27 Dec, 2017
Age: 31
Status: on extended work permit

Why did you move to Sweden?

I moved to Sweden because I got a job here.

When did you move to Sweden?

In 2013

What do you wish you knew about Sweden, when you first moved here?

It was not my first visit to Sweden. I was in Sweden many times before. I travelled to business trips and stayed in Stockholm for approx 6 months before I came permanently. But I wish I knew the migration law better before I moved permanently.

What’s your favourite part about living in Sweden?

I really like that there is a good balance between work and life, low mortgage rate. People at work are much more committed to what they are doing.

And another important thing is that nobody is interested in your private life. There is a high level of social security, for example, good unemployment payments, possibility to save good pension. There are a lot of foreigners coming to Sweden so this is a good possibility to meet people from around the world.

Of course, this is subjective because I compare this with my home country.

What has surprised you about living in Sweden?

It was possible to buy an apartment with only 5% down payment and very low interest rate for the 95% of mortgage. There is a strict control about your behaviour in the apartment. There is a book about what to do and not to do and you cannot even put a carpet in front of your door. Medical system is completely different from Russian.

What do you struggle with the most in Sweden?

Finding apartment to rent was really challenging! And another challenge was to get extension of my work and residence permit.

Do you speak Swedish? Do you think it’s necessary to learn Swedish in Sweden?

I can speak Swedish and I continue studying it but I think it is not necessary to learn Swedish as long as your employer/colleagues don’t force you.

Did you find it difficult to make friends in Sweden when you first moved here? If so, why? If not, why not?

I think the main difficulty is that we have different mentality and we were brought up on a totally different way. I do have friends here but still I have stronger connection with people who came to Sweden from Russia or former Soviet Union countries.

What advice would you give to someone moving to Sweden?

Be ready to high prices, low availability of apartments to rent, think in advance about bank loan if you are going to stay for a long time (good option to move alone first, get bank loan and buy an apartment and after that bring family). Double check with the lawyer which requirements for work and residence permit must be fulfilled in order to get extension.

What do you wish you knew about Sweden before you moved here?

I regret that I did not pay enough attention to the migration law and I did not know how important it is to fullfill all requirements for work and residence permit application.

Migration Agency
Written by Nicola Owen