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16 February, 2019

Brexit: Comments & Survival Kit

If you are one of the 20 000 of the Brits living in Sweden and you want to know what is going on with Brexit, learn about the proposed agreement between the Swedish government and the UK and see what will it mean in practice. 

All the information comes from Migrationverket and The Local Sweden

Healthcare & Driving License

It’s very difficult that nobody knows what will happen even though there is only a few weeks to go. It looks as though the British government will take negotiations right to the line, so the uncertainty will continue until the last minute, and may then just be extended. How can Brits living in Sweden plan to manage the risks when nobody knows what the future arrangements will be?

It is frustrating that British people living in other EU countries seem to be low on the priority list for the British government. The whole situation is really worrying, and I don’t know if it is a better strategy to try not to think about it or to be informed.

Personally, I’m trying to sort out every last bit of administration in case the rules for things like healthcare and driving licence become more restrictive after March 29th. It does seem like the Swedish government is putting in place detailed plans to mitigate the worst aspects of a No Deal Brexit for Brits living here, which provides some relief.

Loretta Platts, 34, Kungsholmen, Stockholm, moved to Sweden four years ago

According to The Local Sweden ‘Under the proposed withdrawal agreement, Brits already living in Sweden, as well as those who move there before the end of the transition period on December 30th, 2020, would retain many of their current rights. This would include the right to study in Sweden without paying third country fees, the right to work without a work permit, and the right to healthcare subsidized at the same level as for native Swedes.’ Unfortunately, there is no clear information about driving in Sweden, although, as the UK is a member of EEA, the European driving licences should remain valid (there is also an exception for three countries that are the members of EFTA: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (normally the driving licences from outside of Europe remain valid only for one year)).

Work

I think my main concern is that with all the confusion surrounding Brexit, the various government agencies in Sweden will not be well aligned and their employees won’t be fully or properly informed on the nuances of our situation. This could cause a lot of headaches because satisfying the requirements of one agency won’t necessarily mean you satisfy the requirements of others.

Andrew Gomes, a member of a group British in Sweden

I worry about different government agencies giving you a different answer or result when you apply. I worry that nothing has been announced and we still don’t know what we have to apply for and how much that will cost. 

I worry (as a non-working ‘trailing spouse’) that I will be affected and no longer have a place here in Sweden. Worried that if Britain imposes a minimum £30K income on immigrants to Britain that will happen here. I’m lucky my husband has a good job in an industry they have a shortage of workers in Sweden but others will not be so lucky. 
I also worry about healthcare and having to get private insurance as I have pre-existing conditions. 

I worry if we get a years period to regularise our permits/residency that the Migrationsverket will be up to the task and actually process us all and send out our permits within that time. 

I’m worried that as I’m not married to a Swede but another Brit that I will be deemed less important and deemed to not have sufficient links to Sweden.

Basically A LOT of worry and stress that has been going on for 2.5yrs+ and is an intolerable way to live. 

Hate Brexit. Hate the causes of Brexit and want it to all just stop. 

According to the Swedish Government proposal, you’ll automatically have the right to stay and work in Sweden without a residence and work permit for a transitional period of one year. The premise is that you were a resident in Sweden at the time of withdrawal and had a right of residence and that you continue to fulfill the conditions that apply to your previous right of residence.

Anonymous

Travel

We have been concerned as we have a wedding on the 30th of March in the UK. At this point, we don’t know if we will be allowed back into the country. We are 80% sure that it will be OK. But, if we need a permit, it most likely will not arrive in time. We plan on getting an international driving permit just incase as well and extra travel insurance.

A research scientist who has lived in Sweden for 3 years with a Scottish wife and a son born in Sweden

As a British citizen, you’ll have the right to continue travelling in and out of Sweden as before, but you’ll need proof that you are covered by the exemption rules. The proof will be entered into your passport and it’ll be used when you’ll cross the border when returning to Sweden. You will be able to apply for the certificate with the Swedish Migration Board if the Government’s proposal will be accepted.

According to the proposal, only British citizens will be covered by this rule, which means that family members who are not British citizens will not be able to obtain such evidence.

Let us know in the comments if you have any more doubts. I would also like to thank you, the members of the group “British in Sweden”, for accepting me to your group, answering my questions and helping me to write this article.


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Ada Juraś on Instagram
Ada Juraś
My name is Ada and I come from Poland where I study Linguistics for business. I am passionate about Swedish art, design, politics and culture. I've been living in Östermalm in Stockholm since 2017.
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