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Family life in Stockholm
Photo: Helén Pe
Categories: Before

Bringing your family

Publish date: 26 January 2021

There are a few things to bear in mind before moving to Stockholm with your partner or other family members.

Learn Swedish – for free!

Swedes are happy to speak English, but not being able to speak Swedish might make it harder to find a job. SFI (Svenska För Invandrare or Swedish For Immigrants) is a free Swedish language course for non-native speakers living in Sweden. We recommend that you get started with SFI as soon as possible. Also, take a look at SIFA (Stockholm Intense Swedish for Academics).

Help partners get settled

Arriving in a new city as the partner of someone who has moved to Stockholm for work presents a unique set of challenges. One organization working actively to assist job-seeking newcomers is Stockholm Academic Forum, which runs the Stockholm Dual Career Network, a non-profit network for the partners and spouses of international talent.

A very family-friendly city

Stockholm is an excellent place to be both a parent and a child. Discover 10 things that make Sweden family-friendly, from tax-funded schooling to baby-friendly public spaces.

Good to know

Like adults, children also need personal identity numbers.

Work and residence permits for family members

Family ties include spouses, common-law spouses, registered partners, and either your or your partner's unmarried children under the age of 21.

EU/EEA citizens

Family members who are EU/EEA citizens can move to Stockholm without applying for a permit. For more information, please visit the Swedish Migration Agency's website.

Non-EU citizens

If you are granted a permit to work in Stockholm, your family members who come from a non-EU country may also apply for residence permits for the same length of time. In order for the residence permits to be granted, you must be able to demonstrate that you can support your family in Sweden through work, studies or with sufficient means. If your permit is valid for at least six months, members of your family can also obtain work permits.

For more information about the application process, please visit the Swedish Migration Agency's website.

Childcare and schools

Childcare services are available for all children aged one and over, provided they have a Swedish personal identity number. Parents pay a fee based on household income and the child’s attendance. Get in touch with your local municipality (kommun) for more information.

Between ages 6-16, children go to compulsory comprehensive school. After completing the ninth grade, 90% continue to a three-year upper secondary school (gymnasium) with most programs leading to a vocational diploma and to qualifications for studies at a university or university college (högskola). All education provided by the state is free.

Contact your local municipality (kommun) or district (stadsdelsförvaltning) in Stockholm for more information about schools with other language profiles.

International schools in Stockholm

Stockholm has a number of international schools. Grow Internationals has pulled together plenty of useful information including a list of international schools in Stockholm.

Parental leave

Sweden has one of the most generous parental leave (föräldraledighet) systems in the world. Parents are granted 480 days of leave per child, and 420 of these days are paid at a rate of 80% of your salary up to a limit of SEK 910 a day.

To qualify for basic benefits (180 SEK a day for 480 days) you need to be a legal resident of Sweden. It’s not your employer who covers the cost of your parental leave benefit but the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan).

Försäkringskassan offers more information on parental leave.

Swedish terms you should be aware of:

  • Parental leave = föräldraledighet
  • Maternity leave = mammaledighet
  • Paternity leave = pappaledighet

A practical guide to smooth your move to Stockholm