International staff support

Moving abroad to work or study in a new country can be an exciting adventure, but also a very big change. Here we have gathered information regarding your relocation to Sweden and Halmstad University.

Planning your stay

Halmstad University wants to give you the best support possible with the many practicalities concerning you and your family during your stay. Below you will find what you need to plan and prepare before you arrive in order to make your relocation process as smooth as possible.

If you need further information or have any queries, please contact the Human Resource Department.

Permits and visa

EU/EEA citizens

As an EU/EEA citizen, you are entitled to work or study in Sweden without a visa, work or residence permit. The same applies to your family members (if they are EU/EEA citizens) if they join you.

The right of EU citizens to stay in Sweden without a residence permit is called right of residence. You have right of residence if you are employed, self-employed, a student or have sufficient means to support yourself. If you have right of residence in Sweden you do not need to contact the Swedish Migration Agency.

You and your family members have the right to begin working or studying immediately. If your family are non-EU/EEA citizens they should apply for residence cards at the Swedish Migration Agency.

Right of residence for EU citizens' family who are EU citizensexternal link

Resident cards for EU citizens family who are non-EU citizensexternal link

Non EU/EEA citizens

If you wish to visit Sweden, you will need a visa in most cases. A visa is a permit which is required if you plan to enter and remain in Sweden for a period of a maximum of three months – for example, to visit relatives or friends, as a tourist, on business, or to attend a conference. You must apply for the visa before entering Sweden.

Information about visiting Swedenexternal link

Residence permit for visiting researchers

If your main work at the university will be research and if you will stay for more than three months in Sweden, you should apply for a residence permit for visiting researchers. Your residence permit must be granted before you arrive in Sweden. In order to be counted as a visiting researcher, you must have a university or college education that qualifies you for access to doctoral studies, and your main work at the university should be research. You do not need a residence permit to work for less than three months.

Members of your family can obtain residence permits for the same period of time as yours. If you have a permit for at least six months, your partner can also obtain a work permit.

Residence permit for visiting researchersexternal link

Residence permit for doctoral students

If you are a doctoral student and wish to stay in Sweden for a period longer than three months, you need to obtain a residence permit for students. Your residence permit must be granted before you arrive in Sweden. If you are studying in Sweden for less than three months, you may need to apply for a visa to enter Sweden.

Members of your family can obtain residence permits for the same period of time as yours. If you have a permit for at least six months, your partner can also obtain a work permit.

Residence permit for doctoral studentsexternal link

Work permit

In most cases, a work permit is required for citizens of countries outside the EU. Work permits are applicable only for teachers and administrative/technical staff. Doctoral students and persons who will do mainly research (visiting researchers) need to apply for a residence permit as described above. In order to obtain a work permit, you must have received an offer to work in Sweden.The main rule is that you must apply for and obtain a work permit before entering Sweden. You will obtain a permit for as long as your job lasts but not past the time for which your passport remains valid. A work permit can be granted for up to two years at a time.

If you obtain a permit to work in Sweden, residence permits can be granted to members of your family for the same period of time. If you receive a permit for at least six months, members of your family can also obtain work permits.

Work permitsexternal link

Permits for a family member of a person who has a work permitexternal link

Residence permit card

If you have been granted a residence permit you will also receive a residence permit card as proof that you are permitted to live in Sweden. The card has a computer chip that contains your fingerprints and a photo of you. You always need to have your residence permit card with you when you go to government agencies or the health care services

Residence permit cardexternal link

Application

Most of the applications can be done online at the Swedish Migration Agency's website. Applications with all necessary documentation are prioritised, a complete application with the correct information will therefor guarantee you a faster response.

Passport and ID card

In Sweden, there are two official documents valid for proving your identity, passport or national ID card. The Swedish identity card is an approved form of identification within Sweden.

Passport and National ID card

If you come from outside the EU/EEA, a passport is the only valid document. In some cases you may also need a visa together with your passport. For EU/EEA citizens, it is sufficient to have a national ID card.

Swedish identity card

As a Swedish resident, you can obtain a Swedish identity card from the Swedish Tax Agency. The Swedish identity card is an approved form of identification within Sweden. To be able to apply for an Swedish identity card, you must be registered as living in Sweden. You can use the Swedish identity card as proof of your age and identity at places such as the pharmacy, bank or in shops.

When you apply for an Swedish identity card, which will have your photo and personal identity number, you willl need to make sure you have the proper identification with you (usually your passport and your residence permit card). You must apply in person at the local tax office (Skattekontoret) and you should expect this process to take a while, usually about two weeks.

How to apply for a Swedish identity cardexternal link

Accommodation

One of the first things you need to arrange before moving to Sweden is a place to live. Since there is a big shortage of accommodation in Halmstad, it can be a challenge to find accommodation.

However there are several things you can do in order to be as prepared as possible. We have compiled a list of housing links and information about landlords and housing agencies that could be useful.

Halmstad University has no housing allocation for its employees. Therefore, we urge you to start the search for home through the regular housing market as soon as possible. We advise you to contact a landlord or a housing company to have your name placed on a waiting list. You can also ask your department whether they are able to help you in finding a place to live.

Because of the shortage of housing it is important not to be too choosy – all housing in Sweden is of a good standard. Once you have found a first place to live, you can continue searching for more ideal housing.

Rental contracts

There are two types of rental contracts: first-hand contracts and second-hand contracts.

First-hand contracts

A first-hand contract means that you sign a contract with a housing company and not with a private person, but above all it means that it is a simple contract between two parties (tenant and landlord). A first-hand contract is also a contract that you do not need to leave as long as you fulfil the criteria for having the contract. A first-hand contract usually requires several years in the housing queues.

Second-hand contracts

The term second-hand housing is currently used to describe three different types of living arrangements.

The main definition of second-hand housing is when a private person rents out his/her rented flat/room to another private person. This creates a binding contract (with or without an actual physical contract) between these persons, and thereafter the so-called Renting Law (Hyreslagen) applies.

Another form of second-hand housing is when a villa/flat owner rents out his/her home to a private person. This relationship is identical to the one above with the exception of rent. There are special rules that apply when you decide the amount of the rent in this situation.

The third type of second-hand housing is when a private person rents out a part of his/her flat to another person. In this case, you share your accommodation with the person that owns either the accommodation or the first-hand contract. As a live-in tenant, you are much more limited in your rights because in the eyes of the law, you are living in someone else’s home. Both parties in this contract are taking a chance and putting a lot on the line, because both risk losing their independence and freedom in their home.

It is important that you keep track of the laws that apply to your situation because there are big differences among the three different types of living.

Blocket

Blocket is a popular Swedish website where people advertise a variety of things, including accommodation. On Blocket you have the option of creating a profile for yourself and stating what kind of housing you are looking for. In doing so, you may be contacted directly by someone who is interested in letting to you. Blocket is entirely in Swedish, but you can find advertisements for second-hand contracts that are written in English. To look for accommodation, choose Halmstad and then the category Bostad.

Blocketexternal link

Facebook

There are several groups on Facebook for those seeking an apartment or other accommodation in and around Halmstad. Try searching for ”Lägenheter i Halmstad”, ”Lägenhet uthyres i Halmstad”, ”Hus uthyres i Halmstad”, ”Boende i Halmstad”, ”Bostad Halmstad” etc.

Landlords/housing companies

There are a number of landlords and housing companies in Halmstad. Unfortunately not all have websites in English, which makes searching for apartments from your home country a bit difficult. For this reason it is easier to start off by sending them an email or calling them. Most of these landlords are private and have different queue systems to allocate vacant apartments.

HFAB can, in exceptional cases, give priority to apartments. Contact them for more information.

HFABexternal link
Akeliusexternal link (information only in Swedish)
Cityfastigheterexternal link (information only in Swedish)
Hyrenbostadexternal link
Jana fastigheterexternal link (information only in Swedish)

Temporary housing

If you are only going to stay in Halmstad for a shorter period of time or need a place to live while looking for a more long-term accommodation, a hostel, bed and breakfast or hotel might be of interest. Below you can find some suggestions of useful websites.

Destination Halmstadexternal link
Kaptenshamn – hotel and hostelexternal link
Airbnbexternal link
HomeAwayexternal link
Wimduexternal link
Stay on someone's couch through Couchsurfing.orgexternal link

Household insurance

We also recommend that you arrange a household insurance. As a tenant, you must always have your own household insurance no matter whether you live in a rented home or if you buy a home.

Health Insurance and medical care

Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan)

Swedish social insurance covers everyone who lives or works in Sweden. This insurance provides financial protection for families and children, for people with a disability caused by illness, as a result of a work, or injury. The Social Insurance Agency administers social insurance and ensures that you get the benefits and allowances you are entitled to.

To be covered by a social insurance benefit, you must, as a rule, either be resident in Sweden or be working here. If you work in Sweden, you are also insured for employment-based benefits.

EU/EEA citizens should bring the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), issued by the social insurance office in your home country. The card states that you are entitled to healthcare on the same conditions and at the same price as permanent residents in Sweden.

Swedish Social Insurance Agencyexternal link

The healthcare system in Sweden

The healthcare system in Sweden is run by the state, which finances the bulk of healthcare costs. Patients pay a nominal fee for examinations and some tests. The state pays for approximately 85 percent of medical costs, and everyone who is properly registered in Sweden and has a Swedish personal identification number has normally access to this system. This means you pay subsidised prices up to a maximum amount, above which you are exempt from paying anything further. Healthcare for children is free.

Costs for healthcare

Staying one year or more in Sweden

Access to subsidised healthcare in Sweden is based on residency. A person usually becomes a resident if he or she is planning on staying in Sweden for more than one year. If you are planning on staying for one or more years, you should register at the Swedish Tax Agency and receive a personal identity number. This means that you are entitled to health and medical care on the same terms as Swedish citizens.

EU/EEA or Swiss citizens staying less than one year in Sweden

EU/EEA or Swiss citizens insured in another EU/EEA country planning on staying less than one year are entitled to necessary healthcare from the public healthcare in Sweden provided that they have:

  • a valid passport or national ID card
  • European Health Insurance card or a provisional replacement certificate of the EHIC-card
  • a certificate to prove their right to care benefits in Sweden for people who are residents in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland. Please contact the Sweden Social Insurance Agency to apply for a certificate.

Nordic citizens

Nordic citizens receive subsidised medical care if they are able to present valid identification and an address in another Nordic country. Nordic citizens can find more information on the Nordic Social Insurance Portal.

Non-EU citizens staying less than one year in Sweden

If you plan to stay less than one year, you will not be able to register in Sweden and receive a personal identity number. The cost for medical care will be the actual, which is significantly higher than subsidized healthcare. Halmstad University has signed an insurance policy (GIF Insurance) for those who are not covered by the Swedish healthcare system.

University Health Insurance (GIF Insurance)

Halmstad University has signed an insurance policy (GIF Insurance) for those who are not covered by the Swedish healthcare system. The insurance covers necessary and reasonable costs for emergency medical and dental care. Accompanying family such as spouse, partner and children are also covered by the insurance. The insurance only covers emergency care and not regular health checks, vaccinations or prenatal care. Therefore, we recommend you to sign up for a complete health insurance before you travel to Sweden.

Medical care

Healthcare centres

The healthcare centre is usually the first place to go, unless you require immediate hospital care such as in emergencies or life-threatening conditions. Healthcare centres are open Monday–Friday. You can call them directly for advice or schedule an appointment. You usually have to make an appointment before you visit them. If you need medical care in evenings or weekends, you can go to the local emergency healthcare centre.

Healthcare advice 1177

The Healthcare Phone Line (dial 1177) offers healthcare advice 24 hours a day, all year round, across Sweden. It is available online and by phone. Advising nurses provide answers to your questions and/or recommendations on where to seek medical care. On the website 1177.se you can find information about healthcare, including general information on patient rights, advice on basic healthcare and help to find a healthcare clinic.

1177 Healthcare Guideexternal link

On arrival

Living abroad and working in another country is always an adventure, and often quite challenging. We want you to get the best possible start with the many practicalities that need to be arranged and a good introduction to your new workplace.

On arrival in Halmstad there are some practical things you need to arrange.

Register in Sweden

Depending on the length of your stay in Sweden you will get a personal identity number or a coordination number from the Swedish Tax Agency.

Population register

If you have moved to Sweden from abroad and are planning to live here for one year or more you should normally be registered in the Swedish Population Register.The population register contains information about the people in Sweden and where in the country they reside. The Swedish Tax Agency is responsible for the population register. Many of your rights and obligations as a private individual depend on if and where you are registered. If you have been entered into the population register, you are for example entitled to social benefits and healthcare, you will be able to vote and pay taxes in the municipality where you live.

Personal identity number

When you plan to stay more than one year, you should register as a resident and you will receive a personal identity number. You should notify the Swedish Tax Agency of your move to Sweden as soon as possible through a visit to a service centre.

How to register in the Swedish Population Registerexternal link

Coordination number

If you plan to stay shorter than one year, you are not entitled to a personal identity number. Halmstad University can instead apply for a coordination number, which is an identification number for people who are not registered in Sweden. A coordination number is only assigned to you by a request from your employer. The Human Resource department at the university can request a coordination number for you.

Swedish identity card

The Swedish identity card is an approved form of identification within Sweden. You can use the ID card as proof of your age and identity at places such as the pharmacy, bank or in shops. You can apply for a Swedish identity card from the Swedish Tax Agency.

How to apply for a Swedish identity cardexternal link

A man is drawing on a whiteboard in an outside setting, several more people are watching him. Photo.

Facts about Sweden

Capital: Stockholm
Language: Swedish
Population: 9.9 million
Area: 450,000 km² (174,000 sq mi)
Political system: Parliamentary democracy

Average temperatures



January

July

Malmö

-0.2°C (+31.6°F)

+16.8°C (62.2°F)

Stockholm

-2.8°C (+27.0°F)

+17.2°C (63.0°F)

Kiruna

-16.0°C (+3.2°F)

+12.8°C (55.0°F)




Financial matters

Due to strict regulations and security aspects it takes an effort to open a bank account in Sweden, as in most foreign countries. Banks are required to carry out a stringent check of customer identity and they charge a fee for their services.

Also, services and offers from the different banks are depending on how long you’re staying and whether you have a Swedish personal identity number or not.

Bank information

If you are staying for a shorter time, perhaps only a few months, we recommend that you keep your account in your current bank, as Swedish banks may be hesitant to open one for you. We recommend you to contact those that will manage your salary payments in good time and provide the information they need – all to secure that you receive your salary to your own account in your home country. Depending on your bank, there may be costs involved in this procedure and Halmstad University will not cover those expenses. Please note that foreign checks usually take a long time to process and you would have to pay extra for processing fees.

If you are planning to stay for longer than 12 months in Sweden, and are going to apply for a Swedish personal number, we recommend you to open a bank account. To open a bank account, you should contact the bank and make an appointment.

Generally you need the following to open an account at any Swedish bank:

  • Valid passport
  • Employment contract or a certificate/hosting agreement from the University showing your status at the University
  • Details of address in Sweden
  • Document proving that you have a personal identity number or a coordination number
  • Recidence permit/Right of residence
  • Swedish ID card (mandatory in most banks if you stay more than one year)

Information in English about the four major Swedish banks:

Bank hours

Banks are generally open Monday through Friday 10 am–3 pm. Many branch offices have additional open hours in the late afternoon at least once a week.

Salary into your account

Halmstad University uses Danske Bank for salary payments. To receive salary into an account in another bank, you should contact the HR Department or your contact at your School.

If you are staying for a shorter time (e.g. less than three to six months), it is normally easier to use your bank account in your home country for financial matters. If you wish to receive payment to an account outside of Sweden, you should contact the HR Department or your contact at your academy.

Payments

We strongly recommend you to bring a Visa/MasterCard to Sweden, as cards are widely used all over the country. Remember to activate your card first if it is blocked for purchases and withdrawals outside your home country/continent.

The cheapest way to pay bills is through the bank's payment services, which are also available online. Visa, MasterCard, Visa Electron, Maestro are accepted for online payments, but make sure your card is activated for internet payments. To pay bills over-the-counter in banks can cost about 150 SEK per bill

Taxation

If you work in Sweden for more than six months you will most often be fully liable for Swedish income tax on all your income and register to pay tax in Sweden.

If you work in Sweden for less than six months, you or your employer will most often need to apply for a Swedish special income tax decision (SINK). Please contact HR department for more information regarding application for taxation in accordance with the Special Income Tax.

Insurance

Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan)

Swedish social insurance covers everyone who lives or works in Sweden. This insurance provides financial protection for families and children, for people with a disability caused by illness, as a result of a work, or injury. The Social Insurance Agency administers social insurance and ensures that you get the benefits and allowances you are entitled to.

To be covered by a social insurance benefit, you must, as a rule, either be resident in Sweden or be working here. If you work in Sweden, you are also insured for employment-based benefits. EU/EEA citizens should bring the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), issued by the social insurance office in your home country. The card states that you are entitled to healthcare on the same conditions and at the same price as permanent residents in Sweden.

Swedish Social Insurance Agencyexternal link

If you need further information or have any queries, please contact your payroll administrator.

For employees of the University

As a member of staff at Halmstad University, or if you work at the University in any other form of employment, you are covered by a number of different insurance policies. University employees are covered by the following insurance policies:

  • Work Injury Insurance and Personal Injury Insurance (PSA)
    Work injury insurance and personal injury insurance cover you if you are injured in the course of your work.
  • Business travel insurance
    Business travel insurance covers you when you are travelling on business.
  • Occupational group life insurance
    As a civil servant you have a life insurance through the “Statlig Tjänstegrupplivförsäkring” or TGL-S. This means that your family receives economic support should you pass away. The money is paid out in a lump sum, tax-free. The insurance is valid as long as you are employed by a state authority.
  • GIF – Group and Personal Insurance
    Halmstad University has signed an insurance policy (GIF Insurance) for those who are not covered by the Swedish healthcare system. The insurance covers necessary and reasonable costs for emergency medical and dental care. Accompanying family such as spouse, partner and children are also covered by the insurance. The insurance only covers emergency care and not regular health checks, vaccinations or prenatal care. Therefore, we recommend you to sign up for a complete health insurance before you travel to Sweden.

Living in Halmstad

Halmstad, located by the sea, has about 100,000 residents, and with its unbeatable location on the Swedish west coast, its love for the sea, nature reserves, miles long beaches, forests and walking trails along the shoreline, Halmstad has a special place in many peoples hearts.

With some of the longest sandy beaches in Sweden, Halmstad is one of the most popular Swedish destinations in the summer.

Halmstad is a lively municipality, throughout the year. The favourable location on the west coast allows business to develop, tourism to thrive and inhabitants to enjoy life and multiply in numbers.

Being a small city, Halmstad enables close relationships between the university and businesses in our community. Halmstad’s ideal size also makes it convenient to get around. Just a few minutes by bicycle or bus takes you from campus to the city centre, sandy beaches or forested Galgberget Hill.

A beach with blue ocean in the background, a yellow bowl filled with seashells on the right. Photo.

Ending your stay

Are you planning to leave Sweden and Halmstad University? Just like when arriving in Sweden, there are a number of things you need to remember when leaving.

updated

2020-09-01

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