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Center for International Education
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Country Specific Info.

The United States State Department produces Consular Information Sheets with health, safety and other country information for every country in the world. They are one good source of information, though you should look at multiple sources of information and take your own personal situation into account when selecting a country to study in.

The latest Consular Information Sheet for Sweden is below. We do not take responsibility for this information or edit it in any way. You can access the State Department travel site directly at: https://travel.state.gov/travel/

April 25, 2018

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Stockholm

Dag Hammarskjölds Väg 31,
SE-115 89 Stockholm, Sweden
Telephone: +(46) (8) 783-5300
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(46) (8) 783-5300
Fax: +(46) (8) 783-5480
stkacsinfo@state.gov

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Sweden for information on U.S. - Sweden relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visit the Embassy of Sweden website for the most current visa information.

Sweden is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter Sweden for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay. You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket. For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Sweden.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

Sweden has been subject to terrorist incidents in the past, and the potential for a terrorist incident remains. Like other countries in the Schengen area, Sweden’s open borders with its Western European neighbors could permit terrorist groups to enter and exit the country with anonymity. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.

Crime: Sweden has a low crime rate. Violent crimes, such as homicides and sexual assaults, do occur in Sweden; however, the majority of violent crimes occur in larger cities such as Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmo. Illegal weapons of various types are available in Sweden, as well hand grenades; however armed violence against the public continues to be a rare occurrence. Organized crime groups do commit armed acts against each other.

Most crimes involve the theft of personal property from vehicles, residences, and public areas.
Pickpocketing and petty theft are common in or near major tourist attractions, especially Stockholm’s Old Town, but also at restaurants, amusement parks, museums, bars, and on public transportation, including at airports.
Hotel breakfast rooms and lobbies attract professional, well-dressed thieves who blend in with guests and target purses and briefcases left unguarded by tourists and business travelers.
Do not leave your valuables in parked cars. Do not buy counterfeit or pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are bootlegs illegal to bring back into the United States, but if you purchase them, you may also be breaking local law.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact local police authorities by dialing 112. Crime victims should contact the U.S. Embassy at +(46) (8) 785-5300 after they have contacted local authorities.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

help you find appropriate medical care
assist you in reporting a crime to the police
contact relatives or friends with your written consent
explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
provide a list of local attorneys
provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
provide information on Sweden’s Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority
provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
See the State Department's travel website for Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

There is no provision for bail in Sweden, and U.S. citizens who are arrested may be held in custody until the trial is concluded.

Compulsory Military Service: In March 2017, Sweden reintroduced military conscription for men and women. Enrollment will begin July 1, 2017, and Sweden plans for 4,000 recruits annually in 2018 and 2019. Dual U.S./Swedish citizens are also subject to conscription, although persons who have previously done military service may be excluded from the requirement and should contact the Swedish Ministry of Defense for more information.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

Faith-Based Travel Information
International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
Human Rights Report – see country reports
Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Sweden.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our  Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Accessibility to public facilities and transpotation in Sweden is good. The Swedish Government actively funds programs promoting disability access to streets, public buildings, stores, restaurants, and public transportation. For more information on accessibility in Sweden, visit the Tourist Bureau’s website.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Medical care in Sweden is comparable to that found in the United States. Though it is state-sponsored, it only covers the medical costs of Swedish citizens and residents. Non-residents are expected to pay their own medical costs in full.
You can visit a local medical center or clinic, called an “Akutmottagning” or “Vardcentral.” Be prepared to present your passport.
In case of a medical emergency, dial the emergency telephone number 112.
You can bring personal use medicines into the country. Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Ensure the medication is legal in Sweden. For more information, consult the Medical Products Agency in Sweden.
Stringent Swedish customs regulations prohibit the shipment of drugs to Sweden.
Local physicians may be reluctant to prescribe equivalent quantities or dosages.
Most pharmacies (“Apotek”) are open during normal shopping hours, but major cities will have a 24-hour pharmacy.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Sweden to ensure the medication is legal in Sweden. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

World Health Organization
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Driving is on the right in Sweden, as in the United States.

Swedish roads are comparable to those in the United States, though secondary roads may be less heavily traveled.
Road signs use standard international symbols and Swedish text. Many urban streets have traffic lanes reserved for public transportation only.
All vehicles on the road must have their headlights turned on, no matter the time of day. You must use snow tires between December 1 and March 31, and you should be experienced driving on ice and snow, if you are going to drive in the winter.
You must use seat belts, and children under 135cm (4ft 5 inches) in height must be seated in approved child or booster seats.
Gas stations in rural areas can be far apart. Some stations are unattended and require a credit card with a chip to purchase fuel.
Slower vehicles should move onto the shoulder to allow faster moving vehicles to pass.

Traffic Laws: You can use a valid U.S. driver’s license while visiting Sweden, but you must be at least 18 years old to drive.

The maximum speed limit is 120 kilometers per hour (approximately 75 miles per hour).
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription drugs, is considered a very serious offense. The maximum legal blood-alcohol level is .02% - much lower than in the United States. Swedish police often conduct alcohol tests on roads and highways. Drunk driving rules are strictly enforced, and fines can be severe, including possible jail sentences.

Public Transportation: Public transportation in Sweden is the recommended way to travel.

Passenger trains, intercity buses, and airplanes provide regular service over longer distances. Public transportation in urban centers includes buses, subways, trams, suburban trains, and taxis.
Taxis are more expensive than in major U.S. cities. Most local residents use public transport in Stockholm, as parking can be hard to find and expensive. The bus, train, and subway systems are considered safe. Cyclists are common on many roads, especially in urban areas.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Sweden’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Sweden’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Sweden should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website (https:homeport.uscg.mil), and the NGA broadcast warnings website https://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.portal select “broadcast warnings”.

College of Charleston Center for International Education