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.
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.
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.
In Sweden, taxes are usually withheld at the time of payment. Your employer is obliged to deduct tax from your salary before you are paid. There are some exceptions to the regular tax system, e.g. tax relief for foreign key personnel and a special income tax for non-residents (SINK) if you stay for less than six months.
- Tax relief for foreign key personnel External link.
- Special income tax for non-residents External link. (SINK)
Every year an income tax notice will be sent to you specifying your earned taxable income. This information is needed when you fill in your tax return (självdeklarering). The självdeklarering, declaring your previous year’s income, must be submitted by paper or electronically to the Swedish Tax Agency in May every year. There is a special service you can contact at the Tax Agency especially for this. If you have paid taxes by SINK, you do not need to submit a tax return.
Facts about Sweden
Population: 9.9 million
Area: 450,000 km² (174,000 sq mi)
Political system: Parliamentary democracy
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
- Insuring your belongings
We recommend that you purchase home insurance policy (hemförsäkring) for the duration of your stay. If anything is stolen from your residence, or if any property is damaged or lost during your stay, you are responsible for repair or replacement costs. In addition to personal property, home insurance should also cover liability, legal expenses, and travel insurance. A home insurance policy is sold by most insurance companies in Sweden.
- Unemployment insurance
Payments of unemployment insurance can take two forms, a basic benefit or an income-related benefit. Unemployment insurance is not a part of the social insurance system in Sweden. Unemployment insurance is connected closely to the trade unions but is legally independent. When you start working in Sweden, investigate which unemployment insurance scheme (widely known as a-kassa) is available.