Welcome to Jönköping - general information about living in Sweden
The municipality of Jönköping welcomes international people who may consider making Jönköping their home. Here is some helpful information which may be important to bear in mind before, in the process of, or when you arrive in Sweden.
Looking forward to meeting you!
Banking, finances and post office
Currency – the currency used in Sweden is Swedish Krona (SEK). 1 Swedish krona equals 100 öre. The denominations for coins are 1, 2, 5 and 10 kronor. Notes are 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 kronor. There are currency exchange offices as well as many banks in Jönköping.
Credit Cards in Sweden – credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club International, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted. Many restaurants and shops are cash free. Checks are very rarely used in Sweden. Currency and traveler’s checks can be exchanged in banks, currency exchange offices and post offices.
Cash-free – Sweden is moving towards a cash-free economy which implies that some business (coffee shops, stores) only accept credit/debit cards for payment.
Opening a bank account – in order to open a bank account you will be most likely required to have a personal number. In some cases the bank will ask to see a copy of your residence permit and proof of your Swedish personal number, which you can be obtained from the Swedish Tax agency.
Banks and financial institutions – you must have obtained a personal identity number and an ID-card to open a bank account with complete banking services. More information on requirements to open a bank account can be found on the Swedish Bankers Association's website.
BankID – a citizen identification solution that allows companies, banks and governments agencies to authenticate and conclude agreements with individuals over the Internet. When using online banking, one of the easiest ways to identify yourself is via BankID. For more information to get a BankID, please contact your bank. For more general information about BankID in Sweden.
Swish – a smart phone app used in Sweden for payment or money transfer to private persons, companies, associations or organizations that are also connected to Swish. The only thing you need to use Swish is a smartphone with the Swish app and Mobile BankID.
Post Office – Sweden's Postal Service has pick-up and drop-off points in shopping centres, grocery stores, petrol stations. You can find yellow mailboxes in many convenient locations. At the postal services you can buy stamps, envelopes, register your mail and send express mail. Post services are normally available during the shops' opening hours.
Salary, Swedish tax system, Swedish pension system
Salary and income taxes – all relevant taxes payable by an employee are deducted from their salary before paid out. Most employers pay out salaries the 25th of each month, since many utility bills are due at the end of the month.
Value-added Tax (VAT) – is included in the price of food as well as other goods and services. This means when you’re out shopping the price you see is the price you pay. The percentage of VAT in Sweden is dependent on the type of goods or services being sold.
Swedish pension system – the official earliest retirement age is 61 but many people choose to retire at the age of 65. It's possible to work after the age of 65 in the private sector depending on your employer but there is a limit set in the public sector to 67.
Accommodation and housing
Jönköping municipality has no common housing agency with apartments to rent. To apply for an apartment, you generally must register in a housing queue. To be able to register in a housing queue a Swedish personal identity number is usually required.
Phone: +46 36-10 50 00
Immigration, registration, residence permit, personal number, ID card, driver’s license
Immigration – as an EU citizen you have the right to work, study or live in Sweden without a residence permit in general. As a non-EU citizen, you must apply for a work and residence permit.
Residence permit - you should apply for a work and residence permit before entering Sweden. We recommend that you contact the Swedish Migration Agency in order to apply.
Swedish personal identity number – everyone registered in Sweden has a personal identity number which is needed to operate effectively in the Swedish system. It is used to identify you. Obtaining a Swedish personal identity number requires that you register in the national population register at the Swedish Tax Agency.
Swedish identity card – the identity card is used as proof of identity in person. It will help in any contact you may have with the Swedish authorities. However, many Swedish authorities accept a Swedish driver’s license as proof of identification.
Driving license – if you are over 18 and have a driving license from your home country, you may only use it in Sweden for a maximum period of one year. EU and EEA driving licenses are valid in Sweden and you do not need to trade them for a Swedish license.
Insurance, health insurance, social insurance and security
Personal property and vehicles need to be insured and you may want to look into extra insurance for your family and pet.
In Sweden for less than 12 months - foreign citizens are entitled to emergency care in Sweden. If you are a citizen from another EU/EEA country, or Switzerland, and are staying in Sweden for less than twelve months, you need a European Health Insurance Card to prove that you are entitled to emergency care at the ordinary fee. If you do not have a card, you may have to pay the entire cost. The card can be ordered from the authority in the home country equivalent to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency.
In Sweden for 12 months or more - if you are in Sweden for more than twelve months and registered in the Swedish Population Register, you are entitled to healthcare under the same terms as other residents.
Health care and dental care
Tax funded health care – health care in Sweden is tax-funded and ensures that everyone has equal access to health care services. Unlike health care, dental care is not covered in the same way as other medical treatments.
Health clinic (vårdcentral) – your first point of contact with medical services when you become sick or sustain mild injuries. As part of the publicity funded social insurance, you only pay a moderate fee when visiting a doctor or physiotherapist within the national health scheme.
Emergency care – in case of an emergency, dial 112, or go to the nearest Accident and Emergency ward at the hospital. If you are unsure whether to visit the hospital or health clinic, call the medical advice telephone service, dial 1177.
Dental care (Folktandvården) – there is the public dental service and there are private dental clinics. If you need urgent dental treatment, call any dental clinic and ask for advice. Dental care is not included in the social benefits in Sweden.
Hospital (Länssjukhuset Ryhov) – before you go to a hospital, you are advised to call the medical advice telephone service, dial 1177. In case of an emergency, dial 112, or go to the nearest Accident and Emergency ward at the hospital.
Education, Swedish school system, daycare, compulsory/elementary school, upper secondary school, Swedish for Immigrants (SFI)
Education – every child has equal access to free education in Sweden. The Swedish school system is regulated through the Education Act, which mandates ten years of school attendance for all children from the year they turn six. The National Agency for Education is the central administrative authority for the public school system publicly organized.
Daycare, child-care, pre-school – daycare or pre-school is provided by municipalities for children ages one to five. If you work, study, are unemployed or on parental leave, your children can go to daycare.
Compulsory school or elementary school – consists of four stages: förskoleklass (‘pre-school year’), lågstadiet (years 1–3), mellanstadiet (years 4–6) and högstadiet (years 7–9). Children between ages six and thirteen are also offered after-school care before and after school hours.
Upper secondary school or high school – once compulsory school ends after grade 9 (age 15 or 16), children can continue into the Upper Secondary School (“gymnasium”). It’s a non-compulsory 3-year program where students can choose between schools according to their program of interest. Placement is conditional based on factors such as, students’ demand and/or the school’s specific requirements. Upper Secondary School is non-compulsory but is highly recommended and most students choose to enter into a program.
After-school care/recreational activities (fritidshem)
children from 6 to 12 years of age can enroll in after-school care provided at each school. After-school care (“fritids”) is an on-going part of the school day. It is available to children whose parents work or study and require care outside of the regular school day. Like preschool care, each municipality sets its own rules on what is permitted for after-school care. Parents who are unemployed and not studying are, in general, not allowed to leave their children in after-school care.
Education in Swedish for Immigrants (SFI) – offers basic Swedish language. You learn how to read, write, speak and understand Swedish. Taking an SFI course will enable you to feel part of Swedish society more quickly and allow you to progress to further study or get a job. Individual can apply for SFI once they have received a personal number and the course is free of charge.
Adult education – the municipality provides a number of opportunities in adult education from Swedish for Immigrants, vocational studies or some other type of studies.
Universities and further education – the higher education system is similar to that of other European countries. Swedish universities offer degree programmes according to the European standard. This includes bachelor’s, master’s and PhD programmes. There are 38 universities in Sweden offering programmes in all areas. One of them, Jönköping University, is located in the municipality.
Recognition of foreign qualifications – if you already hold a degree in higher education, The Swedish Council for Higher Education, UHR, provides a free service through its website to validate your foreign qualifications. This is valuable when applying to university in Sweden or for employment in particular fields.
Career, employment, work, business, start-up your business
Where to find a job – there is a wide selection of publicly and privately-run job sites for job seekers in Sweden from listing of open positions to recruitment agencies looking to fill positions on behalf of their customers.
Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) – the national agency with the aim to provide services to both jobseekers and employers. They have a job bank (Platsbanken) where you can find the latest vacancies. It is up to the jobseeker to be proactive and make use of all the free sources available.
EURES, European Job Mobility – focuses on the free movement of persons across the EU and is another valuable source for both jobseekers and employers. They provide information, advice and recruitment activities along with job-matching for particular areas of competence. We recommend that you visit their Job Mobility portal before moving to Sweden as the information given may give you ahead start in your job search.
Business and support – Jönköping municipality aims to create favorable conditions for business development and expansion, and to stimulate and facilitate start-ups and entrepreneurship.
Start your own business - Jönköping is known as Sweden's most business and entrepreneurial dense areas. The municipality has around 13 000 SME’s and the Jönköping University is a leading in research institution in the field. Starting a business in Sweden is an attractive alternative for many people looking to get into the Swedish workplace. If you have an entrepreneurial mindset or a passion for business, you will be in the right place!
Here are some useful links to help:
Trade Unions and unemployment insurance – Sweden has one of the highest union membership rates in the world, with nearly 70% of Sweden’s working population belonging to a union. Union membership offers a wide range of benefits for its members, with the exact terms and conditions varying depending on the service provider. Unions are also connected to the unemployment insurance fund which is very important to join once you've started working.
Recreational and leisure activities, civil society
Sweden has a long tradition of civil society organizations, associations and churches. Those have different focus or interests and can facilitate to integrate in society.