The Newbie Guide To the Swedish Authority Jungle 

authority jungle

Figuring out the responsibilities of the different authorities isn’t all that easy. Who is responsible for what? Whom should you turn to with your questions, applications and concerns?

This guide gives you a brief overview of the different (Newbie relevant) authorities and their main responsibilities.

  • Migrationsverket (Migration Agency)
  • Skatteverket (Tax Agency)
  • Arbetsförmedlingen (Public Employment Service)
  • Försäkringskassan (Social Insurance Agency)
  • Skolverket (National Agency for Education)
  • Jordbruksverket (Swedish Board of Agriculture)
  • Tullverket (Swedish Customs)
  • Transportstyrelsen (Transport Agency) & Trafikverket (Transport Administration)
  • Kommunerna (Municipalities)
  • Länsstyrelserna (the County administrative boards)
  • Landstingen (County councils)

Migrationsverket (Migration Agency)

Migrationsverket (Migration Agency) is the authority to turn to if you want to visit, live in or seek asylum in Sweden, or if you want to become a Swedish citizens. Migrationsverket is also responsible for the settlement of certain new arrivals and decides on compensation to municipalities and counties.


Skatteverket (Tax Agency)

Skatteverket (The Tax Agency) is in charge of tax matters but is also responsible for Sweden’s population register. Turn to Skatteverket when you need to do your folkbokföring (registration), apply for a Swedish ID card and last but not least pay your taxes.


Arbetsförmedlingen (Public Employment Service)

Arbetsförmedlingen (the Public Employment Service) is mainly responsible for labour related issues. Arbetsförmedlingen has three main services for Newbies:


Försäkringskassan (Social Insurance Agency)

Försäkringskassan (the social insurance Agency) is in charge for the social insurance in Sweden and their main task is to ensure you get the benefits and allowances you are entitled to. The social insurance covers everyone who lives and works in Sweden.

Försäkringskassan is not always the determining authority (the one taking the actual decision whether or not you are entitled to a benefit or allowance), but is usually the one who pays out the benefits and allowances. Newbie relevant benefits and allowances (among many):


Skolverket (National Agency for Education) 

Skolverket (National Agency for Education) is the central authority for education in Sweden. They offer an English- language guide to the Swedish school system. They also process applications for teachers with foreign qualifications that wish to work in Sweden.

Jordbruksverket (Board of Agriculture)

Jordbruksverket is in charge of agricultural and horticultural matters in Sweden. They are the authority to turn to if you want to bring your dog or cat to Sweden.

Tullverket (Customs)

Tullverket (Customs) is charge of the flows of goods in and out of Sweden. Check with Tullverket when bringing or shipping goods in and out of Sweden. They have a guide in English especially for Newbies.

Transportstyrelsen (Transport Agency) & Trafikverket (Transport Administration) 

Transportstyrelsen and Trafikverket are in charge of everything concerning driving licenses as well as other transport- and traffic-related rules and regulations in Sweden. Visit their common website – körkortsportalen – if you want to find out more.


Kommunerna (the Municipalities)

Kommunerna (the municipalities) fill an important and complex task in Sweden. They are responsible for the SFI teaching, Komvux (adult education) and samhällsorientering (social orientation). Yet, they are also responsible for the receiving and housing of Newbies covered by the law (2000: 1383), and shall if necessary provide practical assistance in connection with the settlement.

The municipalities are furthermore responsible for the financial support of Newbies who are not covered by law (2010:197). You belong to the municipality where you made your registration (folkbokföring).

Your municipality is in charge for:

  • SFI (Swedish teaching)
  • Komvux (Adult education)
  • Samhällsorientering (Social Orientation)
  • Education (child care, preschool, school etc.)
  • Financial support for Newbies who aren’t covered by the law (2010:197)
  • Receiving and Housing of Newbies (covered by the law 200: 1383)

Länsstyrelserna (the County administrative boards)

Länsstyrelserna (the county administrative boards) represent the government in the county. Their task is to coordinate and supervise the work of the different actors and authorities and thereby ensure that national goals and objects are achieved. It is  Länsstyrelserna’s task to ensure that the municipalities are prepared to receive Newbies, but also help the municipalities coordinate the SFI teaching and the society orientation.

Landstingen (the County councils)

Landstingen (the county councils) are in charge of everything concerning healthcare matters in Sweden.


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