For members


KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Sweden in September?

Budget, Brexit and coronavirus restrictions. Here's a rundown of seven key things to be aware of in Sweden in September.

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Sweden in September?
Will Sweden lift coronavirus restrictions in September? Photo: Erik Simander/TT

When will Sweden lift travel restrictions?

Probably not in September. Sweden has extended its current non-EU entry ban until October 31st. The ban has been in place since March last year, and was introduced in line with EU recommendations at the time to curb the spread of coronavirus across the union. On September 2nd, Sweden announced that it would add another six countries to the entry ban, including the United States.

There are several exemptions to the ban, including if you live in Sweden or the EU, if you’re travelling for certain purposes such as urgent family reasons and vital work, or if you’re travelling from certain low-infection countries which are decided at the EU level. There are also exemptions for athletes and esports players taking part in elite competitions.

Will Sweden lift more Covid restrictions?

The next step of the Swedish government’s five-step plan for easing pandemic restrictions is set to get under way in September according to the original time plan, although a date has yet to be confirmed. If that step goes ahead, the limit on the number of people allowed at public and private events will be removed, and the remaining rules for restaurants and bars will also be removed entirely, including indoor areas.

It is however not yet clear whether these will actually go ahead now or not. Neighbouring Denmark, where the 14-day case notification rate per 100,000 people is currently higher than in Sweden, announced last week that it would end all its pandemic restrictions on September 10th. The Swedish Public Health Agency said last week that now was not the time to lift restrictions in Sweden, where new cases are on the increase, but that doesn’t automatically mean that it could not happen at some point in September. It will likely also depend on how many new cases lead to serious illness, and the vaccination rate (more than 80 percent of Sweden’s adults have had at least one Covid-19 jab).

Time to start paying off your mortgage again

During the coronavirus crisis, Swedish banks have been offering customers the chance to hold off on amortising their mortgage, meaning that (if you chose to avail yourself of this) you only had to pay interest and not pay off the loan itself. This ends on September 1st. 

It will end automatically, so you don’t need to do anything other than preparing for your bill to suddenly going up. But it may be a good time to have a look at your finances and see whether you’re getting the best deal you could out of your mortgage. Here’s The Local’s guide.

Sweden’s new budget

The Swedish government will present its autumn budget to parliament on September 20th. It contains investments to the tune of 74 billion kronor (approximately $8.6 billion), including welfare measures, green investments and efforts to get more people into work. “I’m seeing a lot of potential in the Swedish economy. I want us to emerge stronger out of this crisis,” said Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson.

The budget could spark another conflict in a divided parliament, so it is not completely beyond the realms of possibility that Sweden’s heading for another political crisis, just months after it averted the last one. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has previously said that he will resign if his budget is not approved, but then again he has already announced his departure in November, budget or no budget.

SAS routes to reopen

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) will reopen its Arlanda-Sundsvall route in September, which means that it will again be serving all its domestic routes in Sweden and Norway after halting some of them during the pandemic. SAS said it would also resume flights to a number of cities this autumn, including Amsterdam, Dublin, Florence, Krakow and Prague.

National ID cards no longer valid for travel to UK

New travel rules to UK from September 30th also marks the day that national ID cards will no longer be accepted for travel into the UK. So if you are travelling to the UK with a Swedish partner, friend or relative, remind them that they will need a passport after this date.

Speaking of the UK…

… if you’re a Brit in Sweden and haven’t yet secured your stay here, now’s the time to do so. September 30th is the deadline for applying for post-Brexit residence status.

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For members


KEY POINTS: What changes in Sweden in June 2022

A new work permit law, Terminal 4 reopens, Stockholm summits and National Day. Here are some of the things that change in Sweden in June.

KEY POINTS: What changes in Sweden in June 2022

New work permit law 

On June 1st, the changes to Sweden’s work permit system approved by parliament in April will finally come into force. In practice, this will mean several changes, some positive, some negative, both for employers in Sweden seeking to hire internationally and for those coming to Sweden to work. 

For applicants, perhaps the most important change is that, from June 1st, you will need to supply a copy of a signed employment contract (with some exceptions). Previously, you simply needed an offer of employment. The law is retroactive, so if you’re now waiting for a work permit decision, you will need to supplement your application with a signed work contract. 

The new law also allows you to receive a theoretically unlimited number of work permits, without automatically making you apply for permanent residency and allows those waiting for a decision to receive visas for business trips. 

The new law requests that the Migration Agency refrain from revoking work permits if their employers’ have made minor mistakes that would make it unreasonable to do so.

The Migration Agency has warned that the changes will mean (even) longer processing times. 

The agency has published guidelines in English on the new law on its website here

New talent visa 

As part of the new work permit law, the government has also brought in a new nine-month talent visa for for highly educated people who want to “spend time in the country to look for work or to look into the possibility of starting a business”. Read our article on that here. According to Karl Rahm, who has helped draw up the law within the Ministry of Justice, a master’s degree (MA or MSc), should be sufficient.

Applicants will need to show that they have enough money to support themselves, with Rahm saying that this was likely to be set at the same level as the minimum salary for those applying for a work permit (currently 13,000 kronor a month, so either an income of that much, or 117,000 kronor (€11,259) in saved capital for a nine month stay. 

The Migration Agency has promised to publish details of how to apply for the new visa on or just before June 1st. 

Terminal 4 to reopen at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport 

On June 15th, Sweden’s state-owned airport operator Swedavia will reopen Terminal 4 at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport, which it hopes will help bring down the long queues seen over the last month. 

EU directive on Transparent and predictable working conditions comes into force 

The EU’s directive on Transparent and predictable working conditions comes into force on June 20th, after being voted through the Swedish parliament earlier this year. 

According to the European Commission’s website, the directive gives employees the right to “more complete information on the essential aspects of the work, to be received early by the worker, in writing, even (and unlike in Sweden previously) for jobs shorter than three weeks. 

In the law passed by the Swedish parliament, it says that as a result of the directive, employers must, among other things, generally alert employees to changes in their hours at least two weeks in advance. 

Roger Haddad, vice chair of the parliament’s employment committee said that for him the most important aspect of the new law is the way it will standardise the information new employees need to receive on jobs they are being offered across the European Union. 

“I welcome this, it makes it easier to compare employments across the whole union and expands the labour opportunities for individuals,” he told The Local. 

Järvaveckan political festival held outside Stockholm 

From June 1st to June 5th, the Järvaveckan political festival will be held in Järvafältet, near the troubled suburb of Rinkeby. According to The Global Village, the arrangers, all Sweden’s party leaders except for the Sweden Democrats’ Jimmie Åkesson will give speeches at the festival. 

Järvaveckan was started in 2016 as an alternative to the Almedalen festival which would bring politicians closer to parts of Sweden where many first and second-generation immigrants live. 

Stockholm +50 summit outside Stockholm 

UN Secretary-General António Guterres will be in Stockholm on June 2nd and June 3rd for the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on the Environment in Stockholm back in 1972. The so-called Stockholm 50+ summit is being viewed as an important step on the way to the Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference in November, where the hope is that countries will update their Nationally Determined Contributions, the concrete
plans they have to reduce carbon emissions, so that global warming can be kept well below 2C. 

Nato Summit in Madrid 

Sweden and Finland will both attend Nato’s summit in Madrid from June 29th to June 30th, although the hope that Nato would be ready to present the special Accession Protocols to the Washington Treaty for the two countries at the summit now looks quite far-fetched. The summit remains, however, a sort of informal deadline for the negotiations with Turkey over its demands for approving Swedish and Finnish membership. 
National Day 
On June 6th it’s Sweden’s National Day. What makes this year special is that for the first time since the pandemic started, cities across Sweden will hold full-scale welcome ceremonies for new citizens, with all those who have become citizens during 2019, 2020, or 2021 invited. 
This year, National Day is on a Monday, which means a day of work. This year, National Day is falling on Whit Monday, which it replaced as a public holiday in 2005.