the Swedish universities and show if they can sustain themselves in case, they do not get sponsorship.

Typical city of Sweden welcoming to newcomers

Another way of moving to Sweden that I was forgetting is when one seeks asylum in the nation. A person coming from a country that is not safe may seek refuge in Sweden. For instance, currently, because of the Russian and Ukrainian war, the Ukraine are allowed to come to Sweden even if they do not have the required documents. They are allowed to stay for about 90 days with no visa.

Seeking Asylum or Getting Protection in Sweden

Any person who has been a victim of abuse and harassment in their home country can ask for protection in Sweden. It is referred to as asylum seeking. One can claim for asylum if they are afraid of getting prosecuted in their home country. However, to make a claim one should be in Swedish border or Sweden.

Any person who wants to work or even study in Sweden do not have to claim asylum. Need for getting protection is the only reason an individual should seek asylum. The following is the process of claiming protection in Sweden:

  • Stating who you are by may be handing over any identification documents in case one have
  • Photographed and having fingerprints taken
  • Application interview
  • Waiting for the asylum investigation
  • Notification of address in case one moves

After getting to Sweden, what next?

After getting to Sweden, one should register with the tax agency (Skatteverket). The registration is a rule and it ensures that one is added to the system for insurance purposes, mailing address information, tax collection, marital status monitoring, and personal identification. It is after the registration that one gets a unique personal identification also called personnummer.

Apart from the personnummer, one should have a Swedish Card. It has a personal identity and helps when one needs to prove their age. Besides, it helps in avoiding explaining why one has a personal identity number yet they are not Swedish. The Swedish ID helps also in the following situations:

  • Picking a parcel from the post office
  • Police controls
  • Visiting the bank or even pharmacy
  • Purchasing goods at Systembolaget

Banking in Sweden

Most of the banks in Sweden open from 10:00 to 15:00 from Monday to Friday. However, some of the banks do extend their opening hours mainly on Thursdays. Any individual who is 18 years and above, have an EU passport, and Swedish address can legally open bank account in the nation.

As for the non EU residents, when they need to open a bank account, a residence permit is required. Moreover, the banks do need Swedish personal number that is gotten from the Swedish Tax Agency. Also, some of the banks do need proof of study or employment.

One needs a bank ID that provides access to mobile payments and online banking with Swish. The signing up for the BankID can be done in any physical bank branch. In short, the following are needed to open a bank account in Sweden:

  • Proof of school enrolment or employment
  • Proof of address (rental contract or utility bill)
  • Personnummer (personal identity number)
  • EU passport, Swedish national ID or non-EU passport as well as Swedish residence permit

Although a personnummmer is not a legal requirement when opening a bank account, it is not a necessity for most of the banking essentials.

Opening a Swedish bank account online

In Sweden, the easiest way of opening a bank account is by visiting one of the branches. For instance, among the bank banks in Sweden, only two provide the online services. Unfortunately, the services are provided in Swedish making it difficult for one who does not understand the language to open one. Consequently, when one visits a physical bank, they will get clerks speaking English. The following is the process of opening account with online bank:

  1. Confirming email or phone number
  2. Downloading the mobile application of the bank then selecting the account that they need
  3. Completing the registration process
  4. Finishing in-app ID verification
  5. Creating a PIN while waiting for the card to arrive through mail

Traditional Procedure of Opening a Bank account in Sweden

  1. Identifying and even printing the documents that are needed by the bank including passport, residence permit, address, and others
  2. Making appointment as well as brining the documents in a local bank branch
  3. Answering the questions and verifying one’s identity with the clerk
  4. Waiting for confirm, PIN, card as well as the necessary documents to come by post
  5. Activating the account and online banking using the BankID

Major banks in Sweden

  • Nordea Bank AB
  • Sveriges Riksbank (Bank of Sweden)
  • Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken
  • Ikano Bank
  • Carnegie Investment Bank AB
  • Svenska Handelsbanken AB
  • Skandiabanken
  • Swedbank
  • Forex Bank AB
  • Westra Wermlands Sparbank

Credit Card Sweden

Currently, in the European nations, credit cards are more common as common to cash. Credit cards having Mastercard or Visa branding are widely accepted in car rental firms, taxis, restaurants, stores, hotels, and banks. Although most of the credit cards are accepted in Sweden, there are some restrictions in the American Express and that is why it is important to get one locally.

To get a credit card in Sweden, one should first open a bank account with one of the Swedish banks. The requirements for opening a Swedish credit card include proof of residence, valid passport, personal number, and Swedish ID card. After opening, one can check the balance anywhere across the globe.

Main credit card companies in Sweden

  • Handelsbanken
  • Komplett Bank
  • Nordea
  • Marginalen Bank
  • SEB
  • OKQ8
  • Swedbank
  • Nordea
  • N26

Regarding the cost of credit card, it all depends with the agreement made with the provider. Therefore, it is important to contact the bank to be sure about the rate. Also, when in Sweden, you may use cash though not all the shops accept it as a form of payment. Thus, it is significant to mix debit/credit card.

Generally, the usage of credit card in Sweden is safe. However, one should be cautious. This can be possible by first protecting your pin. One of the hands should be utilized as a shield in keeping the pin hidden from cameras or other people. Also, it is important to use the right cash machines. You are not supposed to use the cash machines which are in the isolated areas.

Getting a Loan in Sweden

In Sweden, one can get a loan from the private institutions or banks. The banks do check your creditworthiness before giving you a loan and that is one of the advantages of having credit cards. You also have to prove that you have an income and a job. However, for instance, if one is a Danish and they live in Sweden but work in Denmark, they must get other ways of proving their creditworthiness. The other requirements include latest pay slips or the employment contract.

Who qualifies for a personal loan in Sweden?

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have been a Swedish to at least 1 year
  • An annual salary of 100,000 SEK
  • Debt free to the Kronofogdemyndigheten (Swedish Enforcement Authority) for at least 6 months

Apart from the banks, most Swedish prefer taking loans from the private institutions. Borrowing such loans assist in accessing loans instead of approaching the banks in satisfying immediate needs from unsecured loan. The loans are given by private lenders to individuals and corporates.

Main Private Loan Firms in Sweden

  • Zmarta
  • Resurs Bank
  • Enklare
  • Lendo
  • Arcadia Finans
  • Bee Finans
  • Favoritlan

Housing in Sweden

In Sweden, one can rent a flat through the private landlords or the municipal letting agencies. Any person who want to purchase a house or summer cottage from housing cooperative. The municipality houses offer freedom in the daily life. Also, those house offer predictable accommodation expenses, the chance of exerting influencing on one’s own housing, and good service.

The main types of residences include:

  • Bostadsrätt (Condominum, normally apartements or townhouses)
  • Ägarlägenhet (Fully owned apartment)
  • Hyresrätt (Rented apartment)
  • Fastighet (Property, normally houses)

Rental Property in Sweden can be gotten through the municipalities. One is supposed to contact the specific municipal that they want to move to and get more information such as their letting companies. In Sweden, the municipalities have their specific letting agencies where one can key in their names and be put in the waiting list

For the subletting contracts in Sweden, one can get them through a housing company. Subletting is so common in the top cities in Sweden because renting a big house there can be so expensive. Any person with subletting contract means that they are not sitting tenant in the flat. Thus, type of renting is so expensive and is just given for a limited period.

The Nordic citizens do not have any restrictions if they want to purchase a house in Sweden. One can also purchase a flat that is a share of an actual property. However, there are some restrictions, like one is not allowed to rent the flat without getting approval from the housing cooperative board.

The average rent for different rooms includes

  • One bedroom apartment (suburbs) 7000 to 10,000 SEK
  • One bedroom apartment (city center) 9,000 to 12, 000 SEK
  • Student apartment/dorm     3,000 to 6,500 SEK

Purchasing a house in Sweden

One bedroom apartment (suburbs) 1.5 m to 2.5 m SEK

One bedroom apartment (city centre) 2.5m to 4m SEK

Even though having a contract or agreement is not a requirement by the way, it is the safest way to rent or buy a house in Sweden. Also, it helps one in knowing if they are paying more than what the landlord is required to charge. Housing options do go so fast. Thus, it is important to act fast when you get a good house with all your need.

As a person who needs a house in Sweden, one should know some of the Swedish words. The reason is that most of the housing ads normally come in Swedish. For instance, if a house has two rooms, bathroom, and kitchen, it is normally abbreviated as 2rok.

Getting in accommodation in the major cities including Gothenburg and Stockholm is so expensive. Besides, even if one has money, getting a long-term flat can be an uphill task. The average amount of renting an apartment in Sweden is $1, 054. The cost of rent mainly depends on quality, size, or location.

The following are the sites where one can rent or buy a house in Sweden:

  • Thelocal.se: Information is available in both Swedish and English
  • Blocket.se: the site offers varied accommodation options including singe rooms. Also, it offers other things such as furniture and cars.
  • Bostad Direkt: it provides second hand housing to businesses and people in English
  • Samtrygg: The site offers smooth and safe sublets in Sweden. Yearly, it offers over 150,000 sublets ad both parties agree on the prices.
  • Andrahand.se: It provides sublets available for rent and provides pictures. Unfortunately, information is only provided in Swedish.
  • Qasa: this site provide rooms, apartments and houses for rent. Besides, information is available in English  and using it is free.
  • BoPunkten.se: this is a register where one can look for accommodation in Sweden. However, it mainly focuses on smaller apartments and shared apartments.
  • Residensportalen: the site has over 3000 sublets for people who want accommodation inSweden
  • The Swedish Student Accommodation Association: the association help the students who are studying in Sweden to get accommodation in Swedish university cities and towns.

Important Apps for a newcomer in Norway

Swish

The Swedish have stopped using cash though a few people still use them. The nation is becoming a cash less society. The application helps the Swedes in sending money to family or friends that they owe money. For instance, if one is having lunch, a family member or friend can pay the rent using Swish. It is just a matter of swishing the money.

Trail Wallet

When traveling to Sweden and you have a fixed budget, trail wallet come in handy when spending. It is simple to use as it gives one the chance of setting budgets. Moreover, it helps in monitoring spending when travelling. The app is free but after 25 entries, one is required to pay $3.99.

BankID

As we said earlier, every individual who lives in Sweden for more than 90 days should have personummer. It is a sort of social security number and it is utilized everywhere where one needs identification. The app is good as it connects an individual with online service acting as a form of enabling two factor authentication.

Language Apps

It is important to have language applications in Sweden. Although some Swedes understand English, it is important to learn some few Sweden words. Some of the applications can be used in translating Swedish to English inclue SayHi and Google Translate. Moreover, in learning the language, the applications that can be used include Babbel and Duolingo.

Blocket

Second hand market is so high in Sweden. Therefore, Blocket helps when one want to purchase or even sell used items online. Through the app, one can get some cheap furniture in case they are just moving to Sweden. When using the area, it is important to select the area and what you need because it makes delivery easy.

Swedavia

Figuring airport information can be so hectic at times. However, Swedavia comes in handy as it has all the information regarding the airports that are in Sweden. The application is so convenient and easy to use especially for the individuals who want to fly between different airports in Sweden. Besides, it shows the departures, arrivals, and enables prebooking of parking.

XE Currency Converter

When in a new country, it can be hectic to convert the money from home country to the current residence. Sweden uses kronor and the XE Currency Converter plays an important role in purchasing of services or goods from the home card. The application do ensure that the conversion is so accurate.

Duolingo

Duolingo plays an important role in helping a person learn Swedish. However, it is a bit expensive. All in all, one should use it to learn a few Swedish words to make it easier for them to communicate with the Swedes.

Google Translate

Apart from Duolingo, one can use Google Translate. It comes in handy for instance when you get an email or message in Swedish and you need to know the meaning. Unfortunately, it is not effective in some cases as some of the Swedish words cannot be translated from word to word.

Mobile Subscription in Sweden

After arrival in Sweden, one has to keep communicating with the friends and family left in the home country. Getting free WIFI is not reliable. Thus, one needs to have a mobile subscription in making everything easy especially communication even with the new friends in Sweden.

As a non-Swedish, there are important factors to consider when choosing a reliable mobile provider. One of them is a company with English speaking customer service. The other factors include good data volume and price and flexible contracts. The following are the important mobile subscription providers in Sweden:

Hallon

Hallon is rated as the best mobile internet provider in Sweden. The company is loved by many people because it has simple mobile contracts. Besides, as compared to Telenor, it is a bit cheaper as one is entitled to free SMS and calls in the contract. However, for the mobile data you may choose the one that you need. The good thing is that for the individuals who are unsure of the period that they will be in Denmark, they can take the prepaid sim cards. Unfortunately, they are a bit pricy.

Telenor

Just like Hallon, Telenor is a good mobile provider in Sweden and it has good services which can be proven through the awards that it has gotten. Besides, it provides good prices for the broadbands. Unlike other mobile providers, Telenor is so flexible because it gives the customers the chance to change their subscription anytime during the contract duration.

Tre.se

The customers of Tre.se considers it efficient. It provides services at a bit lower prices and has 4 varied contracts with unique data bundles. However, as for MMS, SMS, and unlimited calls, one gets them for free on top of their contracts. One thing I love about them is that the subscription even allows an individual to surf in European Union with no extra costs.

There are different mobile contracts in Sweden including contract, prepaid, bundled plan, and SIM Only. Bundled plan do provide good prices when starting although some of the mobile providers need time before providing the offers. When one leaves early, then you will be charged for early termination and thus, one should just take it when staying in Sweden for a long period. SIM only is very flexible and is good for a person is unsure of the period that they will stay in Sweden.

The contract plan is not good for any person who want to live in Sweden for s short period. Therefore, before making a decision, you should get information regarding the connection, allowance, and monthly cost fees. Prepaid is a good option when in Sweden as it has flexibility. Thus, when you will stay in Sweden for just a short time, then I believe it is a good option to consider.

Benefits of having Credit Card in Sweden

  • It helps in putting on hold an hotel room or a rental car
  • Credit card offers you the opportunity of building your credit
  • There are no foreign transactions
  • It is not linked to the savings or checking account
  • A rise in purchasing power
  • Earning rewards including point, miles, or cash back
  • Protection from credit card fraud

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