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
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
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
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)
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.