Moving to Sweden

 There are several things you might need to arrange prior to your travel to Sweden and upon arrival.

Before travelling to Sweden

Entry conditions and visas

Bring a valid passport or national ID card. Make sure to extend your passport if it is about to expire – you cannot obtain a work/residence permit for longer than your passport's period of validity. This also applies to your family, if they accompany you. 

Apply for a visa or a residence permit and a residence permit card at the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) or embassy, if you need one. EU citizens don’t need a residence or a work permit. Read more about Residence permits and visas.


It is very important that you start looking for and signing up for lists of accommodation as soon as possible. Read more about Accommodation.

Employment or scholarship

If you are on KI stipend/scholarship, review the terms and regulations of your contract and sign the affirmation. Make sure you get full information on the difference between stipend/scholarship and salary from the HR office at your department. See Scholarships

Bringing your family

If you have children, you should locate a preschool or school as early as possible. Contact the municipality where you are going to live in order to enroll the child, either to a Swedish-speaking preschool/school or an international preschool/school. See Family.


Make sure you are fully insured for your entire stay in Sweden. You can’t assume your insurance will go with you when you travel, so find out before you leave. Check with your hosting department what KI can cover, see Insurance
Some international companies in case you need to buy extra insurance:
Bupa Global

Upon arrival in Sweden

Personal number or coordination number

Personal identification number

If you move to Sweden and intend to live here for a year or more, you should normally register as a resident at the nearest office of the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket). To obtain a unique 10-digit personal identification number, personnummer, you must personally visit the local tax office and complete a form concerning immigration to Sweden. A personal identity number is necessary if you would like to gain access to the Swedish health care system, make a telephone subscription, register for a driver’s licence, and so on.

Coordination number

If you receive a salary from KI, but intend to stay for less than a year and cannot obtain a personal number, you need to be registered for tax purposes. You will get a coordination number, samordningsnummer, which is an identification number for persons who are not registered in the Swedish population register. If you work for less than six months your employer may apply for a special income tax decision on your behalf. If you stay in Sweden for at least six months, but less than a year, you have to apply for tax registration with the Swedish Tax Agency. Please note that a coordination number does not entitle you to any healthcare benefits connected to the personal identity number.

ID card

You can apply for a Swedish ID card (Identitetskort) from the Tax Agency when you have received your personal number. You need to pay the application fee SEK 400 before you visit one of the offices in person, prove your identity and get your height measured and photograph taken. 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.


Residing for a year or longer: When you open a bank account in Sweden, you may receive an ATM card and link internet and telephone banking services to your account. Under anti-money laundering legislation, banks are required to stringently verify customer identity. See Becoming a bank customer of a Swedish bank. Bank offices are generally open Monday–Friday, 10 am–4 pm.

Major Swedish banks:

If you will reside in Sweden for only a short time (less than six months), it is normally easier to use your bank account and bank card from your home country. We strongly recommend that you bring a Visa or MasterCard to Sweden, as cards are widely used all over the country.

KI salaries and scholarships are paid through Swedbank, see Salary for details.

The cheapest way to pay bills is through the bank's payment services, which are also available online. You can pay bills over-the-counter at Forex bank.

Social insurance

Apply for registration with the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan). The investigation of your social insurance affiliation may take 4-6, maybe up to 10 months. If you work in Sweden and have a coordination number, you should register for Social Insurance.

Fill in the form "5456 Registration information" on the website, apply for an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) and send it to Försäkringskassan. You need to state your Swedish personal number or coordination number. You can add a personal letter explaining your situation, if you e.g. are on postdoc scholarship.

Tax relief for foreign key personnel

Foreign key personnel – executives, experts, researchers (second postdoc or more senior) – may qualify for special tax relief when working in Sweden. Income taxes are based on only 75 per cent of income. You or your employer must submit application for tax relief within three months of the start of your employment to the Taxation of Research Workers Board, Forskarskattenämnden

Introduction for new staff 

Welcome to Karolinska Institutet! We are very happy that you have chosen to come and work with us. When you start a new job there is a lot to keep track of. Here we have collected some useful information for you 


Doctoral studentPostdoc