When in Sweden

During your time in Sweden, many things will happen, some only once and others annually. Here you will find mixed information about some common things that might occur during your time in Sweden and other tips.

Work related issuses

Competence and career development

Information about your possibility to career development at Umeå University Learn more

Information about personal development in research and education Learn more

Extending your residence/work permit

Residence permits and work permits are granted only for a limited period in Sweden. Depending on how long you stay in Sweden, it may be necessary to renew your permit

You can apply to extend you permit online. You should submit your application while your current permit is still valid. Note that, unlike first-time applications, there is no requirement that the permit validity period be longer than three months. If you are admitted to a PhD programme, apply at the earliest six months before your current permit expires. (For permanent permits application can be sent no earlier than 14 days before the current permit expires).

Residence permit for visiting researchers Learn more
Residence permit for doctoral students (PhD) Learn more
Work permits Learn more

Travel abroad during the processing time

If you travel abroad before your new permit is granted, it may be difficult for you to enter Sweden. You may need to wait for a new decision outside Sweden. It is also important to be aware that the Migration Agency no longer grants priority.

Choosing pension

As a new employee you will get to choose yourself who will manage your occupational pension. If you do not make a choice your pension money will be placed at "Kåpan". For more information about your pension:

Employment - pension

Kåpan pension


Declare your taxes "deklarera"

In Sweden, people pay tax on all types of income, such as wages and salaries, sickness benefit and pensions. Interest and dividens, as well as gains on the sale of chares, houses and tenant-owner apartments, are also regarded as income and are taxed.

Once a year you need to declare your income to the Tax Agency. Learn more You will receive specifications of the income statements that have been submitted to the Tax Agency in the beginning of each year. After that the Tax Agency will send you the tax return form. Large parts of the tax return form have already been filled in by the Tax Agency. You can declare your income online, by mobile phone, telephone or text message. Make sure to subit your income tax return form in time.

EU-card and business travels


When travelling in work within EU you should bring with you an EU-card. The European Health Insurance Card entitles you to medical and dental care while you are in an EU/EEU country or Swizerland. The card is provided by Försäkringskassan and is free of charge. Learn more

Swedish state business insurance card

When travelling to countries outside the EU or non convention countries, you should bring with you a Swedish state business insurance card. Contact your Human Resources support at your department for help.
More information about the insurance

Sholarship holders

As a scholarship holder you will need an additional insurance from Kammarkollegiet. Contact your Human Resources support at your department for help.


Union membership and unemployment insurance

There are three unions at Umeå University, Saco, SEKO and ST

You can contact the representatives by e-mail if you have questions.




Union membership

The unions are working for its members, to negotiate good working conditions and benefits. A union membership provides help, support and advice to you.

Unemployment insurance funds

In Sweden unemployment insurance (a-kassa) is not a part of the social insurance system. Each Swedish union has an agreement with an a-kassa, university employees can be members of AEA, Sekos a-kassa or STs a-kassa (se links below).

Membership in a-kassa is separate from union membership. You need to pay a fee for the union membership and also the membership in the a-kassa.

Read more:





  • In case of unemployment, the unemployment insurance company provide you with unemployment benefit (c:a 80% of your salary for salaries up to 25 025 SEK). Union membership provides additional benefit. Ask your union to find out more.
  • In order to get full coverage from the unemployment insurance you have to be a member for at least 12 months.
  • If you are leaving Sweden after your employment expires (e.g non-EU citizens), a union membership will suffice.
  • If you have a right to remain in Sweden as unemployed after your contract ends, it is important to also be a member of an unemployment insurance company

Support after your employment has expired

If you have the right to work in Sweden you can take part of Arbetsförmedlingens service and support. Read more

If you want to apply for employment benefits you must be registered with Arbetsförmedlingen. You can read more about the Unemployment Insurance on Akademikernas a-kassa (Academics unemployment fund)
Read more

Information about certificates related to unemployment

Periods of insurance, employment and self-employment completed under the legislation of an EU/EEA state or Switzerland can under certain circumstances be taken into account for the entitlement to unemployment benefits in another Member State where a person has become unemployed. Read more

Contact person at Arbetsförmedlingen: Annika Sund e-mail

Private Issues


A summary of how does the health care system work in Sweden and what you should do if you get ill. Learn more

Home insurance

You need a home insurance, no matter how you live. A home insurance is a kind of basic insurance package that can compensate for your things if they are stolen or damaged in a fire or water damage. In addition, all home insurance policies include travel protection, legal protection, a cover protection and a liability protection (indemnity protection).

Compare home insurances at Konsumenternas


Your right as a consumer in Sweden

Hallå konsument is a national information service coordinated by The Swedish Consumer Agency. You can contact us with questions about buying goods and services, making a complaint, purchasing with environmental considerations and other things that you as a consumer need help with. Learn more


Information about Sweden

If you want to know more about Sweden there are several good websites.


Midsommartillbehör. Genrebild från Mostphotos.


Newspapers online

Swedens new in English - The Local 

Lokal Umeå news (in Swedish) - Total Umeå

Västerbotten-Kuriren - news online

Folkbladet - news online


Ways of learning Swedish

Some information from Folkuniversitetet about learning Swedish New in Sweden

  • Swedish for Academics. Beginner courses on three levels arranged by Office of Human Resources in cooperation with Department of Language Studies. Learn more
  • Online courses. If you want to get started as soon as possible you can take a free online course at learning Swedish. Learn more

Social networks

Vän i Umeå (Friend in Umeå) is a network with the aim to create meetings and kinship between people in Umeå from different countries and cultures. They have a large number of different groups and activities that are created from the members' interest and ideas. For more information visit the website or the Facebook group. Homepage Facebook (partly in Swedish)

There are a large number of associations in Umeå if you are interested in a particular area, eg fishing or culture. It is also possible to start your own association. To look up associations you can use Umeå muncipalitys association list. Learn more (partly in Swedish)

Contact information

International Staff Support
Office of Human Resource
Administration building

Rosita Nilsson 

Torbjörn Forsberg

Send an e-mail to
International Staff Support

Rosita Nilsson