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Travel Warning & Consular Information Sheet for Sweden

Sweden - Consular Information Sheet
August 14, 2001

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Sweden is a highly developed stable democracy with a modern economy. Detailed information about Sweden is available at the following Internet sites: http://www.gosweden.org and http://www.webcom.com/sis.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A valid passport is required. Tourist and business travelers do not need visas for stays of less than 90 days. Since March 2001, Sweden entry visas are governed by the rules in the Schengen Agreement. Under the Agreement, all the European Union countries (except Ireland and the United Kingdom), as well as the European Economic Area countries of Norway and Iceland, have opened their borders to one another. A visa issued for a visit to one of these countries is normally valid in all of the other countries as well. For further information on entry requirements, contact the Royal Swedish Embassy at 1501 M. Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20005, tel: (202) 467-2600, or the Swedish Consulate General in New York at (212) 751-5900 or check their homepage at http://www.webcom.com/sis. Sweden's immigration authorities (Migrationsverket) also maintain a homepage at http://www.migrationsverket.se.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.

DUAL NATIONALITY: In addition to being subject to all Swedish laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Swedish citizens. For additional information, see Dual Nationality flyer.

CRIME: Sweden has a relatively low crime rate, and violent crimes are uncommon although increasing. Most crimes involve theft of personal property from cars or residences or in public areas. Pick-pockets and purse-snatchers often work in pairs or groups with one distracting the victim while another grabs valuables. Hotel breakfast rooms and lobbies, in particular, attract professional, well-dressed thieves who blend in with guests.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, A Safe Trip Abroad, for ways to promote a trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs, .

MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical care comparable to that found in the United States is widely available. Travelers with special medical needs should consult with their personal physician and take appropriate precautions, including bringing adequate supplies of necessary medication. Forwarding drugs to Sweden after a traveler has arrived is prohibited by stringent Swedish customs regulations. Travelers may also find local physicians reluctant to prescribe equivalent quantities or dosages.

MEDICAL INSURANCE: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas including emergency services such as medical evacuations.

When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the U.S. may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.

Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, autofax: (202) 647-3000.

OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Sweden is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Good

A valid U.S. driver's license may be used while visiting Sweden, but the drivers must be at least 18 years of age. Driving in Sweden is on the right. Road signs use standard international symbols and Swedish text. Many urban streets have traffic lanes reserved for public transport only.

Swedish roads are comparable to roads in the U.S. though, due to Sweden's sparse population outside the major urban areas, secondary roads may be less heavily traveled. Outside urban areas they 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 must have headlights lit when on the road, no matter what time of day. The use of snow tires is mandatory between December 1 and March 31 and, due to the country's northerly climate, experience in driving on ice and snow is recommended before negotiating Sweden's winter roads.

Public transport in Sweden is of good quality and is the recommended method of travel. Passenger trains, intercity buses and air flights provide regular service over longer distances. Public transportation in urban centers includes buses, subways, trams, suburban trains and taxis. Taxis are relatively 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 relatively safe.

Use of seat belts is mandatory for drivers and all passengers, and children under seven must be seated in approved child or booster seats. The maximum speed limit is 110 kilometers per hour. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription drugs, is considered a very serious offense. The rules are stringently enforced and fines can be severe. Violations can result in severe fines and possible jail sentences.

Emergency services (equivalent to 911 in the U.S.) for traffic accidents and emergency roadside assistance can be reached by calling 112.

For additional general information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. Specific information on road safety is available at http://www.vv.se.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Sweden's civil aviation authority as Category 1 -- in compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Sweden's air carrier operations. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA's Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact DOD at (618) 229-4801.

CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Sweden's customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Sweden of items such as firearms, medications and pharmaceuticals. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Sweden in Washington or one of Sweden's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding custom requirements.

Customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters located at the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA carnet in the United States. For additional information, contact the Council at Tel: 212-354-4480, send an e-mail to atacarnet@uscib.org, or visit their web site at http://www.atacarnet.com.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Sweden's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Sweden are strict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines. There is no bail system in Sweden and non-resident Americans who are arrested may be held in custody until the trial is complete.

CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For information on international adoption of children, international parental child abduction, and international child support enforcement issues, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone (202) 736-7000.

REGISTRATION AND EMBASSY LOCATION: Americans living in or visiting Sweden are encouraged to register at the consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm and obtain updated information on travel and security within Sweden. The U.S. Embassy is located at Dag Hammarskjoldsvag 31, telephone (46)(8) 783-5300, fax (46)(8) 660-5879 and after-hours telephone (46)(8) 783-5310 and the Embassy's Internet website is http://www.usemb.se.


This replaces the consular information sheet dated July 13, 2000 to add information on Dual Nationality, and to update sections on Entry Requirements, Crime, Medical Facilities, Medical Insurance, Traffic Safety and Road Conditions and Aviation Safety Oversight.

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