When applying for a personal identity number (personnummer) in Sweden, you must have a residence permit that is valid for at least 1 year and will also live in Sweden for at least 1 year. If your residence permit is valid for a duration of less than 1 year, you will not be eligible to apply for a personal identification number and will therefore not be able to enjoy certain benefits. That is why it is important that you have insurance that will cover any expenses that may arise during your time living in Sweden (e.g. medical bills). 

To apply for a personal identity number, you must do so via the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) and provide the following personal information:

  • Date of birth
  • Sex
  • Marital status
  • Address of registration
  • Family members’ information

If you have family members who are living in Sweden with you (e.g. spouse, children) then other than the residence permit issued by the Immigration Agency, make sure to bring the original copy of your marriage registration certificate, birth certificate, and passport of all family members.  To save time and speed up the application process, it is recommended to send your application online. You can do so by clicking on this link. After completing the online application, you should also print a copy of the form to bring with you to the Tax Agency office for the next step of the process. Please note that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, applicants can only come to the Tax Agency office 7 days after their arrival to Sweden. 

Your personal identity number will not be immediately available after your visit to the Tax Agency office and will take a few weeks (at the moment, the wait time can take up to 18 weeks) to arrive at your home by post. 

Why do you need a personal identity number?

For those living in Sweden, this personal identity number is mandatory for things such as:

  • Applying for school (kindergarten, compulsory education, free Swedish language courses for migrants through the SFI program)
  • Opening a bank account
  • Healthcare services
  • Sign up for services such as phone, internet, utilities, gym memberships, etc. 

In reality, many foreign citizens moving to Sweden do not meet the requirement to apply for a personal identity number and have encountered many inconveniences and headaches such as not being able to send their children to school, having to pay large amount for health services (paying with rates that apply for foreign tourists), not able to purchase utilities (e.g. internet/phone subscriptions, bank accounts, etc.,) 

Therefore, before your arrival to Sweden, you should be informed about the necessary steps required for a foreigner  moving to Sweden to avoid situations similar to the examples given above.

 Scenarios that can apply for individuals that are not eligible for a personal identification number:

  • If you have a residence permit for a period of less than 1 year. For example, students enrolled in a 1 year program
  • If the period of time living in Sweden from the day your residence permit is valid is under 1 year. For example, your residence permit is valid for 15 months but you arrive in Sweden and register when your residence permit is only valid for 11 more months. Then, your period of time living in Sweden is under 1 year and therefore, you are not eligible for a personal identity number.
  • Your passport is going to expire within a 1 year from the day you receive your residence permit. For example, you have the prerequisites to apply for a 2 years residence permit but because your passport will expire within 1 year, then you will only be granted a residence permit for the duration that matches with the validity of your passport

Please note that students who are enrolled in programs that last more than 1 year are not required to purchase Comprehensive health insurance when applying for a residence permit because the total consecutive time for your residence permit in Sweden be longer than 1 year, you can be registered with the Swedish Civil Registry. If you are registered in Sweden, you are considered as having a comprehensive healthcare policy that is valid for healthcare in Sweden.

~ VNS Consulting

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