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Traveler Access

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: http://travel.state.gov/travel/

January 17, 2014

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Stockholm

Dag Hammarskjölds Väg 31,
SE-115 89 Stockholm, Sweden

Telephone: (46) (8) 783-5300

Emergency Telephone: (46) (8) 783-5300

Fax: (46) (8) 783-5480
stkacsinfo@state.gov

Country Description

Sweden is a highly developed, stable democracy with a modern economy. Swedish is the official language, but English is well-spoken throughout the country. Read the Department of State Fact Sheet on Sweden for additional information on U.S.-Sweden relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements

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 with a valid U.S. passport without obtaining a visa. 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.

Contact the Swedish Embassy at 901 30th Street NW, Washington, DC 20007, tel: (202) 467-2600 (mailing address: 2900 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20007), or the Swedish Consulate General in New York at (212) 583-2550 for the most current visa information. Sweden's Migration Board (Migrationsverket) also provides visa information. For tourist information, visit Sweden’s Tourist Board website.

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

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.

Safety and Security

Sweden has been subject to terrorist incidents in the recent 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 allow the possibility of terrorist groups to enter and exit the country with anonymity. You should remain vigilant and exercise caution.

To stay connected

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook;
Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution;
Follow the U.S. Embassy in Sweden on Twitter and visiting the Embassy’s website.
In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the U.S. and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
Download our free Smart Traveler App, available through the iTunes store and the Google Play store, to have travel information at your fingertips;
Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.

CRIME:


Sweden has a low crime rate, though violent crime does occur on occasion. Most crimes involve the theft of personal property from cars or residences or in public areas. Pickpockets and purse-snatchers are becoming more prevalent. Many U.S. citizens fall victim to these highly-skilled thieves, especially at the main train stations in Stockholm and Gothenburg, and while riding the bus or train to and from airports. Do not put any bags containing valuables, such as your passport, down on the ground. Thieves particularly like computer bags. Pickpockets and purse-snatchers often work in pairs or groups so one can distract the victim while the other grabs the items; often, they operate in or near major tourist attractions such as Stockholm's Old Town, and 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 unsuspecting tourists and business travelers. Don’t leave your valuables in parked vehicles.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal to bring back into the United States, if you purchase them, you may also be breaking local law.

VICTIMS OF CRIME:

If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:

Replace a stolen passport;
 Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape;
 Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, we can contact family members or friends; and
 Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

Sweden has a limited compensation program for victims of violent, personal, and property crime. Foreign citizens who are victims of crime on Swedish territory are eligible to apply for compensation, but if the victim and offender are not residents of Sweden, compensation may not be awarded even though the crime occurred on Swedish soil. The Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority is responsible for matters concerning criminal injuries compensation and it administers the Crime Victim Fund. Application forms in English are available at local police stations and other government agencies. Claimants are generally notified of the program's decision within four months.

Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Sweden is 112.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

CRIMINAL PENALTIES:

While you are traveling in Sweden, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs in Sweden are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. There is no bail system in Sweden, and U.S. citizens who are arrested may be held in custody until the trial is complete. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States.

If you break local laws in Sweden, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not at your destination.

Arrest notifications in host country: While some countries will automatically notify the U.S. Embassy if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the U.S. Embassy as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

We are not aware of any special currency or customs restrictions for Sweden.

If you are a women traveling abroad, please review our travel tips on the Women Travelers page.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) RIGHTS:  There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBT events in Sweden.  For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Sweden, you may review the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012.  For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our LGBT Travel Information page.

ACCESSIBILITY:

Accessibility to public facilities and transportation in Sweden is good, particularly in newer buildings and the public transportation systems. The Swedish government continues to implement improvements throughout the city. The government actively implements and 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.
Health

Medical care in Sweden is comparable to that found in the United States. The Swedish medical system is state-run, so instead of visiting a local private general practitioner, you can visit a local medical center or clinic, called an "Akutmottagning" or "Vardcentral." You should be prepared to present your passport. The Swedish medical system does not cover people who don’t live in Sweden; nonresidents are expected to pay their own medical costs. In case of a medical emergency, use the emergency telephone number "112" to contact the appropriate emergency service.

If you have special needs, you should consult your personal physician and take appropriate precautions, including bringing adequate supplies of necessary medication. You can bring medicines into the country as long as they are intended for a medical reason and your personal use. Medications categorized as narcotics may only be brought into the country to cover your personal use for a maximum of five days, three weeks, or three months, depending on the type, and must be accompanied by a note from your medical doctor stating why you need them. Class II and Class III narcotics may only be brought into Sweden to cover your personal use for a maximum of five days each time you enter Sweden. Medications categorized Class IV and Class V narcotics may be brought into the country to cover your personal use for three weeks, however if you are a foreign resident and in Sweden only temporarily, you may bring enough for the duration of your stay in Sweden, up to a maximum of three months. To find out the classification of your medication contact the Medical Products Agency in Sweden.

In addition, stringent Swedish customs regulations prohibit travelers from receiving drugs from abroad after having arrived in the country. You may find local physicians reluctant to prescribe equivalent quantities or dosages. Prescriptions are dispensed at pharmacies called "Apotek" in Swedish. Most pharmacies are open only during normal shopping hours, but major cities will have a 24-hour pharmacy.

You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions, on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which also contains additional health information, including detailed country-specific health information.

Travel & Transportation

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS:

While in Sweden, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. You can use a valid U.S. driver's license while visiting Sweden, but you must be at least 18 years old to drive. Driving is on the right in Sweden as in the United States. Road signs use standard international symbols and Swedish text. Many urban streets have traffic lanes reserved for public transportation only. Swedish roads are comparable to those in the United States, though secondary roads may be less heavily traveled. The secondary routes often narrow to two lanes with a wider shoulder. Slower vehicles are expected to move onto the shoulder to allow faster moving vehicles to pass. 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. Gas stations in rural areas can be far apart. Some gas stations are unattended and require a credit card with a chip to purchase fuel; some U.S. banks will issue this type of card upon request. You must use seat belts, and children under 135cm (4.45ft) in height must be seated in approved child or booster seats. 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. The rules are strictly enforced and fines can be severe, including possible jail sentences.  

Public transport in Sweden is the recommended method of 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.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Also, we suggest that you visit the website of Sweden’s national tourist office and the Swedish National Road Authority Administration.

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.

Otterbein University Center for International Education & Global Engagement