Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sambo Visa - Settling into Sweden

It has been pretty heart warming to get more and more emails regarding the Sambo Visa. I never knew that my post helped others so much! So this Sunday morning while I am waiting for my boyfriend to come back from Gävle, I decided to sit down and describe my journey after receiving the visa. Basically a continuation of this post.

I stopped at having my uppehållstillstånd being created. It took the Migration board about 1 month to get it created and sent to Singapore. My case was a little special. Since I had gotten my visa so fast and had buffered 9 months, the Migration Officer in the Embassy of Sweden in Singapore offered to get it done for me. So when I moved to Sweden, I had saved one month waiting time to get my actual visa card. This is pretty important as you need this card to apply for your personnumer at skatterverket. This number is CRUCIAL when living in Sweden and it should be the first thing you do after you have gotten your visa. I am not even kidding about this. Without a personnumer, you are no one in Sweden (harsh but true). You cannot register for SFI, apply for a bank, get insurance and apply for education.

Anyway getting back on track. Upon being granted your visa, these are the things you have to do immediately.

1. Get your visa made

Collect your decision from the embassy. If you are going to be moving to Sweden immediately then bring this along as proof to immigration when you are crossing the border. If you are going to move only 2 to 3 months later, then ask if your embassy can get the uppehållstillstånd created for you from here. If you are creating it from Sweden, get it done at migrationsverket. However, you need to book an appointment with them first! It takes about 1 month for your visa card to be created. 

2. Apply for your personnumer

Skip the chit chat with your friends and sambo. You will have plenty of time for this later. The first thing once you get your card is to go the skatterverket to apply for your personnumer. There will be people standing around that can help you. Being in Sweden, you obviously had to take a number and wait for it to be called. In the mean time, you have to fill out a form with your particulars and you have to have a swedish address with you. In this case, it would be your sambos address. Bring your passport along and the visa card. They will make a copy of your visa and your residence permit and then that's it. You wait for your personnumer to be mailed to the address you've given. 

3. Apply for you Swedish ID Card

This was the phase I had experienced the most bumps in and I would like to share it with you. You might thank that with a personnumer, you'd be able to do a lot of things. Well, yes you can. You can apply for SFI but you cannot open a bank account without a Swedish ID Card. Well, you couldn't open it with Swedbank at least. There are a couple of other banks like Handelsbanken, Nordea and SEB. I chose Swedbank because it was right by the corner of my office and I couldn't find the entrance to Handelsbanken (true story). Anyway, getting back on track. After you've gotten your personnumer in the mail, you don't go back to skatterverket immediately. You need to go to a convenience store that has an ATG sign on it (its a gambling system but these stores will usually have the system required to pay the fee too) and pay approx 400 kr before returning to skatterverket with the receipt, your personnumer and your passport. Take a number, wait and get your picture, signature and height taken.  Then you wait again. 

4. Collect your Swedish ID Card

When your ID Card is ready they will send you a letter to inform you to collect it from the same skatterverket you got it made. Collect it and you're set to live in Sweden!

Just a few more tips to those who found a job. I have been so lucky to have Shabnam as a colleague as she guided me through the miscellaneous things which are important!

Apply for unemployment insurance

You pay a minimal fee each month for a year and if in the even you lost your job, they will pay you up to 80% of your salary for a year so that you can get yourself back on your feet again. 

Apparently you have to provide your transcripts so I havent gotten down to applying for it. I'm going home for the winter so I'll prepare all my documents from there and keep you updated. 

Good luck to all out there who's applying for the visa and those who have just gotten it!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Surprise Party

Last weekend was probably the best weekend I have had since moving to Sweden. Tobias got a job in Stockholm at if insurance so I planned him a surprise party last Friday! Confetti was thrown and buntings were hung. Everyone came dressed fancy as initially he was supposed to work at a newspaper as an entertainment reporter. So Friday night, we let him live that lost moment one last time! The best part of the night was when Daniel came back with Shabnam and Julius from coop with an entire tray of kinder eggs! Everyone got a kinder egg and we started living childhood memories pretty quick! It was such a great party and Tobias had no clue at all that we were coming together to celebrate his success! The next day we met up with Julius and Anna to Konstfack Julmarknad, waiting in line for almost an hour. It was a fruitful day as me and Daniel ended up buying art from the students. I love the weeks coming up to Christmas. It may be dark but there is light everywhere and it's just so beautiful! The festive spirit is kicking in and I definitely feel myself getting in the mood! 

 Tobias and Lucas
 Lucas and Julius suiting up
 Nina, the balloon manager
 Daniel and his try of kinder eggs
 Julius igen
 Tobias and Nina
 My best friend in Sweden, Stockholm, Skanstull
 Aron, Anna  and Lucas
 Buntings galore
 Cosy party
 The morning after, on the way to Konstfack
 Daniel and I
 Crazy faces
 Anna and her kinder eggs

 Crazy cat lady

Cleaning up two days after! so. much. confetti. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stay in Saturday

The last two weekends of the month are usually the most boring weekend as your bank account is barely holding on by a thread. So obviously the idea of an extravagant weekend out with your friends has to be politely ushered out the door. Last Saturday, Helena came by my apartment and we decided to make an oh-so-yummy quiche. Dinners out would be our solution but since both of us had our wallets emptied out, we resorted to good ol' home made food! After wreaking havoc in my kitchen and sharing much laughter between ourselves, a beautiful leek, spinach, mushroom and feta cheese quiche was born. We then lit up the candles and cozied up to watch the weirdest movie ever - Mr. Nobody. 

 The biggest leek I have ever seen
 Because even sliced leeks need some limelight
Adding the spinach
 Tobias waiting to be served

 Almost ready to pop it into the oven
 Working hard in the kitchen

Oh so yummy

Monday, November 17, 2014

Long weekend

Most of the time, even back in Singapore, I would steer clear from doing anything during the weekdays. You know, you have to work the next day so you just want to go back home and unwind. However, this renders us so anti social and it has to change. I mean don't get me the wrong way. I am guilty and even more so than anyone else I know, of just going home after a long day of work, making up excuses to not meet people. I am young and I am working and living in a foreign city and I should not use the excuse of "having to work" the next day to not meet people. Where's the fun in that? I should be grabbing life by the neck and not letting it suffocate me! That is why this week, I was rather proud of myself for making the effort to go out on Thursday night to play cider pong with Julius, amazing shabs (as instructed by her), Anna and Lucas . I was tired, yes, but more importantly, I had a good laugh and it was a better way to unwind from a stressful day at work. It got better during the weekends. Tobias came to Stockholm again and we went ice skating! It was absolutely beautiful to say the least. So next week, I will be working towards filling up 2/5 after works before I head off to Uppsala to visit the lovely Lovisa!
 Having dinner with Anna at Flippin Burgers
 The amazing burger (although Shabnam and Anna did not like it at all)

 Julius and Anna

 Julius and I
 Shabnam and Lucas
 Lucas and his game face
 Nobody messes with them during cider pong
 Julius learnt that the hard way
 I have no words for this
 Getting ready for ice skating on Friday!

 The street on my way to work!

We made a miniature snowman from the excess ice and named him Bob. Isn't he the most adorable!
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