Sweden is one of the most LGBT+ friendly countries in Europe, and it provides a basic set of services for Ukrainian refugees, including various support schemes and housing options depending on your family composition. However, you cannot choose the place of accommodation if you rely on state support for it.
Ukrainian citizens who fled the war in Ukraine may be entitled to a residence permit with temporary protection in Sweden under the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive.
To be covered by the Temporary Protection Directive, you must have come to Sweden on 30 October 2021 or later, and have remained in Sweden since you entered the country.
If you are granted a residence permit under the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive, it is valid until 4 March 2023. If the security situation in Ukraine has not improved by then, the Swedish Migration Agency can decide to extend the permit.
The directive entitles you to:
- accommodation from the Swedish Migration Agency
- the right to work
- the right to school for children
- the right to certain medical care
- financial support
You will receive a residence permit card (UT card) that shows you have a residence permit on the grounds of temporary protection and that you have the right to work.
Once your residence permit card is ready, it will be sent to you by post or you will be contacted to let you know where to pick up your card. Remember to notify the Swedish Migration Agency if you change your address. You can do this by sending a completed Address Notification/Change of Address form to your nearest Unit for Reception.
The card also shows that you are entitled to support under the Act on the Reception of Asylum Seekers and others (LMA), which means you have the same rights as an asylum seeker to accommodation and financial support from the Swedish Migration Agency. Take your residence permit card with you when you go get medical care or to pick up prescribed medication from a pharmacy. The card entitles you to medical care and medicine at a lower price.
More on what rights you have if you receive a residence permit under the EU Temporary Protection Directive (the Swedish Migration Agency).
If you need food and accommodation, that will be provided for you when you apply for a residence permit.
You can obtain a residence permit that is valid from the date you are granted the permit until March 4, 2023.
If you do not have any money of your own, you can apply for financial support from the Swedish Migration Agency. You are entitled to financial support after you have received a decision on protection under the Temporary Protection Directive. If you are also applying for an allowance for your children, you must fill in one form per person. The money you receive from the Swedish Migration Agency is intended to cover your food, clothes, and personal expenses.
You can apply for financial support when you visit a Swedish Migration Agency office or by submitting an application form to the Swedish Migration Agency by post. The Swedish Migration Agency can grant financial support from the day you apply for it at the earliest.
If you are getting financial support from the Swedish Migration Agency, it is important you tell them if your financial situation changes, for example, if you get a job, or if you change accommodation. Changing your address may mean that the amount of your allowance needs to be changed. While you are receiving a daily allowance from the Swedish government you must inform the relevant authorities that you are earning money: omitting this information is a criminal offense.
You can apply for two different forms of financial support from the Swedish Migration Agency: daily allowance and special allowance.
The daily allowance is different depending on whether you live in a Swedish Migration Agency accommodation where food is included or in one where food is not included. In addition, the amount of the daily allowance is also affected if you choose to arrange your accommodation yourself.
In accommodations where food is included, the daily allowance is:
- 24 SEK/day for a single adult
- 19 SEK/day per person, for adults sharing household expenses
- 12 SEK/day for children aged 17 or younger
In accommodations where food is not included, the daily allowance is:
- 71 SEK/day for a single adult
- 61 SEK/day per person, for adults sharing household expenses
- 37 SEK/day for children aged 0–3 years
- 43 SEK/day for children aged 4–10 years
- 50 SEK/day for children aged 11–17 years
Families with more than two children receive a full daily allowance for the two oldest children and half a daily allowance for the other children.
In addition to food, the daily allowance needs to cover clothing and shoes, medical care and medicine, dental care, hygiene items, other consumables, and leisure activities.
If you have a great need for something that is not covered by the daily allowance, you can apply for a special allowance for it. You must prove that you have a great need for the item or service and that you cannot pay for it yourself. For example, it could be glasses, a pram or warm winter shoes. The Swedish Migration Agency will always make an individual assessment of your need.
You can only get an allowance for the cheapest options required to meet the need.
Your right to the special allowance may be affected if you move to your own accommodation in an area that is on the Swedish Migration Agency's list of areas with social and economic challenges.
If you are granted a daily allowance from the Swedish Migration Agency, you will receive a bank card that is linked to the account where the money is transferred. Only the Swedish Migration Agency can put money into this account. If you want to open a Swedish bank account where, for example, an employer can transfer money, you must contact a Swedish bank.
All adults with a valid residence permit with temporary protection under the Temporary Protection Directive have a right to emergency medical care, emergency dentistry, and other urgent care (according to the decision of an healthcare provider/doctor/hospital/). You are also entitled to maternal health care, and care provided under the Communicable Diseases Act (a law intended to prevent the spread of infectious diseases).
Once you have received a residence permit under the Temporary Protection Directive, you will receive an offer for a free health exam. During the health exam, you will get advice on health issues, as well as a chance to take certain medical tests, and information about health and medical care in Sweden.
Children under the age of 18 are entitled to the same healthcare and dental care as other children living in Sweden. Healthcare is largely free for children.
If you show your residence permit (UT) card, you pay a lower fee when you visit healthcare services or pick up certain medications at the pharmacy.
If you get sick, injure yourself or feel mentally ill, you should go to a healthcare centre (vårdcentral) as soon as possible. A healthcare centre is a local, publicly funded healthcare facility. There you can see, among others, a nurse, general practitioner, or counsellor. If they assess that you need more specialised care, they can refer you to the correct place.
Often you need to book an appointment before visiting the healthcare centre. You have the right to an interpreter when you go to see a healthcare professional. Tell them you need an interpreter when you make an appointment.
If you have a disability that makes it difficult for you to communicate when you are in contact with the Swedish Migration Agency or other authorities, you can get help and support for that. Having a disability is not an obstacle to obtaining a residence permit. Talk to your reception unit about what support you can get.
More information about healthcare
- On the website www.1177.se
- You can also call Vårdguiden by phoning 1177. Then you will be able to talk to a nurse who can answer your questions and give advice on health and medical care. The nurse can also assess your need for care and refer you to the right healthcare facility if necessary.
- Kvinnofridslinjen (Sweden’s National Women’s Helpline) offers advice and support to women subjected to threats and/or physical, psychological, and sexual violence. Call 020-50 50 50. They will organise an interpreter in just a few minutes. You will find more information at kvinnofridslinjen.se
- If you become acutely ill and need an ambulance, call the emergency number 112. Use the same number if you need to contact the police or the fire department in an emergency situation.
You can choose to arrange your accommodation yourself or get help with accommodation from the Swedish Migration Agency. If you choose to arrange your accommodation yourself, you will have to pay the rent yourself.
You can use Facebook groups for searching a temporary accommodation in Sweden, e.g. Ukrainian refugees in Sweden-Accommodation, Help&Shelter (NOT VERIFIED)
Please note that the Swedish Migration Agency has a list of residential areas with social and economic challenges. If you choose to live in such an area, you may lose your right to financial support from the Swedish Migration Agency.
If you need the Swedish Migration Agency's help with accommodation, you won't be able to choose where to live. You will be given accommodation where there are places available and you may need to move to other Swedish Migration Agency accommodations to make room for more people.
The Swedish Migration Agency rents different types of accommodation. It could be a flat where you can cook your own food, a room where you share a kitchen with many others, or a larger accommodation centre where the food is served in a common dining room.
Anyone living in one of the Swedish Migration Agency's accommodation units can expect to share a room with other people. Families are always given their own room. Single people will share a room with others of the same sex.
You may be entitled to an accommodation that is adapted to your needs if you are in a particularly vulnerable situation. This may apply, for example, if you have a disability, suffer from physical or mental illness, or are LGBTQI, pregnant or elderly. Talk to the Swedish Migration Agency about your needs as soon as possible, and they will do their best to find an accommodation that is suitable for you.
EL*C has created a lesbian hosting network of individuals who made their flats and spare rooms available to Ukrainian refugees. Please notice that EL*C can provide you with a temporary solution (up to a few months). Contact the relocation team at: +48 571 944 400 and email@example.com
Children with a residence permit have the right to go to preschool or school according to the Temporary Protection Directive. All schools are free of charge in Sweden.
Children have the right to attend preschool from the age of 1 year if their parents, for example, work or study, or if the child has their own need for such care due to a specific family situation. Children from the age of 3 have the right to attend preschool even if their parents do not work or study, starting the year from the autumn semester.
The municipality where you live is responsible for ensuring that your child gets a place at a school. Contact the municipality and tell them you want your children to attend school. If you need help with this, contact the Swedish Migration Agency. You can also find information on the municipality’s website. The municipality will inform you about its preschools and schools and help you further.
In southern Sweden, Ukrainian refugees do not need a ticket to travel with Skånetrafiken. All refugees with a Ukrainian passport or ID card can travel for free. This applies to buses and trains.
In the Västra Götaland region, Västtrafik allows Ukrainian refugees to travel free of charge. You will have to show a Ukrainian passport or ID document to be able to travel free of charge on all Västtrafik’s vehicles.
In the Stockholm region, you can use your Ukrainian passport or identity card as a valid ticket when traveling by public transport, simply show your document to the bus driver.
In the Värmland region, Värmlandstrafik offers free travel to Ukrainian refugees with Region Värmland’s public transports. This means that anyone who shows a Ukrainian ID or passport can travel free of charge on all of Karlstadbuss and Värmlandstrafik’s buses and trains.
In the Gävleborg region, X-trafik offers free travel by public transport to anyone who can show a Ukrainian passport or ID card. This applies to all buses and trains for the next three months, starting from March.
If you are granted a residence permit under the EU Temporary Protection Directive you have the right to work in Sweden, from the age of 16. If you would like support when looking for a job in Sweden, you can register with Arbetsförmedlingen (the Swedish Public Employment Service). You can register by visiting a service office (Statens servicecenter). At present, it is not possible to register online, as this requires a Swedish personal identity number.
If you find work, you need to register with the Swedish Tax Agency to pay taxes. You or your employer should submit a registration form for preliminary income tax (so-called A-skatt). If you have been granted a residence permit under the Temporary Protection Directive, you can begin working even if the Swedish Tax Agency has not yet made a decision regarding your preliminary income tax.
The present marriage law is gender-neutral, which means that the marriage rights and obligations apply to all married couples. This implies that married same-sex couples have a right to joint parenthood, adoption, and medically assisted insemination. The Swedish law is also equal to all couples that are not married but live together – so-called "sambos".
As a foreign citizen without residency in Sweden, you can, in some cases, get married in Sweden. You don’t have to live (have residency) in Sweden or have Swedish citizenship to get married there.
If neither partner has Swedish citizenship or residency in Sweden, they need to have residency (or one partner has citizenship and the other one has residency) in a country where same-sex partnership or marriage is legal (e.g. Netherlands, Portugal, Germany, Argentina, etc.).
If one of them is a Swedish citizen or has residency in Sweden, they may marry in Sweden even if the other spouse has residency or citizenship in a country where it’s illegal for same-sex couples to get married/register a partnership.
Single parents and same-sex couples who have the same legal gender have been able to apply for and receive approval for joint adoption in Sweden since 2003.
In Sweden, same-sex female couples have been able to access assisted fertilisation with donated sperm at a clinic since 2005. After compulsory sterilisation for trans people who have changed their legal gender was abolished in 2013, men with a trans background have had access to assisted fertilisation at a clinic in Sweden (whether they are single or in a relationship).
Since 2013 a person wishing to change their gender in the population register no longer needs to be a Swedish citizen or unmarried. However, the person needs to be officially registered in the Swedish population register. Judgments and decisions on changes to gender identity from other countries generally apply in Sweden. Additionally, in 2013 the mandatory sterilisation requirement in the Legal Gender Recognition Act was abolished.
Since 1 January 2019, a new law recognises trans people who are parents according to their legally recognised gender identity in their child’s documents. Trans men who give birth are designated as “father” and trans women - as "mother".
For non-binary people, legal gender recognition is presently impossible, since Sweden does not recognise more than the two binary genders.
Emergency support for LGBTQI+ Ukrainians is an initiative and collaboration between RFSL, the Swedish Federation for LGBTQI rights and RFSL Ungdom, the Swedish Youth Federation for LGBTQI Rights, through their national network of Newcomers and Newcomers youth to support and coordinate people arriving in Sweden from Ukraine.
General organisations helping Ukrainians
Force majeure exceptions apply to pets who enter Sweden from Ukraine together with their owners. Necessary infection control measures will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. When pet owners arrive in the country, they must report the animal to the on-site staff and provide what documentation they have for the animal. If the animal does not meet the import requirements, different measures may be taken. This may involve ID-marking the animal, taking blood samples, and placing the animal in temporary isolation under supervision until it can be returned to its owner.