International Staff Support
Welcome to LiU!
LiU welcomes international staff and visitors to the university and our four campuses.
Before you arrive in Sweden
All the information that you need before you arrive.
Life in Sweden
In southern Sweden, the winters are shorter than in most other areas of Sweden, but nevertheless quite cold. Summer temperatures are normally 20-25° C. Due to the high latitude, we have very long hours of daylight in the summer and few hours of daylight in the winter.
Sweden is known for being a modern and safe country with a reputation for being competitive and innovative. It has one of the highest standards of living in the world and a respected system of democracy, individual rights and equal opportunities. Most Swedes are able to speak English.
The official website of Sweden
The Insider's Guide to Moving and Living in Sweden
Coming to Sweden
Prepare for your stay
If you only plan to stay in Sweden for a few months Swedish banks may be hesitant to open a bank account. It might be easier to use your bank account from your home country or a neobank account and preferably a Visa or Mastercard. The Swedish currency is called SEK and Sweden is mostly a cash-less society. Please be aware that many banks in Sweden no longer handle cash. However, you still have the option to withdraw cash in ATM's.
If you are staying for a longer period you will have the option to create a Swedish bank account. More information is available under the heading "Banks and how to pay your bills".
Linköping and Norrköping are situated 200/160 km south-west of Stockholm, in the county of Östergötland. Both cities are conveniently located close to airports.
Is located close to Linköping city, only 10 minutes away from the city centre by car.
Is easy to reach and provides good connections to both Norrköping city centre and Linköping.
Arlanda Airport, Stockholm
Arlanda is the biggest airport in Sweden. The easiest way to travel from Arlanda to Linköping/Norrköping is by train. It takes about 2-3 hours and there are several direct trains every day.
Skavsta Airport, Nyköping
The airport is located in Nyköping, between Stockholm and Norrköping. If you arrive at Skavsta you can catch an airport bus that will easily take you to Norrköping or Linköping.
Kastrup Airport, Copenhagen, Denmark
If you arrive at Kastrup Airport, it is possible to take a direct train from Copenhagen to Linköping and Norrköping.
Read more in the article on LiU's website: How to get to Campus
Residence and work permits
The Migration Agency is the authority that considers applications from people who want to apply for permanent residency or who want to work in Sweden. Make sure you apply early as the application process can take a long time. It is recommended to apply online using the Migration Agency website to receive a decision sooner, provided you have submitted all the required documents and paid the applicable fees.
More information about permits, visas, application forms and the time for a decision can be found at the Swedish Migration Agency's website.
Read more: The Swedish Migration Agency
Read more: Time to a decision
EU/EEA citizensAs an EU/EEA citizen, you have the right to work in Sweden without a work or residence permit. The same applies to your family members if they join you. You and your family members are entitled to begin working immediately. There is no need to register your right of residency in Sweden.
Read more: Work, study, or live in Sweden for EU/EEA citizens
If you are a citizen of a non-EU country and want to work in Sweden, you might need to obtain a work permit. You must have been offered a job before you can obtain one. However, you do not need to apply for a work permit if you:
- Have a permanent residence permit.
- Have a residence permit to attend a college or university as a guest student or PhD student.
- Have a special residence permit to work as a visiting researcher (see below).
- If you stay less than three months in a 12-month period.
- If you obtain a permit for more than three months you will also receive a residence permit card. The card, which is proof that you have the right to be in Sweden, contains your photo and fingerprints.
If you need a travel visa to enter Sweden and you have received the residence permit decision, it can take up to four weeks to produce the card. The card contains your photograph and fingerprints, which will be obtained from the embassy or consulate where you applied for your residence permit. You cannot enter the Schengen area without this card.
If you do not need a visa to enter Sweden and you have received the residence permit decision, you should, as soon as possible after your arrival in Sweden visit the Swedish Migration Agency to have your picture and fingerprints taken for the permit card. You may also need a transit visa for countries outside the Schengen area on the way to Sweden. It will be sent to your home address in Sweden in approximately one week.
Read more: Work permit for employees and citizens of non-EU countries
Special rules apply if you plan to stay as a visiting researcher. You do not need a work permit if you stay less than three months, however, citizens of certain countries require a visa (read more about visas below). If you intend to stay longer than three months you need to apply for a residence permit as a researcher and you need to have a hosting agreement. Please contact your host university who will arrange this for you.
If you will stay longer than 90 days and will research less than 50% of your employment, Linköping University will assist you with your application for a work permit at The Swedish Migration Agency.
If you will research more than 50% of your employment you must apply for a permit for researchers.
Read more: Residence permits for researchers
Read more: Residence permits for family members
As a PhD student who has been admitted to full-time studies at a Swedish university you have to apply for a residence permit for doctoral studies.
Read more: Residence permit for doctoral studies
Read more: Permits for family members
An entry visa is required for researchers and employees from certain countries. You must have received the decision for the entry visa before entering the Schengen area including Sweden.
Read more: List of foreign citizens who require a visa for entry into Sweden
Read more: Visit Sweden for less than 90 days
Health care and social insurance
To receive more information about health care and social insurance in Sweden, please download information from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency or read more on 1177 Vårdguiden,
Read more: The Swedish Social Insurance Agency - moving to Sweden
Read more: 1177 Vårdguiden.
EU citizensTo receive health care you need to obtain a European Health Insurance Card from your home country. You need to bring the card with you when seeking medical attention in Sweden to show that you are covered by health insurance, otherwise you will have to cover the costs yourself.
Entitlement to benefits, sickness benefits and parental benefits, through the Swedish social security system, varies depending on whether you are employed and pay taxes in Sweden. To receive benefits, you need to have a Swedish personal identity number organised by The Swedish Taxation Office and be registered at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency.
Read more: EU citizens social insurance
Read more: Personal identity number
Read more: The Swedish Social Insurance Agency
Non-EU citizensStaying less than one year
If your residence permit is for less than one year, you will not obtain a Swedish personal identity number, but instead you can apply for a coordination number at the Swedish Tax Agency.
Since you are not eligible for Swedish healthcare benefits, you must make arrangements for health insurance coverage for your stay in Sweden before you arrive. Linköping University has a group insurance for foreign visitors which may cover you for emergency care. Enquire with your Department at the University if this insurance applies to you.
Read more: Coordination number
Read more: Group insurance for foreign visitors
Staying one year or longer
If you have a residence permit for a year or more, you are eligible for health care benefits. However, you need to register at the Swedish Tax Agency and at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency.
If you receive a scholarship, you will not be required to pay taxes in Sweden. Therefore, you are ineligible for Swedish social security benefits even if you reside in Sweden for longer than a year. It is advisable to ensure you have a comprehensive health insurance policy and travel insurance if you intend to travel.
Read more: Moving to Sweden
Read more: The Swedish Social Insurance Agency
If you are moving together with your family, there are several aspects to consider. What insurance and other rights apply to the family members? Do you have children in need of child-care or schooling?
Residence permits for family members
The first thing to check is if a residence permit is needed. EU citizens are free to enter Sweden and can stay here and look for a job or study. If the stay is planned to be longer than one year a Swedish personal identity number is needed.
For non-EU members, some citizens will need a permit to enter Sweden. If the stay is longer than three months a residence permit is required.
Read more: Permits for a family member of a person who has a work permit
Read more: Permits for family members of a person with a residence permit for studies
During the journey from your home country to Sweden all employees, scholars and accompanying family are covered by group insurance with The Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency in Sweden. If you intend to stay for a longer period of time, it is advisable to ensure that you have extended insurance coverage for travel and medical care.
Read more: Insurance for foreign visitors
Children can attend childcare from the age of one. School is compulsory from the age of six in Sweden. You need to contact the municipality of Linköping or Norrköping upon arrival to enrol the children in child-care or schooling.
Read more: Swedish school system - Linköping
Read more: Swedish school system - Norrköping
EURAXESS web portalThe web portal is a platform for researchers, entrepreneurs, universities and businesses to interact with each other on a global scale. The portal proposes registered users with matching collaboration, job and hosting opportunities and introduces a funding database, where research funding agencies are invited to enter national research funding opportunities.
Accommodation and home insurance
Finding a house or an apartment to rent in Linköping or Norrköping can be challenging, especially at the start of the semester in August/September as well as in January. Well in advance of your arrival, it is advised you contact different housing companies or private landlords to begin the search for accommodation.
As it might be difficult to find a long-term solution straight away, it can be a good idea to find a short-term solution, to begin with. It might not be the type of accommodation you were expecting or in the area you prefer, but remember that it is temporary and that you will find it easier to find something more suitable for you long-term once you are in Sweden. Also remember that housing in Sweden is costly, and most people spend a large part of their income on housing.
Many housing companies have a queue system where you collect points for each day you are registered in the system. Often you can register from your home country. It is advisable to register early in order to receive as many points as possible. These accommodations are usually unfurnished and the contracts are until further notice.
Another option can be to rent an already furnished accommodation. This is often done through private landlords or furnished housing companies. The prices tend to be slightly higher as they are furnished and water, electricity and wi-fi are included. This can still be a good option for the first month or so, as it is easier to find permanent accommodation once you have arrived in Linköping or Norrköping.
Available accommodation from LiU
LiU is able to provide accommodation for a limited number of international staff. The accommodation is suitable for one to two-person occupancy, however, the accommodation is only furnished for one person. If you are interested to know more, please contact email@example.com
It is important that you apply for home insurance once you have moved into your accommodation. It is common to have home insurance in Sweden to protect your personal belongings and avoid costs related to property damage, such as those caused by fire, flooding or plumbing failures - in Sweden property damage is the tenant's responsibility. There are a number of different insurance companies in Sweden and you are to select the one you prefer. Use a search engine online and search for "home insurance" or "hemförsäkring" to find a suitable option. The price is calculated based on the accommodation type, size and value of your belongings.
Unfurnished apartmentsIf you intend to stay in Sweden for a longer period of time it might be a good idea to rent an unfurnished apartment. Some landlords require that you have a certain amount of points in a queue system to be able to rent an apartment. Some landlords have a system where you apply for an apartment and the landlord decides who gets to rent it.
Furnished apartmentsA furnished apartment can be a good choice if you are staying for a shorter period of time or if you need something until you find a more permanent solution. These apartments are a bit more expensive than living in your own apartment but can be cheaper than staying at a hotel if you intend to stay for a couple of weeks. The apartments are fully furnished and some have a cleaning service which is included in the price.
Furnished apartment providers:
LiU is coordinating the EURAXESS Sweden network
Since January 2023, LiU is coordinating the EURAXESS Sweden network and collaboration project and will hold the role for three years.
When you arrive in Sweden
At the university
Our campusesLiU has four campuses: Campus Valla and University Hospital Campus in Linköping, Campus Norrköping, and Campus Lidingö in Stockholm.
Internet and e-mailLiU offers students and employees a wireless internet connection at its campuses.
EduroamEduroam is a global partnership of academic institutions that facilitates the sharing of wireless networks. A student or employee of a participating university can log in by using the home username to the wireless network at all other participating eduroam institutions.
The LiU card is a campus card for students and employees with multiple functions. The card can be used as an access card on the campuses, as a borrower’s card at all LiU libraries to obtain print-outs and copying services, and for in-service travel on the campus bus.
Authorised access to premises and the information about you will remain active as long as you are a co-worker (or registered student) at LiU.
There are several different unions you can join as a staff member at LiU. Here are some examples of unions that are active at LiU:
The Swedish Association of University Teachers and Researchers (SULF) is a non-political organisation and the only professional and union association that is completely dedicated to the professional and work-related issues of doctoral candidates, research staff and university teachers. They negotiate, inform, debate and influence the development of higher education and research.
Read more: The Swedish Association of University Teachers and Researchers
Saco, the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations, is a politically independent central organisation with 21 unions. Saco promotes its members' interests and supports its unions through analyses, debates and shaping opinion. The confederation conducts studies and publishes reports, arranges seminars and activities, and participates in many different contexts in order to influence political decision-making.
Read more: Saco
Fackförbundet ST (the Union of Civil Servants) is Sweden’s only union that solely focuses on organising employees within state agencies. ST is convinced that everyone benefit from being members in the same union rather than belonging to different unions based on profession.
Read more: Fackförbundet ST
Swedish population register
Linköping (only in Swedish)
Norrköping (only in Swedish)
Prepare for your visit to the service officeTo ensure that your visit to the service office goes as quickly and as smoothly as possible, you should use the moving to Sweden service before your visit. In this service you go through several steps, and you will get information about all the required documents you need to bring to the office depending on your citizenship or if you move with or move in with a family member.
When you are registered in the Swedish population register you will receive a Swedish personal identity number.
Read more: Moving to Sweden service
It is recommended that you apply for an ID card when you receive your personal identity number. The ID card can be used to identify yourself and to receive medical care. The ID card is issued by the Swedish Tax Agency, and you apply at the service office. You have the opportunity to book a meeting online.
Read more: Book a meeting online
Health and medical care
Medical Information Services: dial 1177For the Medical Information Service dial 1177 or visit 1177 website. This is a 24-hour provider of free health care information and consultation with a registered nurse.
Read more: 1177 website
In case of an emergency: dial 112The emergency number for ambulance, police and rescue and fire brigade is 112. You will be asked to explain what has happened and to state your location. You can also download the app SOS Alarm.
PharmaciesNon-prescription medicines such as aspirin and cough syrup are sold at pharmacies, supermarkets, grocery stores and petrol stations. Prescription medicines can only be obtained from a pharmacy.
DentistsAll medical districts have a dental service, usually located in the same area as the health care centres. There are also a wide range of private dentists you can choose if you need to. Dental care costs are partially subsidised once you are registered with the Swedish social insurance system.
Read more: Dental care in Sweden
Read more: Dental care subsidy
As soon as you get your Swedish personal identity number ask the Swedish Tax Agency for an "A-skattesedel" (in Swedish) and give it to the Payroll Office, Building D, Campus Valla.
Everyone who lives and works in Sweden must declare their taxes each year. The tax return form is sent out to all eligible individuals each year. It is your responsibility to return the tax form by the firm deadline set by the Swedish Tax Agency. There are some exceptions to the regular tax system and tax relief for key foreign employees.
Income taxes are always automatically submitted to the tax authority since employers are obliged to deduct taxes from your salary directly. It is advised you seek information about any tax treaties between your home country and Sweden. If you are on a fellowship, you do not pay income taxes.
Key foreign employees - executives, experts, researchers, and persons with special skills that are not available in Sweden - may qualify for a tax break. More information is available at The Taxation of Research Workers Board. You must apply within three months after the start of employment. There is also a special income tax for non-residents (SINK).
Read more: The Taxation of Research Workers Board
Read more: Swedish Tax Agency - Working in Sweden
Read more: SINK - special income tax for non-residents
Banks and how to pay bills
Staying in Sweden for a shorter periodIf you only plan to stay in Sweden for a few months Swedish banks may be hesitant to open a bank account. It might be easier to use your bank account and bank card from your home country, preferably a Master or Visa card. This may result in currency exchange charges for transactions made in Sweden. You can withdraw cash in all ATM's and make your purchases with the bank card.
Another alternative is a neobank that provides online banking services through a partnership with an established bank. Neobanks are virtual banks that offer complete banking services via digital platforms like mobile applications. If you do not have a Swedish personal identity number, you still have the opportunity to apply for a neobank account and receive a bank card, some without a fee. Before you apply, make sure the neobank offers payment solutions that allow you to pay your bills in Sweden.
Staying in Sweden for a longer period
If you will stay for a longer period, you are legally allowed to open a bank account in Sweden. Banks cannot demand you have a Swedish personal identity number or a coordination number to open a bank account. You can choose between online and physical banks. Customers without a personal identity number are offered an account with limited features such as:
• Bank account.
• Online banking with payment service.
• Electronic bank card.
Due to strict regulations, it can take some effort to open a bank account in Sweden. You should make sure you bring an international bank card to be able to cover your expenses. Banks are by law required to check the identities of customers and must make sure there is no suspicion of money laundering, bribery, or other financial crimes. The bank will ask several questions to find out if you are a secure customer. Some questions might seem unnecessary and private, but it is very important that you answer all questions truthfully.
Each Swedish bank sets its own routines and rules for opening an account and you can prepare by reading on their webpage what documents they request.
To open an account, the following normally must be provided:
- A valid passport.
- Employment contract, acceptance letter or certificate of studies and documents must contain information about the intended stay.
- Your Swedish work permit or Swedish residence permit.
- Proof of residence such as rental agreement, electric bill, or a C/O address.
Staying in Sweden for one year or longer
If you plan to stay longer than a year you have access to features such as BankID, which makes it possible for you to sign transactions and documents digitally instead of signing and sending documents. Your personal identity number and Swedish ID must be ready before you can apply for a full account. You organise this in person at a bank branch, since 1 October 2021 it is no longer possible to apply for a BankID at an online bank with a non-national ID or passport.
Available banks with branch offices in Linköping and Norrköping
If the bank denies you to hand in an application or open a bank account
If a bank refuses you to hand in an application because you do not have a personal identification number or coordination number or denies you a bank account, contact the complaints department of the bank. It is within your rights to have the refusal reassessed. You should receive written information about where you can file a complaint and how you can get it legally evaluated, by the National Board of Consumer Complaints.
Read more: National Board for Consumer Disputes (ARN) - Swedish consumer laws.
Register your account number with Swedbank as soon as you have started your employment
In order to ensure that your salary (or other reimbursements) is paid into the correct account, you must, as soon as you get your LiU-id, register your account number with Swedbank. You must do this, no matter which bank you use. If this is not done, there is a risk that you will receive your salary in the form of a giro form. Remember that you must personally be the account holder (or joint account holder) of the account you register.
Swedbank account registration (pdf)
I want to register my account number on a form (pdf). Applies to those with a foreign account. Send the form to Linköping University, Payroll Office, 581 83 Linköping or leave it to the Payroll Office in D Building, Campus Valla.
If you do not have or are waiting for a Swedish bank account it is good to have money transferred to the bank account you used before you got here. You can also get your paycheck as a check. Once you have arranged a Swedish bank account you can go to your bank and deposit your check there. If you use your bank account in your home country contact the Payroll Office through firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you get your Swedish personal identity number, send the document, with the Swedish personal identity number to Linköping University, Payroll Office, 581 83 Linköping or you can hand it over directly to the Payroll Office in Building D, Campus Valla. Also register your bank account number at Swedbank (read instructions above) or visit a Swedbank or Sparbank office and give them the details of your bank account.
Before you leave Sweden, remember to cancel your bank account. Contact your bank to make an agreement about the closing date and to plan the final transactions. Banks are not allowed to close bank accounts with money and want to avoid small amounts of money left in your account. It might also be difficult to get access to the money if you do not have BankID and cannot visit the bank in person.
How to pay rent and bills
Rent in Sweden is usually paid once a month, in advance for the month to come. If you pay your invoices by an international transaction, make sure to add about a week for the payment to come through. It is important to pay your rent on time to fulfil your part of the contract. If you have a Swedish bank account, you can pay your bills via Internet banking or mobile apps.
Swedish language courses for university employees
The university offers Swedish language courses at the levels A1/A2, B1, B2 and C1. These courses are for university employees only.
Depending on the number of participants the teaching format varies from individual or small-group tutoring to a regular course format.
Please sign up as soon as possible and no later than the following deadlines:
- Spring semester courses: 15 January for the regular spring semester courses and 10 December for the intensive courses in January.
- Autumn semester courses: 18 August for the regular autumn semester courses and 16 June for the intensive courses in August.
The number of participants is limited and applications will be considered in the order they are received. Level placement will be based on the self-estimates of the participants. If you are uncertain of your level please use the contact details in the application form to book a consultation or a level placement test. In case of a lower number of participants, we will try to offer individual or small-group tutoring.
Please use the digital application form. If possible, provide a self-estimate of your previous knowledge of Swedish. If you are not an absolute beginner, please try to describe your language level according to the common reference levels of the European Commission, ranging from A1 to C2.
If you are interested to know more, please use the contact details below.
Learning Swedish for non-employees
Swedish language courses for those not employed, e.g. fellowships, by LiUSFI is a basic, tax-funded Swedish course provided free of charge for those who immigrate to Sweden.
Read more: SFI in Linköping
Folkuniversitet also offers Swedish language courses at different levels. They will charge a course fee.
Read more: Folkuniversitet
Other websites relating to courses in Swedish:
- sweden.se: Learning Swedish
- learningswedish.se: a free online course for beginners
Learning Swedish is a free online course in Swedish for beginners with material for self-study for adult learners. It is your fast track to learning Swedish wherever you live. The course gives basic spoken and written knowledge of the Swedish language, as well as an insight into Swedish culture and society. All instructions are given in English.
- Klartext: news in easy-to-understand Swedish (listening and reading).
Introductory programme for international staff.
Welcome as LiU co-worker! This introductory programme is for anyone who is here for six months or longer and will help you prepare for your stay in Sweden and at LiU. Even if you already have been with LiU for a while, the information here can be very useful.
This part of the introduction programme is digital and consists of episodes from the Podcast “Work at LiU” and a short film. You can go through these at your convenience before you arrive in Sweden.