Who we are and what we do
The British Club in Gothenburg is a social club offering ‘the best of British’ in the West of Sweden. Membership is open to people with some connection to Britain, regardless of their nationality.
The club is run on a voluntary basis and enjoys, as the mainstay of its activities, a series of social evenings for members and their guests to meet in a friendly and traditonal British atmosphere. It also hosts occasional outings and special events, such as a treasure hunt in the park.
Our membership base of over 150 families continues to thrive, and new applications are always welcome.
Update on Swedish residency (9 Sep 2021)
If you were legally resident in Sweden before 1 January 2021, you must apply for the new residency permit ("uppehållsstatus"). The deadline has been extended to 31 December 2021. Your right to stay in Sweden will end if you have not applied for residence status before then, unless you already have a permanent residence permit ("permanent uppehållstillstånd" - PUT) or dual citizenship.
NOTE: You can still apply for "uppehållsstatus" as well as either or both of these, as it gives extra privileges in case you later want to bring dependent relatives here. See this explanation from the Migration Agency:
"If you have residence status, more family members than just your spouse/cohabitating partner and underaged children can apply to move to live with you. This applies, for example, to parents or children over 21 who are financially dependent on you."
New member of our committee (30 Aug 2021)
We are delighted to welcome Ian Leigh as the latest ordinary member of the British Club committee.
Ian was born in Sheffield and grew up near Reading. He has a long experience of committee work, particularly in the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway Preservation Society.
St Andrew's church services (7 Aug 2021)
St Andrews church in Gothenburg is starting to hold Sunday morning services again at 11 a.m. as follows:
- 15 August
- 29 August and then every following Sunday unless new COVID recommendations come into force.
Thanks from HM Queen Elizbeth II (21 April 2021)
The Queen has made this statement about all the messages she received:
Death of HRH Prince Philip (11 April 2021)
Following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99, The British Club has sent the following message for the the online Book of Condolence:
"On behalf of the members of the British Club in Gothenburg, Sweden, we wish to send our sincere condolences to Her Majesty the Queen, and all the Royal family, on the loss of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh."
Travel restrictions - COVID-19 update (26 Mar 2021)
There is a travel ban on foreign nationals entering Sweden, but UK Nationals who can demonstrate that they live or work in Sweden or have urgent family reasons are exempt.
The travel ban has been extended until at least 31 May, but from 31 March additional categories will be exempt from the entry ban, including students, partners and spouses of Swedish, EU and EEA citizens or Swedish residents. More details in English on the latest entry requirements for Sweden from GOV.UK.
And for travel from here to the UK, see these GOV.UK border restrictions and instructions (COVID tests, 10-day quarantine in UK, exempted professions, passenger locator form, etc.).
Exchange your UK driving licence (26 Mar 2021)
You will not be able to use your UK-issued driving licence in Sweden after 1 July 2021, but you will be able to exchange it for a Swedish licence without taking a driving test.
You don't have to wait until then to exchange it; you can download the application form (in Swedish) any time from the Swedish Transport Authority.
COVID-19 information for Sweden (1 Mar 2021)
Keep yourself up to date on COVID-19 information in English from the Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten). This site includes the latest Swedish regulations, guidelines and strategy.
Latest news from the Embassy (13 Nov 2020)
In this edition of the British Embassy newsletter, there is an update on applying for the new Swedish residency status. You can also listen to the Migration Agency's tips in this interview with Radio Sweden (in English).
Self-isolation on arrival in the UK (7 Nov 2020)
Sweden has been removed again from the UK "coronavirus travel corridors", which means self-isolation is again required on entering the UK.
These rules can be reversed at short notice, so be sure to check the GOV.UK travel corridors page for the latest status if you plan to travel. See also the GOV.UK Sweden travel advice summary page.
Note that you still need to provide your journey and contact details via this online form before you travel to the UK.
Update on Swedish residency (3 Nov 2020)
As of 1 December, UK citizens in Sweden will be able to apply for a new residency status following the end of the transition period of the UK's exit from the EU. Please see the British Embassy's new three-minute Q&A video on Facebook addressing what UK nationals in Sweden need to do. Here are the main points:
- If you have Swedish citizenship (or citizenship of another EU country) you don't need to apply for residency.
- If you are a permanent resident without Swedish citizenship, you don't need to apply for residency either, but you should get a certificate of your status from the Migration agency (Migrationsverket).
- Those who do need to apply for residency should go to the Migration Agency's website, from 1 Dec 2020 at the earliest until 31 Dec 2021 at the latest.
- Once your application has been submitted, your rights in Sweden will remain the same until you have a final decision.
More information in the Embassy's updated FAQ page.
Latest travel guidance from the Embassy (16 Oct 2020)
In this edition of the British Embassy newsletter, there is an update on travel advice (no restrictions yet, but make sure you know the rules if you are going back to the UK). There is also a note on banking issues after the Brexit transition (no change expected, but you could check with your bank) and some more upbeat material on the Nobel prize with a Beatles connection.
Swedish residency for UK nationals (21 Sept 2020)
The Swedish government has proposed legislation designed to protect your right to continue your life in Sweden as you do now. Here are the main points:
- This legislation will introduce a new status for British citizens wishing to remain in Sweden.
- An application window will launch in December this year and stay open for 10 months.
- You can continue your life in Sweden until you have a decision on this application, even if that takes longer than the 10-month window.
- You do not have to be folkbokförd or have a personnummer to apply for the new residency status.
- If you have dual citizenship (or citizenship of another EU country) you don't have to apply.
See also the British Embassy's five-minute Q&A video on Facebook addressing what UK nationals in Sweden need to do. It includes individual questions posed in the comments link below the video, and you can find more information in the Embassy's updated FAQ page.
Brexit transition period updates (27 Aug 2020)
The transition period after Britain left the EU is due to be completed by 31 December 2020. The British Embassy will at some point hold another virtual Q&A session on Facebook to clarify what you should do in preparation. Some useful links in the meantime:
The UK Transition - action you can take now
News from GOV.UK - Sweden and the UK
Latest travel Q&A from the Embassy (6 Aug 2020)
The latest Embassy newsletter, at the link above, contains important information for anyone travelling to the UK or back to Sweden. The 14-day self-isolation on arrival in the UK still applies, and the rules about wearing face masks in the UK have been tightened.
EU exit: FAQ from the Embassy (3 July 2020)
In this newsletter the Embassy has compiled questions and answers about the rights of British citizens living in Sweden after Britain's EU exit on 31 December this year.
Public health measures at the UK border (8 June 2020)
The latest Embassy newsletter contains details of the strict 14-day self-isolation that is now required at the UK border. These rules will be subject to review every three weeks, to ensure they are in line with the latest scientific evidence and remain effective and necessary.
Travel newsletter from the Embassy (1 June 2020)
The latest Embassy newsletter, at the link above, contains important information for anyone planning to travel to the UK, as a 14-day self-isolation will be required at the UK border from 8 June.
Brexit Q&A summary from the Embassy (23 May 2020)
On 14 May, Ambassador Judith Gough held a Facebook Live Q&A session. You can click on the link to watch it, or read the highlights in their latest newsletter, covering issues about what happens after 31 December 2020, including your right to remain in Sweden, passports, pensions and returning to the UK with an EU spouse.
Newsletter from the Embassy (15 May 2020)
The latest Embassy newsletter, at the link below, continues their commemoration of VE Day with the story of one of the British undercover agents in Stockholm at that time.
Updates from the British Embassy are also available on their Facebook and Twitter channels.
How secure are your passwords? (9 May 2020)
With many of us working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, our connections tend to be more vulnerable than usual to hackers looking to steal information. The Embassy has passed on this advice from the British National Cyber Security Centre about reviewing your passwords. You can find out if your passwords are well-known to hackers at this link: Pwned Passwords.
If your password is 1234, tennis, bonkers, football, iloveyou or even AlanShearer, it is on the centre's list of most common ones that you should change straight away...
The British Council - archive NHS films (2 May 2020)
In appreciation of the work of the NHS, the British Council has presented a collection of fascinating archive films:
A Celebration of Health Services on Film.
"We've been digging through our collection of 100+ short documentaries made during the 1940s, designed to show the world how Britain lived, worked and played - and have found some real treasures exploring our health services. Since its inception [in 1948], the National Health Service has provided medical care “free at the point of use” based on need not income. During these strange times, as Covid-19 makes the world feel very different, it’s more important than ever to celebrate the wonderful work being done in hospitals and clinics across the country."
Coronavirus update from the Embassy (24 Apr 2020)
The British Embassy has issued another newsletter with the latest information to UK nationals in Sweden. They also broadcast these updates on their Facebook and Twitter channels.
See also this link: Travel advice: coronavirus (COVID-19), with guidance for British people travelling overseas during the coronavirus pandemic.
(If you live permanently in Sweden, you should follow the advice of the Swedish authorities - see below.)
The British Shop - now with webshop (5 Apr 2020)
Check out the new British Shop webshop – perfect for those Easter hot cross buns. Delivery or pickups available.
Coronavirus information in English (12 Mar 2020)
The Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten) has a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) FAQ in English, with links to information from WHO and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
You can also read the GOV.UK guidance for British people travelling to or living in Sweden following the outbreak of coronavirus. The British Embassy recommends signing up for the GOV.UK Sweden travel advice email alerts.
In view of coronavirus, the British Embassy in Stockholm is taking extra precautions: "Please be aware that visits to the Embassy are by appointment only. You can book an appointment on the British Embassy website. Alternatively call us on 0046 (0)8 6713000 if you have any questions or if you need consular assistance (phone lines are open 24/7). All visitors to the Embassy will be asked to inform us if they (1) have been in contact with someone with coronavirus, (2) have within the past 2 weeks returned from an affected area and (3) are feeling unwell with a cough, difficulty breathing or fever."
Brexit transition period in Sweden (7 Feb 2020)
Britain has now left the EU and entered a transition period of a new relationship which is due to be completed by 31 Dec 2020. The British Embassy’s Consular Policy Officer, Neil O’Reilly, has updated his pamphlet for British citizens in Sweden to clarify what you should do (and what you don't need to worry about) during this transition period.
The main message is that you don't have to do much at all for now.
Migrationsverket's Brexit FAQ also contains updated and helpful information in English:
"During this period, the UK will remain in the EU cooperation in a practical sense. This means that British citizens and their close relatives who are third-country nationals largely keep the rights they previously had. They will thereby be able to stay, work and study in Sweden without requiring a residence and work permit. This website will be updated when more information on this is available."
Application for Swedish citizenship (30 Dec 2019)
In these Brexit times, many Brits in Sweden are considering applying for Swedish citizenship, which gives you dual citizenship and the right to vote in Swedish elections, as well as peace of mind about any future impact of Brexit on Brits living in EU countries. It costs 1500 Swedish kronor and you apply to the Swedish immigration agency, Migrationsverket.
More details on who qualifies for citizenship and how to apply.
You may be asked to send in your British passport with your application or it may state that they will contact you if and when they need to see it. Please follow whichever instruction you are given. (If you don't send all requested documents, this can slow down your application.)
Brexit briefing for Brits in Sweden (3 Dec 2019)
The new British Ambassador to Sweden, Judith Gough, held a "Townhall meeting" in Gothenburg for UK nationals living and working here. She was joined by representatives from Migrationsverket and Försäkringskassan to answer questions from British citizens living in Sweden. The Ambassador's message was that the discussions she was involved in are now much less focused on the no-deal scenario and assume Brexit will be based on a withdrawal agreement with the EU. However, with the coming UK general election, this was a particularly difficult time for her to give any definite information about Brexit.
On the other hand, she pointed out that the Swedish authorities have been doing their utmost to cushion the blow for us if there is a no-deal Brexit. You can find information on these measures here: Swedish Government: Regulatory amendments to deal with Brexit.
There were several questions about getting back into Sweden after visiting the UK. The answer was that, if you haven't got dual citizenship, then after Brexit you will need to get a special stamp in your British passport to show that you have a right of residency in Sweden. This stamp isn't available at present, since there has been no decision about Brexit. See this link for other issues about visiting the UK after Brexit (e.g. driving in the UK on a Swedish licence).
In case you need healthcare when visiting the UK, you should be aware that after Brexit everything depends on reciprocal agreements with each EU country. According to the NHS, "You will not be able to use NHS services for free when visiting the UK if you're living in the EU and the UK government does not currently pay for your healthcare. You should take out appropriate travel insurance when visiting the UK, as you would when visiting any other country." (Currently you get healthcare in the UK as an EU citizen by showing your EHIC card. British nationality doesn't qualify you for free NHS treatment, which has always been based on residency not nationality. However, NHS hospitals will always treat you in an emergency, wherever you come from.)
See this link: NHS: Living in the EU after Brexit.
Jonas Colling, the Brexit coordinator at Migrationsverket, was knowledgeable about citizenship issues. Migrationsverket has granted Swedish citizenship to 4000 Brits this year (three times as many as last year), and they currently have 1400 applications in the pipeline. The good news is that they have been given a mandate to give highest priority to British applicants. He commented that many of the applications from Brits are straightforward and quick to process, but he stressed that the best way to speed up an application was to make sure you provide all necessary supporting documents with your application. (See Application for Swedish citizenship below.)
If you are comfortable with your existing "permanent uppehållstillstånd" only, then you will be required to reapply for it to receive a physical residency card ("permanent uppehållskort"). According to Jonas Colling, you can send in this application any time from now on. However, some British Club members have reported that they found themselves in a Catch-22 situation: Migrationsverket told them not to apply because they are still EU citizens, and EU citizens have the right to live here without applying for the card. The Migrationsverket website also takes this line.
There was no EU representative at the meeting, but see this EU Brexit-preparedness website page:
UK nationals’ residence rights in the EU27 - Sweden.
The new British Shop is open (22 Nov 2019)
Good news! The British Shop in Antikhallarna (Västra Hamngatan 6, nearest tram stop: Domkyrkan) had its grand opening on 9 Nov, and we wish Paul and Rosie all the best for their new venture. They refresh their stock regularly, so keep an eye on the British Shop Facebook page for updates.
See also the Antikhallarna website to get a feel for the beautiful locale. The Latteria café occupies the central area, so why not drop by and stay for lunch as well?
Guidance for Brits returning to the UK (3 Oct 2019)
If you are a UK national considering returning to the UK permanently, here is the latest information about some of the actions you may need to take.
New British Ambassador to Sweden (20 Sept 2019)
Judith Gough is the new British Ambassador to Sweden, after four years as British Ambassador to Ukraine.
Legislation for Brits in Sweden in the event of a "no deal" Brexit (July 2019)
On 15 July the Swedish parliament passed a bill to ensure that UK nationals and their family members will be exempt from the requirements on residence and work permits during a transition period of one year, allowing them to adjust to the new situation. If you then need to apply for a residence permit they will also take into account the years you have already lived in Sweden as an EU citizen.
Migrationsverket's Brexit FAQ contains updated helpful information in Swedish about what you need to do when (or if) there is no deal.
The English Shop is no more (1 June 2019)
Sadly, the English Shop has now closed its doors. We will just have to eat knäckebröd instead of Walkers shortbread.
However, you can still get huge bags of PG Tips tea bags at Spices of India near Backaplan, and custard powder and marmite at Kryddhuset on Redbergsvägen.
British citizens overseas can sign petitions to the UK government (March 2019)
Did you know that you are eligible to start or sign petitions to the UK government or Parliament? The Petitions Committee is set up by the House of Commons. It follows up the issues raised in the most popular petitions, and it has the power to press for action from government or Parliament. If a petition gets over 100,000 votes it is considered for debate in Parliament, so it is a way to make your voice heard in the UK.
See the most popular petitions here, and sign any that you feel strongly about. There are several petitions to leave the EU, with from 40,000 to 580,000 votes, but the most popular petition by far is the one to revoke Article 50 and stay in the EU; this one received over 6 million votes and was debated in Parliament on 1 April.
Brits in Gothenburg featured in local press (2 Mar 2019)
The local newspaper, Göteborgs-Posten, did a feature article on Brits in Gothenburg (a city once known as "Lilla London" because there were so many Brits here). The British Club gets a mention.
Read the article here (in Swedish)
Brexit briefing for UK Nationals in Gothenburg (4 Feb 2019)
The British Embassy’s new Deputy Head of Mission, Peter Ruskin, held an information meeting to give an update on the implications of Brexit for UK nationals living and working here.
Around 75 people attended. There was only time for him to answer a few of their questions, but he has taken with him questions that his team can investigate and he promises to put their answers on the British Embassy’s Facebook page.
Meanwhile, I put together this document based on the questions submitted by members:
See also the following links for UK government information relevant to you:
Brexit information. You can sign up for updates on any Brexit news they issue here.
Living in Sweden - Brexit information. (Check here for updates or subscribe.) Note that the focus is on UK nationals moving to Sweden, and there isn't much mention of the "no deal" scenario.
Important EU Exit information for UK nationals if there’s no deal. This applies to any EU member state, including Sweden. There is an extensive list of topics, including:
# Applying for permanent residency in an EU country
# Staying in an EU country with an EU spouse
# Paying for healthcare in EU countries
# UK state pension and benefits
# Driving licences
What plans does Sweden have for the Brexit "no deal" scenario? (Jan 2019)
While the UK parliament is still debating what it wants to do, the Swedish government has been putting together a proposal ("promemoria") for how they plan to make special arrangements in the "no deal" (hard Brexit) scenario for British citizens living in Sweden. They hope to put the proposal into effect immediately after Brexit.
Read about the Swedish government proposal here (in English).
The plan is that UK nationals and their family members who lose their right to live and work in Sweden as a consequence of a hard Brexit will be exempt from the requirements on residence and work permits during a transition period of one year. They would be allowed to stay in Sweden during the transition period under similar conditions to today, allowing them to adjust to the new situation.
The EU has also produced an extensive questions and answers document (as agreed in Dec 2018):
European Commission: FAQ about the "no deal" Brexit contingency plans
Brexit briefing for UK Nationals in Gothenburg (12 Nov 2018)
The British Ambassador to Sweden, David Cairns, held an information meeting to discuss the latest on the UK’s exit negotiations with the EU. The topic was billed as the implications of Brexit for British Nationals living and working in Gothenburg. Mr Cairns was able to answer many of our questions, although in some cases he pointed out that only the Swedish government could give a definite answer and, unfortunately, we haven't got a Swedish government at the moment.
He stressed that there is a false impression from the media that we are headed for a catastrophe because no one knows what they are doing, but in fact the negotiations have come a long way behind closed doors. He is pretty confident that, since nobody wants "no deal", everyone will do whatever it takes to get the final issues sorted before Brexit takes effect on 29 March 2019. Furthermore, there will then be an "Implementation Period" (30 March 2019 to 31 December 2020), during which the current framework of EU rules and regulations will still apply. After that, things might change, but most of it won't affect people who are already living in Sweden (or any EU country) now, or who move here during 2019-2020.
The Ambassador gave a similar briefing recently which was recorded, so you can see that BREXIT Q&A session in Stockholm (1 hr long, but you can skip the first 13 minutes) to get more details. At that briefing there was a panel including the Director-General of Migrationsverket, Ola Henriksson, giving useful information from the Swedish side. He said, for example, that the queue for handling Swedish citizenship applications is slow at the moment - you could be waiting two years. However, they won't keep your British passport all that time if you need it back. (See below under 'Application for Swedish citizenship')
Brexit update from the British Embassy (Nov 2017)
On 16 November, the Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy, Aidan Liddle, gave the latest news on Brexit and the current state of the negotiations with the EU. The meeting was well-attended (with 150 people registered) and there were plenty of questions, fielded by a moderator.
Mr Liddle, with long involvement in the EU, was impressively knowledgeable and clear in his responses. He stressed that there is a false impression from the press that no progress has been made, but that negotiations are well underway behind the scenes, although still in the early stages.
His overall message seemed to be that, while there is absolutely no turning back on the decision to leave the EU, the UK is doing everything it can in the negotiations to keep its relationship with the EU exactly as it is today (e.g. by converting existing EU law into UK law). However, the UK does plan to release itself from the EU principle of free movement of labour, since that was the main issue in the referendum. (Unfortunately, we didn't have anyone at the meeting to represent the official EU position on these issues.)
Mr Liddle emphasized that the UK government is keen to honour EU citizens' right to reside in the UK, but only for those settled there already. The position of Brits living in or moving to Sweden (or elsewhere in the EU) was not explored but there would presumably be a reciprocal arrangement. He only reiterated the Ambassador's advice that Brits should contact their Swedish MEPs to put across any concerns about their future as Swedish/EU residents after Brexit.
Most of the issues Mr Liddle covered are outlined in detail on the Gov.uk website:
- The status of the Brexit negotiations
- How Brexit affects EU citizens in the UK / UK nationals in the EU
Price and bookings for social evenings
At the AGM on 25 February 2017 it was decided to raise the fee for socials to 150 kr per person to keep up with rising costs.
Please book via Catriona (see Club contacts), stating if you are a vegetarian. She will confirm whether there are still places available and then ask you to pay the fee direct to our Bankgiro account: 5359-2069. (Don't forget to include your name on the message to the payee, otherwise we won't know who made the payment.)
From now on we will open the doors at Drottning Kristinas Jaktslott at 6 pm instead of 7 pm, so that the hungry revellers don't have to wait too long for their food. It also means that we have more time to chat and less need to rush to clear up and head for home at the end of the evening.
No more direct ferry options to the UK (2016)
DFDS now report that they no longer take foot passengers or private vehicles on their freight ferry from Gothenburg to Immingham. So if you want to take a car to the UK, there is no direct connection by sea. You either need to plan two extra days in each direction and drive via Denmark, Germany and Holland/Belgium/France, or leave the car here and travel by plane.