Non-EU students’ pre-arrival guide: five practical tips to ensure you arrive smoothly at Stockholm

I assume that by this time, you have already accepted your place at KI. If not, check out the top 5 things to do after the admission results, which will guide you into accepting your place. For non EU students, planning your move to Stockholm might be confusing as there might be a lot of information influx these days. So, without trying to make you overwhelmed with more information, here is the practical tips that you can start immediately to ensure that you will arrive and settle smoothly at Stockholm.

1. Apply early for your Residence Permit


Apply early for your residence permit. Image by tigerlily713 from Pixabay

The time for you to get the decision for the permit could be varied, from one to several months. The time could be longer if the migration agency needs you to clarify, add, or change one or more of your supporting documents. To avoid this, make sure that you comply to all the required documents and fill in the application form correctly. By receiving the residence permit decision earlier could be beneficial as you can plan for your next steps, such as purchasing your flight tickets, time of your arrival, and so on.

2. Book your biometric recording time without waiting for the Residence Permit decision


Get your biometric recorded ASAP. Image by Kurious from Pixabay

Usually, after your application of the residence permit is granted, your will be contacted to do the biometric recording at the Swedish embassy office that you had chosen when applying. This will include photographing you, recording your fingerprints and signature. Some of the Swedish embassy offices allow the applicant to do the biometric recording even before the decision for the residence permit is decided. This is to cut the length of the processing time thus ensuring you to get your residence permit card faster. Contact the Swedish embassy office in your country for more information.

3. Pre-fill the Personnummer application form


Fill your form beforehand. Image by free stock photos from from Pixabay

For you who are admitted to the two-year programme, you are then entitled for being registered in the Swedish population registry and acquire your personnummer (identification and social security number). This process is carried out in the Skatterverket (tax agency office). You can fill the form in your home country and then bring it to apply for you personnummer after you have arrived at Stockholm. Having the pre-filled form will save you a lot of queueing time in the office and you can immediately submit the form along with the supplying documents. By doing this, I spent only around 10 minutes in my first visit to the Skatteverket to get my application submitted. Acquiring the personnummer is utmost important as it will open up your access to many services, such as opening a bank account, queueing on certain accomodation providers, etc.

4. Plan how you’ll travel from airport to the city


Plan how you’ll travel to the city.

There are several options for you to reach the city center from the Arlanda airport. You can use the Arlanda express train, the Flygbussarna bus, or the public transportation (bus then continue by train). Each with different price and travel time. The first two are faster but more costly, while the last is more cost-effective. You can buy your ticket before you arrive, if you choose Arlanda express or the Flygbussarna.

5.Use the KI’s pick up service

Arriving at a new city could be confusing. But rest assure, as Karolinska Institutet provides you with the pick-up service. By using the service, upon your arrival at Stockholm, you will be welcomed by a KI’s student who will escort you to your accommodation. I used the service last year and I found the student picking me (and my family) up was very helpful and informative, guiding us through the first hours in Stockholm.


Use KI’s pick up service instead. Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

Don’t forget to check on KI’s website for more information on planning your arrival.

See you soon at KI!


LinkedIn: Winner Ng



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