Sweden’s main airport is Stockholm Arlanda. Entry is straightforward; most visitors simply need to fill out and hand over a brief customs form and show their passport at immigration.

Customs Regulations

The duty-free allowance for bringing alcohol into Sweden from outside the EU is 1L of spirits or 2L of fortified wine, 4L of wine and 16L of beer. The tobacco allowance is 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars or 250g of smoking tobacco. You must be at least 20 years old to bring in alcohol and 18 to bring in tobacco.

The limits on goods brought into Sweden with ‘tax paid for personal use’ from within the EU are more generous and somewhat flexible; tax is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Going through customs rarely involves any hassles, but rules on illegal drugs are strictly enforced; you may be searched on arrival, especially if you’re travelling from Denmark. Live plants and animal products (meat, dairy etc) from outside the EU, and all animals, syringes and weapons must be declared to customs on arrival. For the latest regulations, contact Swedish Customs (www.tullverket.se).

Visas

Americans don’t need a visa to enter Sweden; some nationalities will need a Schengen visa, good for 90 days.

Further Information

Citizens of EU countries can enter Sweden with a passport or a national identification card (passports are recommended) and stay indefinitely. Uppehållstillstånd (residence permits) are no longer required for EU citizens to visit, study, live or work in Sweden.

Non-EU passport holders from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US can enter and stay in Sweden without a visa for up to 90 days. Australian and New Zealand passport holders aged between 18 and 30 can qualify for a one-year working-holiday visa. For longer stays, you'll need to apply for a visitor's permit instead of an entry visa. These must be applied for before entering Sweden. An interview with consular officials at your nearest Swedish embassy is required – allow up to eight months for this process. Foreign students are granted residence permits if they can prove acceptance by a Swedish educational institution and are able to guarantee that they can support themselves financially.

Citizens of South Africa and many other African, Asian and some eastern European countries require tourist visas for entry to Sweden (and any other Schengen country). These are only available in advance from Swedish embassies (allow two months); there’s a non-refundable application fee of €60 for most applicants. Visas are good for any 90 days within a six-month period; extensions aren’t easily obtainable.

Migrationsverket (www.migrationsverket.se) is the Swedish migration board and handles all applications for visas and work or residency permits.