The Australian election is coming up next month and today the opposition leader Tony Abbott revealed a new controversial maternity scheme. The Coalition’s scheme will provide mothers earning up to $150,000 with 26 weeks (6 months) of paid parental leave, at their actual wage or the national minimum wage (whichever is greater), plus superannuation (to a maximum of $75,000). Fathers will be eligible for two weeks out of the 26 weeks with the same conditions. In contrast, Labor’s parental leave scheme is paid at 18 weeks minimum wage (a maximum of $11,200). The new scheme will apply for each baby born after July 1, 2015 under an Abbott government.
Archive for Move to Sweden
Simon made it both to Ireland and back even with his expired Swedish residence permit. We did end up having a tiny drama leaving Sweden when it was discovered Simon had overstayed his visa here. At least on paper, once the application for an extension is in the permit is extended until a decision is made but since our application hasn’t been processed yet it doesn’t show up in the systems.
In the end the police at the passport check let Simon travel when we explained that we’ve handed in an application for an extension and that we’ve been told that travelling was ok once the application was in (which was what Simon was to when he called up the Migration Board). We had the document from the Migration Board (confirming that the application was registered and the date for that) with us which I think helped.
In the UK, where we transferred flights, and Dublin there was no drama. Entering Sweden again (which we thought might be an issue) went smoothly too. So in the end we were nervous for nothing.
Since we don’t know what the future has in store for us and we wish to come and go as we please in Sweden we’ve handed in an application for a permanent residence permit for Simon (Permanent UppehållsTillstånd PUT). Or it’s really an application for an extension of his time limited permit but we assume what he’ll be granted will be a permanent one. As with everything that has to do with the Migration board the information you receive when in contact with them differs depending on who you speak with.
I went to personally hand in the application today and when asking whether you can leave and re-enter Sweden while you wait or a decision if your current permit has expired I was told, by the man in the reception, NO. He instead suggested travelling to the north of Sweden since it’s so beautiful there. I know I’ve lived there for 6 years but still a weird thing to say. On their website they do have the following written:
We recommend that you stay in Sweden while waiting for a new decision, since it may be difficult to enter Sweden without a valid permit.
Though I’ve been told by other Aussies that they’ve been told the opposite, that it’s ok to leave and re-enter as long as you still have the reference number on your temporary permit (in the passport), then at the border they could chase that up and they would see all of your details. So not sure who to believe.
I was also told that we should have applied months ago which I also find really weird since the way I’ve understood it the application isn’t processed until your current permit expires, but I might have misunderstood this.
I was told the process will be around 7 months so I need to start gently nagging trying my best to speed up this process given the situation we’re in.
Wish us good luck!
Simon’s temporary two year residence permit in Sweden is about to run out soon and I’ve therefore started looking into what we need to do to extend it. You don’t get a reminder from the Migration Board when your permit is about to run out, you have to keep track of it yourself and apply for an extension of your permit before your current permit expires.
The application for the extension will not be processed until your current permit expires. But if you’ve submitted your application for an extension before then, you’re allowed to stay in Sweden until the Migration Board has reached a decision. Your also allowed to keep working while the application is being processed.
Even though the Migration Board normally will grant you a permanent residence permit if you’ve lived together with your partner for two years or longer, you and your partner will still be called to an interview. What a pain!
An application can either be handed in personally to a Migration Board office or be sent in per snail mail. This is what you need for your application:
- Form – Application for residence permit to settle in Sweden, No. 161011 (pdf)
- Form – Family details – Appendix to your application Form No 239011 (pdf)
- A civic registration certificate (familjebevis) – ordered from Skatteverket, can be ordered online as well.
If you’re not married you’ll need a certificate both for yourself and your sambo.
- A copy of your passport – showing your identity and the period of validity
- Receipt showing the payment of the 1500 SEK application fee – if you pay through the internet, you can print out the proof of payment and send it in.
Seems to be some work ahead of us for this so I think we better get started….
Swedes sometimes express themselves or behave in a way that might be perceived as rude by foreigners. One example is the phrase Excuse me. If someone bumps into you, it is more likely that you will hear oj/oops than ursäkta mig (excuse me). When you are talking to a Swedish person and they do not hear what you have said, you will most likely hear a Va? (What?), not excuse me. This does not mean that Swedes are an extremely rude people, it is just means that the phrase ursäkta mig (excuse me) is not so widely used in Sweden.
Swedes are rather direct people. They get straight to the point and tend to tell you exactly what they are up to. If you are having a coffee with a group of people and one of them is a Swede, do not be surprised if the Swede suddenly stands up and announces that he is going to the toilet so that the whole group can hear. It is not that he thinks you will all want to know, but that he thinks that it would be rude to just get up and leave. Furthermore, if you are going to say something, tell the truth.
While browsing the internet on the subject I found some interesting information. Don’t ask me why I did the search in the first place, I mean I should know first hand what Swedes are like, shouldn’t I? I know it’s pretty long but it is pretty funny and has some good points so it can be worth ploughing through.
A Swede is tall, blond, blue-eyed, and wears a woolly hat in the winter. By nature he is shy, reserved, serious, industrious, and finds it hard to laugh at himself. He is also a creature of habit and every morning gets up at 5.30 to give himself enough time to read the morning newspaper before going to work. Since work does not usually start until 8 o’clock, this can only imply that a Swede is also a slow reader. Read more
A couple of things that Simon miss here in Sweden are sausage rolls, meat pies and pasties. I’ve made an attempt to make my own sausage rolls and they turned out alright but I’ve yet not tried making meat pies. On the Swaussie Couples Facebook page (yes, there is such a thing and it’s great). I’ve now received a tip that a place in Stockholm called Taylors & Jones sell really good sausage rolls, pies and pasties. We’ll definitely have to pay them a visit when we’re up in Stockholm in March to try them out.
Simon, as you know, took his Swedish license in the end of last year and this is how much he ended up spending:
- Learner’s permit (körkortstillstånd) – 220 SEK
- Eye exam – 100 SEK
- Theory study material in English: Driving license book incl. Swedish road signs booklet – 435 SEK, Trafikskolan TEO 2011 (PC program) – 149 SEK
- Risk training part 1 – 600 SEK
- Risk training part 2 (slippery road/halkbana)- 1900 SEK
- Driving lesson – 4 x 400 SEK
- Written test - 2x 220 SEK
- Driving test – 700 SEK
- Borrow car for driving test - 400 SEK
- Manufacturing cost for the license – 150 SEK
- Photo – 50 SEK
In the end it all adds up to 6 744 SEK, quite expensive for someone who already knows how to drive and have had their license for 10 years but hey, not much you can do about it.
BEFRIEND THE SNOW
You can’t fight nature so try to embrace the winter instead and befriend the snow. Learn how to ski (cross country or slalom) if you don’t know how to already, go ice skating, sledding or just spend some time outside; build a snowman, make snow angels or have a snowball fight. And in order for you to enjoy this we come back to tip No.1- keep warm and you’ll stay happy!
KEEP THE DARK AT BAY
By the time December comes around Sweden has very few hours of daylight each day. If you live up in the very northern parts of the country the sun actually never rise above the horizon this time of the year. So when Advent comes and the much anticipated count down to Christmas begins, the electric candlesticks and stars we put up lighting our windows are a much appreciated tradition.
It all turns and the days slowly get longer again at the midwinter solstice (around December 21) but a great tip from one of our readers is to replace the Christmas light decoration with a normal table lamp to still keep the dark at bay until spring arrives.
Thank you Theresia for your great tip!