Setting up a bank account

Not a very exciting topic, but could be of some interest to anyone else contemplating a move to Sweden from outside of Europe.  You of course need to setup a bank account here in Sweden.  Earlier I mentioned that Sweden has pretty much moved past the need for checks, everything is electronic, so I had to have an account for my paychecks to go to.

This was another barrier to not having my personnummer yet.  You are not supposed to be able to get an account without one.  You can see the chicken and the egg like scenario that you end up in here.  However, they can setup a temporary account without the personnummer, the bankers are just not that well versed in it.

Eva, our office manager took me down to the local Nordea bank.  My company does our banking with Nordea and everyone speaks pretty highly of them, so it seemed like it would work out fine.  We were at the bank forever, and it took all 3 bankers at the counter working on it to figure out how to open an account for me.  They were about to give up about 3 separate times, but we kept at them and they finally figured it out.

Getting your Swedish personnummer

Now that I have obtained my work visa and residency permit, I can finally get my personnummer, which is the Swedish social security number.  The process was pretty easy, I just had to take my passport with my residency permit to the local Skatteverket office. The Skatteverket is a tax office that is like the DMV or Secretary of State office in the States. After taking a number and waiting my turn, I just had to fill out an application and give it to the worker.

The form is entirely in Swedish, and they just hand it to you and expect you to fill it out at a little table and bring it back.  So if you don't speak and Swedish you might want to take someone to translate it for you.  Eva, the office manager of my company who has helped me with everything involved with moving so far went with me to help me out. After you hand the form in, you just wait about 4 weeks to get your number in the mail.

Once Sarah and the kids have their permits and move over here, we will have to go back to get theirs, but that shouldn't be too bad.

The Bizarro Wynns

I meant to post this with the first day of school post.  We have met the bizarro Wynns at Ella's school.  There was an orientation/meet the teacher day about a week before school started.  All of the kids showed up with their parents and families to figure out this whole going to school all day thing.

There is another little girl in Ella's class named Ellie.  About the same size as Ella, long brown hair, they were friends pretty much instantly.  Ellie's family was of course there as well, she happened to have a little brother the same age as Max.  Her parents were the complete opposite from Sarah and I.  She was shy and he was very outgoing and they are both from the South (judging by the accents).

The first day of school I was sitting there waiting to pick Ella up in our Blue Buick Rendezvous when I spotted Ellie's family right in front of a red Buick Rendezvous.  Sarah just learned this morning that they even live in our subdivision.

It is all a little too weird for me.....

Obtaining the Necessary Swedish Paperwork

My Swedish paperwork is starting to come together now.  I don't know a whole lot about the process because my employer is handling it all for me, but there are a lot of steps and pieces.

There are 3 pieces that you need to get to live and work here in Sweden.  You need a work visa, a residency permit, and a personnummer (directly translates to personal number, it is Sweden's social security number).  Obviously I am the only one in the family that needs the work permit.  One thing that is kind of nice is that once I have mine, Sarah can automitically get one, she doesn't need a local company to sponsor her.

Now the exact process to obtain the work visa and residency permit is a little fuzzy to me.  All I had to do was provide some personal information and a photocopy of my passport to an agency that was handling the process.  Then I know that my employer had to provide some information on the job they are employing me to do.  All of that went to some agency for processing, when they were done it went to one of the Swedish Unions for approval.  After they approved it, it went to a third agency for final approval.  Once it was all done and approved, I have to go and pick it all up at an Embassy outside of Sweden.  I had to get a couple of passport photos, and book a trip to Copenhagen tomorrow to get it taken care of.  This whole process has taken about 4 weeks for me, which was expedited.  Normally the process will take a bit longer.

Finding a place to live in Sweden

I finally found us a place to live here in Sweden, which isn't as easy as you might believe.  One of the things that has made it harder is that Uppsala is a University town, and school just began again, so everything got snatched up the returning students.

Then unlike the States, there are no massive corporate owned housing complexes.  Everything is privately owned, so you can't just cruise down to the local apartment complex and choose whichever plan you think suits you the best.  You have to browse the (Sweden's craigslist, they do have craigslist here, but everyone uses the blocket) and find places to live.  Then for every listing, they get a ton of inquiries, so you just have to hope to get in there first most of the time.  I did get lucky in that some people were definitely trying to get professionals as opposed to students.  But on the other hand, I also found people who were not interested in having kids live in their rentals, so those were out.

First Day of School

Meant to post this awhile ago.  The kids started school down in Florida back on August 26th.  Ella has started kindergarten, she is in school from 8:45am to 2:50pm every day (Wednesday's get out an hour early).  She is pretty excited about it.  It could be a little weird for her here in Sweden when we move because kids don't start school until they are 7, so she will actually go back into daycare, with next year being more like kindergarten as we know it.

Another site update

Hope everyone likes the new site layout. I am done messing with it now. I can still do the read more link thing, but it is just manual as you type the new posts now, so that is pretty good.  This is setup to be pretty editable now, and should be easy to maintain.  Even the about and contact us links are working properly.  The only thing that would lead me to change it is if formatting photos in posts does not work correctly like the one from a few revisions ago, that was really annoying me.