Travel to Sweden

On this page you will find information regarding your transfer to Sweden, as well as what happens before and after travelling.


  • The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Swedish Migration Agency will arrange your travel to Sweden. The IOM will inform you of your departure date and give you other practical information. You will receive all the necessary travel documents before your departure.
  • You will not be able to take all your belongings to Sweden. Pack only the essentials. The IOM will let you know how many bags you can take with you and how much they can weigh.
  • You must pack everything you need during the trip in your carry-on luggage.
  • A representative from your municipality will meet you at the airport or when you arrive in your municipality. In some cases, your municipality will book a taxi to meet you at the airport and then take you to your new home.
  • You will receive a bag with the IOM logo, which will help representatives from your municipality in Sweden as well as airport staff to recognize you at the airport. Carry the IOM bag with you and keep it visible throughout the trip.

You will travel to Sweden by aeroplane. The IOM and the SMA will arrange your trip, inform you of your departure date and give you your travel documents. You are responsible for getting to the airport from which you are travelling. Sometimes you can get help from the IOM to get there.

Be prepared for a long journey. You may need to change planes. Air travel also involves waiting time and waiting in lines at airports.

When you have landed at the final airport in Sweden, you usually travel by car, sometimes by bus, to your new home. The total travel time from your country of departure to your new home in Sweden can be more than a day. Try to make sure you get enough sleep and rest before your departure.

Packing for your trip to Sweden

Number and weight of bags

There is a limit to how many bags you can take with you on the plane and how much the bags can weigh. These limits are determined by the airline you are traveling with. Different airlines have different limits, but it is common for each passenger to take one large and one small bag (for example, a suitcase and a backpack). The IOM will tell you how many bags you can bring and how much they can weigh.

What to pack

It is important to think about what you really want to take with you to Sweden, since the number of bags you are allowed to take on the plane is limited.

Kitchen equipment and some furniture will be provided in your new home, so you don't need to bring it with you. However, you probably want to bring family photos and other personal things that are important to you.

There are also rules for what you can pack in your luggage and take with you on your trip to Sweden. The IOM will inform you about what is forbidden to take with you on the aeroplane. The airports have equipment that screens the luggage for forbidden items.

Checked baggage

Your large bag will be checked in at the airport and will be placed in the cargo area of the plane during the entire trip. You give the bag to the staff at the airport you are travelling from, and you usually will not get the bag back until you arrive in Sweden. The airport staff will put a tag on your bag that states that it belongs to you, where you are travelling to, and which plane you are travelling with.

You should pack the things you do not need during your trip, such as your clothes, in your large checked-in bag.

Carry-on luggage

You may take your small bag, your carry-on luggage (sometimes called hand baggage), with you during the entire trip. You should pack everything you might need during the trip in this bag.

What you need to pack in your carry-on luggage:

  • Your travel documents, tickets, money, passport(s) and other ID documents, as you will need them during the trip.
  • Other important documents, such as diplomas, medication prescriptions and medical records.
  • Medicines that you need and are allowed to take onboard the plane. If a doctor has prescribed medicine for you, it is good to bring enough for 30 days since you may not be able to access medication right away in Sweden.
  • Something to entertain your children on the plane, like toys.
  • Baby food, formula, or snacks if you are travelling with babies or small children.

You should wear clothes that are suitable for the current season in Sweden, or pack it in your carry-on luggage.

Here you can read about the seasons in Sweden, the weather and how to dress for each season.

Even if you travel to Sweden when the weather is warm, it is a good idea to pack a sweater in your hand baggage because it may be cold on the plane.

IOM bag

You will receive a bag with the IOM logo before departure. It contains important documents and information. Carry the IOM bag in your hand and keep it visible at all times. There are staff who will guide you at the airports, when you change planes and when you arrive in Sweden. If you keep the IOM bag visible, it will be easier for them to find you.

Picture showing the IOM-bag.

IOM-bag. Photo: IOM/Alex Van Hagen

Quota refugees at the airport before departure

Quota refugees at the airport before departure Photo: IOM/Rami Ibrahim

Step-by-step on your trip

On the airport

You will go through several security checks at the airport before you are allowed to board the plane. Therefore, it is important to be at the airport well in time before departure. The IOM will inform you about what time you should be at the airport. Sometimes the IOM can accompany you to the airport or give you information on how to get there on your own.

Before you can get on the plane, you need to check in at the correct service desk. You will receive a boarding pass which states which gate your plane departs from, when you should board, and which seat is assigned to you. Your large bag will be checked in, screened by security and delivered to the plane.

You will go through a security check where you and your carry-on baggage will be checked for any dangerous or forbidden items. There are also border controls where your travel and identity documents are checked.

After going through all the necessary security checks, you need to find your departure terminal, which is the part of the airport from which your flight will depart. There are screens and signs at the airport to help you find the right departure terminal and the right gate inside the terminal.

If you change planes during your trip to Sweden, you may have to go through certain security checks again. Usually someone can guide you when you get off the plane. Remember to keep the IOM bag visible so that the person can find you.

On the aeroplane

Passengers on the aeroplane get their own seat. You can see the number of your seat on your boarding pass. You can ask the staff on the plane for help in finding your seat. After finding your seat, you sit down, fasten your seat belt and wait for the plane to take off.

Children sit together with the adults they are travelling with, and children under the age of two will sit on the lap of the adult they are travelling with. During the flight, the adult is responsible for making sure that the child remain in their seats. Running around is not allowed and there is no children’s section on the plane.

Before the plane takes off, the flight attendants will provide instructions on what to do in an emergency.

During the flight, you must remain in your seat as much as possible. There are toilets to use inside the plane. Meals and drinks are served during longer flights. It may be a good idea to sleep during longer flights, as the journey to your new home will be long.

Arriving in Sweden

When you arrive in Sweden, you need to go through a border control and collect your checked-in luggage. Staff from the airport will meet and guide you. They will tell you where to go after you get off the plane. Remember to keep the IOM bag visible.

Sometimes you will change planes in Sweden to get to your final destination. From the airport, you will usually travel by car. Sweden is a wide country so you may have to travel for several hours after you land to reach your municipality.

A representative from your municipality will meet you at the airport or when you arrive at your municipality. In some cases, your municipality will book a taxi to meet you at the airport and then take you to your accommodation. When you reach your municipality, you will get information about your new home and what will happen next.

Bagage claim at the airport

Bagage claim at the airport. Photo: Mostphotos

Topics to discuss

  • Have you started thinking about which items you will prioritize when packing?
  • Do you understand the difference between check-in luggage and hand luggage?

Last updated: