Moving to the UK From Sweden

The UK has been an extremely popular destination for Swedish citizens looking for a new place to live for many decades. At the last official count (carried out in 2021), over 45,000 Swedish citizens were living in the UK, marking a substantial increase from the 25,000 living here in 2008. In this guide, we will cover all of the main aspects of moving from Sweden to the UK, including the legal requirements, the cost of living in the UK, a checklist of the main points to consider, and why you should move to England, Northern Ireland, Wales, or Scotland in 2024 or beyond.

Moving to the UK from Sweden benefits

There are many benefits for Swedish citizens who make the move to the UK, including:

  • A thriving economy with a wide range of highly paid and highly skilled jobs
  • A relatively short distance to travel back to Sweden
  • Beautiful villages, stunning landscapes and countryside
  • A rich culture and history
  • British traditions, including pubs and fish and chips
  • A wonderful lifestyle
  • Plenty of job opportunities
  • Excellent educational opportunities

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"This was my first application for a skilled worker visa and A Y & J helped me through it, making me feel at ease with the process. Very quick replies on e-mails & assistance provided by Imad and Silvia was excellent. Truly could not have had a better experience. Would absolutely recommend them if assistance required."

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"This was our 2nd application for my wife's visa. A Y & J Solicitors were recommend to us and they delivered. Right from the outset. The process was explained thoroughly. We was not pushed to commit. Our appointed Solicitor Nagina was absolutely brilliant. Took all our concerns away and approached our application in a professional manor. Can not recommend enough. Thank you A Y & J & a special thanks to Nagina"

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"I'm very pleased to recommend Diana and her team. They have consistently provided excellent service and achieved successful outcomes in our applications, thanks in part to Ikra's outstanding casework and exceptional support throughout the process. She ensured we fully understood everything and addressed any questions we had promptly and professionally."

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The legal requirements that you need to meet if emigrating from Sweden to the UK will depend on the exact visa that you apply for. Here are some of the most popular UK visas available to Swedish citizens, as well as the general requirements that must be met to make a successful application.

Emigrating from Sweden to the UK to Work

  • Skilled Worker visa – The Skilled Worker visa is currently the most commonly used of all UK work visas for non-UK citizens who wish to work in a skilled job here. Applicants must a) have a job offer for an eligible occupation from a UK employer with a sponsor licence, b) meet the minimum salary requirements, and c) meet the English language requirements. If your Skilled Worker visa application is successful, you will be able to remain for up to 5 years initially. At this stage, you can either further extend your visa or apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), which will allow you to remain permanently for the rest of your life.

Emigrating from Sweden to the UK to Study

  • Student visa – The UK Student visa permits Swedish nationals to study at a British school, college or university in the UK. Once the course of study is completed (assuming it is at degree level or higher), it is then possible to switch to a UK graduate visa, which allows holders to remain here for another 2 years to live and find work.

Emigrating from Sweden to the UK as an Entrepreneur

  • Innovator Founder Visa – The Innovator Founder Visa is designed for business people and entrepreneurs from Sweden who plan to set up a new, unique, and innovative business here. After 3 years on this type of visa, Swedish citizens can then apply for permanent settlement in the UK. As such, this provides one of the fastest routes to settlement of all UK visas.

Due to the number of different visa types and the requirements that must be met, we recommend speaking to an immigration Solicitor in the UK who can help you understand your immigration options and those of your family members.

Moving from Sweden to the UK after Brexit

When the UK formally ended its membership of the European Union, unfortunately, so did the freedom of movement of people between the EU and the UK. EU nationals who were living in the UK before 1st January 2021 were (and still are) able to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by applying for pre-settled or settled status. EU nationals, including citizens of Sweden who were not living in the UK before this date, now require a visa in the same way as non-EU nationals.

Thankfully, the UK offers a wide range of visas, including work and family visas, many of which provide a route to permanent settlement in the UK. Some of the most popular visas used by EU nationals seeking to relocate to the UK are outlined in the next section.

Get in touch with our immigration experts for help with your move to the UK from Sweden

What is the cost of living in the UK?

There is a perception that the Nordic countries, including Sweden, are much more expensive than the UK. In reality, it is the other way around. The cost of living in the UK is higher than in Sweden, with consumer prices around 14% higher in the UK when rent is taken into account. This is because the cost of rent in the UK is nearly 50% higher than in Sweden. Eating out also tends to be 15% more expensive in the UK compared to Sweden, but food and groceries are around 10% less here.

Moving to the UK from Sweden - Checklist

If you are considering relocating from Sweden to the UK, there are many things to consider and steps to take before making the move. Based on our experience of helping Swedish and other EU nationals make the move to the UK, we recommend:

  • Researching the visa routes available to you and your family members. If you are not sure which visa is suitable for your needs, it is important to speak to a UK-based immigration Solicitor who can advise you based on your circumstances.
  • Getting a job offer with an approved sponsoring employer in the UK UK employer. You must have a job offer and a Certificate of Sponsorship before you can apply for a Skilled Worker visa.
  • Creating a budget plan to compare your expected income and cost of living in the UK.
  • Drawing up a shortlist of the places in the UK that you would like to live.
  • If you have children of school age, contacting some of the local schools in your shortlisted areas to ask if they have any availability and to understand their educational approach.
  • Considering whether you will sell or rent out your home in Sweden and what you will do with your possessions.
  • Contacting Swedish citizens that you know who live in the UK to discuss their experience of moving to and living in the UK.

Cost to immigrate to the UK from Sweden

The cost of immigrating to the UK from Sweden will depend on how you plan to get here, what you will do with your possessions and the immigration route you choose. We recommend calculating the following moving costs:

  • A removal company to transport your possessions (including pets) to the UK
  • Travel to the UK (e.g. flights)
  • Visa costs, including the healthcare surcharge (for access to healthcare in the UK) – these will need to be paid upfront for all of your family members
  • Rental deposit
  • Car purchase, and
  • Buying new possessions in the UK (e.g. furniture)

How to set up your finances in the UK?

Thankfully, the UK’s banking system makes it very easy to set up a new bank account here. You can open a new bank account when you arrive in the UK, as you will need a permanent address here to prove your identity. It is also important to have a national insurance (NI) number before you start your new job.

In terms of paying tax, if you work in the UK, your employer will deduct your income tax at source from your salary and pay this directly to HM Revenue & Customs through the UK’s ‘Pay As You Earn’ (PAYE) system.

What is a Self-Sponsored Route?

Self-sponsorship offers an easy way for Swedish citizens to relocate and live in the UK without applying for a job. Instead, as a Swedish citizen, you can set up your own company and become your own boss rather than needing a UK sponsor. One of the biggest benefits of the self-sponsorship route is that it provides a direct immigration pathway to permanent settlement in the UK and, after a further 12 months, British citizenship.

Emigrating to the UK as a non-Swedish national

If emigrating to the UK as a non-Swedish national, it is likely that you will need to apply for a visa from the Home Office in the same way as a Swedish national. This is because EU and non-EU nationals both require a visa following Brexit in 2021. The type of visa you will need to apply for and meet the requirements for will depend on your goal when you reach the UK – i.e. join family, work, or study. If you are unsure which visa to apply for as a non-Swedish national immigrating to the UK from Sweden, we recommend speaking to an immigration Solicitor in the UK in the first instance.

Joining UK Family Members as a Non-Swedish National

You may be eligible for a UK family visa as a non-Swedish national if you have a close family member who already lives in the UK. This may include your partner or spouse or a parent or child. Your immediate family member must either be a British national, a person with permanent settlement, an EU/EEA national who started living in the UK before 1st January 2021, or a person with refugee status in the UK.

A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with all types of visa applications. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or at contact us today. We’re here to help!

Moving From Sweden to the UK

Reach out to our immigration advisors to handle your relocation process from beginning to end.

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Moving From Sweden to the UK

Reach out to our immigration advisors to handle your relocation process from beginning to end.

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