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Tax agency ready for June 1st ID card rush

Tax agency ready for June 1st ID card rush

Published: 29 May 2009 15:57 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 May 2009 15:57 GMT+02:00

After two and half years of waiting, immigrants arriving in Sweden will finally be able to obtain Swedish national identity cards.

Starting June 1st, the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) will begin accepting applications from people who are registered as living in Sweden with a personal identity number (personnummer), are at least 13-years-old, and can verify their identity.

“We’re absolutely ready and have done all that we can do at this point,” the Tax Agency’s Anna-Lena Österborg told The Local.

“It’s exciting. This is a whole new activity for us.”

Österborg, who has managed the ID card project, said the Tax Agency expects a wave of applications to flood in during the first few days.

Extra staff have been assigned to the 23 different offices around the country accepting applications in order to troubleshoot any possible problems.

“Since it’s the first time that any of us will be carrying out this activity, we’re going to be well-prepared,” said Österborg, although she couldn’t elaborate on any specific glitches that may be likely to occur.

In addition, Österborg urged patience from applicants who show up to file applications on the first few days in June.

“There may be long lines and application times may end up being longer than the expected two weeks,” she said, adding the agency had no concrete estimate of how many people may apply for ID cards.

Ever since early 2007, when the now shuttered Svensk Kassaservice announced it would no longer be issuing ID cards to non-Swedes, foreigners living in Sweden have been forced to turn to banks in order to obtain ID cards – and with decidedly inconsistent results.

While certain branches of some banks issued ID cards to non-Swedes, other banks refused to accept applications because foreigners were not able to adequately verify their identity.

For well over a year, the government has been wrestling with how to deal with an issue which has been a constant thorn in the side of new arrivals to Sweden who find themselves unable to obtain an ID card to help them carry out many of life's basic functions like seeing a doctor or collecting packages from the post office.

After months of silence the government confirmed in September 2008 that the Tax Agency would take over responsibility for issuing ID cards.

And starting Monday, Tax Agency offices around the country will begin accepting applications, which must be filed in person.

“We’re also really hoping that people take time to ensure they meet the requirements before coming in to file their application,” said Österborg.

In addition, she stressed the importance of paying the 400 kronor ($52) application fee by bank- or plus-giro before showing up at the Tax Agency in person.

“Our offices don’t handle cash for security reasons,” she said.

The Tax Agency also requests that people hang onto their payment receipts to present as proof of payment when submitting their ID card application.

Also important is making sure that the applicant has an approved type of identity document, such as a previously issued Swedish identity card or passport, or an EU passport issued after September 1st, 2006.

In addition, passports from Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein are also acceptable, although passports from more recent EU members Romania, Cyprus, and Bulgaria are not.

For people lacking the approved documents, it’s necessary for them to come to the Tax Agency with someone who can vouch for their identity, such as a parent, sibling, spouse, or adult child.

In certain cases, an employer can also serve as an identity witness.

“It’s really important that we make sure these documents are credible and that cards are issued to the people who are who they say they are,” said Österborg.

She admitted, however, that some cases may require additional investigation, such as cross-referencing an identity witness with the Tax Agency’s population registry to verify their relationship to the applicant, or checking that two people claiming to be a couple are registered at the same address.

“At the end of the day, we’re relying on people’s good faith,” she said.

Applicants will then be photographed at the agency’s offices, and should receive their ID cards within two weeks of filing the application, assuming everything is in order.

But again, Österborg emphasized that the first wave of applications may take somewhat longer.

“Once we’ve got everything up and running smoothly, we shouldn’t have any trouble meeting the two-week deadline,” she said.

“But we know expectations are high and want people to understand that at first, we may take a little bit more time than expected to get them their ID cards.”

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:12 May 29, 2009 by Mister E
I wonder if this ID card will end up stigmatized as "the immigrant card" since it's unlikely any Swedes will be getting it. If that does indeed happen then expect to hear about people having their card rejected and told "we don't accept that card here" or something to the same effect.
17:44 May 29, 2009 by sunshineray
@Mister E

In order to avoid that problem, I suggest to get the tax agency identity card and then use that in order to get a bank issued one.

At that point, the bank cannot refuse to issue an identity card.

As far as I know, it's not forbidden to have two Swedish identity cards.

Good luck!

19:32 May 29, 2009 by tigger007
GOOD POINT sunshineray!

i have been with swedbank for 5yrs and when i lost my ID card and i had to use my passport. they told me NO and that i had to bring in a sweden person to verify me! i wonder if EU citizens will have to have this immigrant card? i'm an american and i never had to have this card in the past. one last thing! why isn't modern states citizens aren't called immigrants(us,uk, can,and others) while others like asians,middle easterners,and africans state citizens are called immigrants? what's the real definition of immigrant?
20:02 May 29, 2009 by Nilspet
That certain groups of people are called immigrants based on their race and color is a form of racism of course.
20:19 May 29, 2009 by andreisuedia
i wonder if the old id card issued by the swedbank it will be anymore available? im waiting for the answer thanx a lot
20:36 May 29, 2009 by sunshineray

I am pretty sure that banks will continue to issue idcards as usual.

Here you find the rules for Swedbank:


If your card is still valid just be sure to apply for a new one a couple of months before the expiration date (you find it on the card itself). I did that at the end of january for my handelsbanken card, which was going to expire in march, and no questions asked, just the valid idcard and a photo (maybe they asked if I am a client of the bank, which I am).

Maybe you mean if you have to get this new card even if your bank card is still valid? I don't think so, you can get one if you really really want, but you don't have to.

All the best!

20:41 May 29, 2009 by andreisuedia
thank you very mutch for the answer
20:45 May 29, 2009 by Absolute
This ID farce is not yet over.

21:38 May 29, 2009 by macintosh
So, in order to get the Swedish ID card, a person should be either from EU or should have previous SWEDISH ID card??? Then whats the difference? They were telling that any person with swedish personal number will able to get the ID card. Can someone explain this? thanks
21:50 May 29, 2009 by Kaethar
Don't listen to Nilspet. That's the playing-the-victim definition.

In reality people make a distinction between immigrants and expats. Immigrants are said to be those coming to stay here permanently whilst expats are those who are only staying here temporarily (usually on contracts without permanent residency). People assume Americans, Canadians, and Brits are only in Sweden temporarily. And there is a lot of truth to this. So it's a perfectly acceptable conclusion to come to when you have no other info, and not the least bit racist. I find it more racist to say that no Asian, Middle Eastern or African states are "modern." That's a very euro-centric outlook, to be sure. It's not even true from a euro-centric outlook.
04:00 May 30, 2009 by Jamie_plymouth
Kaethar, what the hell are you on about? An expat is someone who lives abroad but comes from, USA, UK, NZ or Australia. These are expatriats!

But I do agree Nilspet is talking sh*t.

As for sunshireray and tigger007 why should someone have to pay extra money for an ID card just not to be predjucided against? It is the small minded people who would call it the 'immigrant card'.

If you want to pick up on any spelling or grammar mistakes please note I dont give a sh*t.

Much love
11:01 May 30, 2009 by hilt_m
Great so now I have to give the 400kr to get an id card which I then take to the bank and had over another 400kr so I can have an id like everyone else lol. As for the expat / immigrant debate hell it's all foreign to me :)

Jamie, I think not giving a sh*t is the way to go!
17:34 May 30, 2009 by Windyrocks
Does anybodt know if the so called Främling pass (foreigners passport) meets the identification requirements?

There are hundreds of people who hold this,and if they will be turned down the whole project is just a piece of crap.
06:13 May 31, 2009 by Baned
No, Kaethar is right - most Westerners think of expats as someone temporarily residing in another county, whereas an immigrant is someone migrating to a foreign country for permanent residency. I'm American. I'm an immigrant in Sweden (with permanent residency) and I intend to stay. When I lived in Asia for work, I was an expat - I had no plans on staying beyond my contract.

What's the problem with the word immigrant anyway? Isn't it fair to assume we're all immigrants on this board. A quick browse around the threads and you'd know for damned sure no ones here for just work (no matter how long they've been here ... sadly).
08:54 May 31, 2009 by Yanksalot
i am a US citizen. When I moved here 7 yrs ago, i opened an account with SEB. Using my passport I was able to get a bank ID card from them immediately (well, took about 2 weeks as they had to have it printed up off site and then I had to go and fetch it at my bank).

If your bank isnt wiling to do this, I suggest you consider switching to one that will accomodate you better.
10:09 May 31, 2009 by Craptastical
That was 7 years ago. That was before it was discovered that some people (criminals) were getting ID claiming to be people that they aren't.

When I moved here just over two years ago the banks had already begun restricting who could get ID cards. At this point in time I wouldn't be surprised if the banks say "no, go to Skatteverket" for those who don't already have ID cards.

Also, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if banks decide not to issue ID cards at all. After all, they can point people at another agency to handle this instead of having people take up the bank's time with non-banking related activities.
20:24 May 31, 2009 by Omaro
Why does every topic in The local change to a racism discussions?

What is wrong with people nowadays?
23:20 May 31, 2009 by weiwiegu
I have called the skatteverket regarding the ID card, they said to me that it is both for swedish and foreigners with personal identity number.

they said supposly the bank will close the service issuing ID cards in the future.
03:41 June 1, 2009 by Vandring
So let me understand this right? You need Swedish ID or an EU passport to get the new ID? What about people from the US, NZ, Australia, Canada, etc?
08:16 June 1, 2009 by Craptastical
Or how about this... Someone from one of those countries here alone, and employed in an area where it's not easy to get someone from your company to tag along to skatteverket.

Or what about a refugee/asylum seeker who comes here from a country not on that list. Often there's nobody that can vouch for them either.

Clearly they have some things they're going to have to iron out.
08:17 June 1, 2009 by weiwiegu
for outside EU, you need to be able to find a peoson who can certify you , i.e people who knows you well, can be husband/wife, parents, etc.some times your employer can also be the certifier.
08:21 June 1, 2009 by Craptastical
And there is the problem. I was in a horrible situation when I moved here. I'm one of the only engineers in our Swedish office, and the rest are sales folks. None could take the time to help me out, they're travelling 99% of the time and usually it's last minute travel.

*Shrug* I don't have to deal with this problem anymore because Swedbank finally caved, but I'm really bothered that the same problem that existed before is being repeated while also claiming the title of "solution". It's complete BS.
09:59 June 1, 2009 by Iraniboy

If you're not European and you don't have a parent/siblings/spouse to verify you, don't go there. I was there today. No rush nor queue at all. She told me that non-European people without a family will be more than 90% rejected no matter how many close Swedish friends they have to verify them and they will lose the 400kr application fee. Single non-Euorpean residents are doomed not have any ID this way. She said I have more chance to apply in banks!!
10:08 June 1, 2009 by Craptastical
Hmmm. Perhaps it's time to resurrect the idea that someone from Migrationsverket accompany some immigrants/refugees/etc to Skatteverket so that they can vouch for the validity of the passport or other ID documents the individual may have.
10:37 June 1, 2009 by Miss Kitten
So, basically, nothing's really changed. Those of us who are non-EU citizens are still out of luck, as the saying goes.
10:46 June 1, 2009 by balbright
Is it me or does the guy in the example ID have the longest name in Sweden?
10:51 June 1, 2009 by balbright
...oh and it appears that the example card is only valid for 25 days (if my broken Swedish is correct). Please god make this be true. I would rather gripe about the hilarity of the situation than have a functioning ID card. I'm sure its not but then again nothing would suprise me.
11:08 June 1, 2009 by Omaro

So what is the benefit of all that stuff if non-europeans immigrants have no right to get an ID from them, that is strange. And she told you it is easier for you to get an ID issued from banks?????? was that woman joking or just acting silly ?


How for god sake u could read the details of that tiny card above, the only word i could read is SPECIMEN. loool
11:23 June 1, 2009 by Iraniboy

Actually all of those stuff about "Finally issuing ID card" by thelocal is just a myth. She said this program is especially for those who have ID but their spouse or sister/borthers don't!! She told me she understands IT'S NOT FAIR FROM HER POINT OF VIEWS but they have to follow government's rules.

She told me "If you don't want to lose 400kr, don't apply cause you stand no chance no matter how many Swedish friends you bring here!!"
12:07 June 1, 2009 by Omaro

Try to contact other person in the skatteverket or even another skatteverket in another commune, I have noticed that some staff in the skatteverket or other governmental agencies don`t know their jobs exactly, everyone has a level of knowledge there, if that applies to the old stuff, how is that with the new laws lol.
12:21 June 1, 2009 by Craptastical
There are only a select few which are offering the service at this point, while you may be correct I still think that there won't be much disparity between the different branch offices.

This is simply a case of "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss".
12:39 June 1, 2009 by sherkovic
OMG..what a waste of time ppl!! lolllzz
12:50 June 1, 2009 by Iraniboy

The problem is that you find your chance after your have lost your money!! It's better to try in Banks. They don't confiscate the money. They just say No or Yes. Oh dear Skatteverket has opened a new chance of earning money!!! That seems to be a wise decision in current economical crisis.
13:47 June 1, 2009 by Omaro

Well my friend is Iraqi christian, he has many relatives in Linköping, and they are swedes, they accompanied him to the banks to issue an ID for him, all the banks: Swedbank, Nordea, SEB, said NEJ!.

So what problem they had solved? that is ridiculous.
13:55 June 1, 2009 by Iraniboy
Yeah I find it ridicoulous too. After near two years they just say the same thing as Banks say. Or even worse!! They threaten to confiscate the money! It seems to be another branch of Nordea/Swedbank while it ask the money then reject you!!!

I don't know who are responsible for this case but it is totally against mainstream Swedish spirit. It is almost discriminatory. My Swedish friends who were supposed to accompny me told me not back off but I have already requested to take back the money without applying.
15:58 June 1, 2009 by ameribrit
It wouldn't be Sweden any longer if this new system actually made sense and worked. On a side note related to this idiocy.

My wife who is also an American has an account and a mortgage at SEB. To put me on the mortgage (She bought the house while I was still in the US selling the old one) SEB need proof of our marriage. We supplied a notorized copy of the marriage certificate from the US. SEB in their infinite wisdom (read stupidity) refuse to accept it on account of it being too old. We have been married 20 years. I am about ready to pick up and leave this insanity to the natives.
16:12 June 1, 2009 by CanadianEh
From what I understand, by talking to my bank (Swedbank) they have said they will no longer provide ID cards to anyone anymore.(Swede, EU, non EU etc)

Meaning this new card will be the standard for everyone

I went today just to see what the que was here in Gothenburg, and the lady here told me I had to bring my Swedish wife along to prove that I am legitimately here in Sweden. I thought my passport with the retarded Immigration Stamp stating I'm a permanent resident was sufficient but I guess not.

From what I understand this is to stop or reduce fraud, the government here just opened another can of worms lol.
18:25 June 1, 2009 by ale3is
This ID card is valid in the other Countries in the EU? Can you use this card in the airport?
18:36 June 1, 2009 by worldcitizen
Even if you hold an european EU-passport you will not be accepted if the passport was issued before 1st september 2006!!!

This is absolutely unacceptable and ridiculous.

I hope as many people as possible are complaining about this ; I am really feeling discriminated for the first time in my life.
18:56 June 1, 2009 by Ezeth
how can an international student who does not have any relative here in sweden and also not EU citizen get this ID card? Its a annoying when you present ur International passport to the bank,apotek,post office etc and they will reject it telling you that its not an ID and yet they don't want to give you one.I went to the malmo tax office for this ID card and they told me that i have to bring my family to vouch for me. I told her that i dont have any of my family member here in sweden.she just told me sorry i cant help you.Annoying thing is that i have paid the 400sek.??????????????????
22:30 June 1, 2009 by Iraniboy
That's exactly my problem Ezeth.

Anywhere you go they ask for ID and when you apply for it, they don't accept as ground that I have no family with ID here. Are international singles doomed to have miserable life here?? I had also paid it. If you haven't applied for ID, you can write letter or they can write a letter to give you the moneh back. It's better than losing it forever!!
09:30 June 2, 2009 by weiwiegu
EU passports issued before 2006 september does not fullfill the common EU standard, that is one of the reasons. it is the same for swedish people, they have to present their EU passport with wine red cover to be able to qualify.

i think it is absolutely rediculious that they dont make rules easier for people have no relatives here.

i think we should complain let the goverment know.
09:37 June 2, 2009 by flipcanuckbrit
"The ID card is normally ready about two weeks after the application.

When it is ready a letter of notifi cation will be sent to your home telling

you that you can fetch the card from the offi ce where you applied for it."

I find this extremely annoying. I live in Smedjebacken, by Ludvika and the closest Skatteverket office that I can apply for the card in is Västerås. I don't drive. It will cost me more than the fee to travel by bus or train twice to Västerås in order for me to get my card...

They should make this available at all, or at least more Skatteverket offices. I want the card out of convenience as I don't like having to carry my passport with me as identification, but it's certainly very inconvenient to get one of these cards right now.
11:07 June 2, 2009 by oceans2ocean
Sorry I am new to Sweden, but why do i need an ID card? Can i not convert my UK drivers licence to a Swedish one and use my passport (South African) for bank stuff? I did get a bank account with my passport and job contract?
11:28 June 2, 2009 by International Man of Leisure
My last two UK passports have been the 'wine red' EU standard, my current one issues in 2004 and the one before that, issued in 1994, so it's not just the ones issued since 2006 that are the EU standard.

11:45 June 2, 2009 by Rubbi
When you go into some stores or to the pharmacy to collect your prescription they will ask for ID. Normally the UK license of passport wont cut it, I went once only had a UK license but was not accepted but as my sambo was with me they would accept her swedish license to vouch for me. You can convert your license over have a search for UK License on forums and you will find the info you need to do that.
14:18 June 2, 2009 by microping

I register on thelocal.se in order to answer your immigrant question because it is too easy.

Definition of immigrant:

1. A person who leaves one country to settle permanently in another.

2. A plant or animal that establishes itself in an area where it previously did not exist.

Which one you tiger apply? I guess either 1 or 2, both are right.
15:03 June 2, 2009 by himilo
I am African man who have almost 3 years permanent residence permit in Sweden. What i can say is Swedish government decided to reject totally ID Card to immigrants. And I strongly believe that it will take another 2 years to review this case!

I have never ever seen like this where is democracy and justice where is civilisation where is human rights???????????????????????????

15:09 June 2, 2009 by VikingHumpingWitch
I am almost 100% sure that this is wrong. The bank can choose to offer you an ID card but they have absolutely no obligation to do so, it's a service they offer their customers for convenience rather than because they have to. Which is why so many banks no longer do it, it just took up too much of their time.
16:21 June 2, 2009 by Benzed
Does. Not. Compute.
16:26 June 2, 2009 by Craptastical
Divide by zero error.

What's with the whole "this is a human rights violation" schtick lately? It's as though some people hear one person say it and cling to it like flies on even when they aren't quite sure what it really means.

16:47 June 2, 2009 by oceans2ocean
Please say again, over
09:57 September 18, 2009 by ropegun247
I'm a new immigrant to sweden and went to the tax agency to get my id card.

I showed them my passport with my permanent resident stamp. I was told that was not good enough. So I also showed them my other passport (from another country) and I was told that wasn't enough. Only EU passports where accepted.

The next day I came back with my flatmate who had and ID card and wanted to be the person certifying me. But because he wasn't my "boyfriend", we just shared appartment, that wasn't good enough.

The third time I got Migrationsverket to issue an official letter signed and stamped telling Skatteverket that I am the correct person, but that wasn't enough. Instead I was met with an internal memo from Skatteverket saying that even if I brought the guy who issued the official letter from Migrationsverket to sign for me, it wouldn't be good enough.

So let's think about this....

1) I could walk into a Socialstyrelssen and ask them to pay for my living expenses and my rent. But they will not issue to me a little piece of plastic with my photo and my name?

2) I can get free education at any university in Sweden, but they will not give me a little piece of plastic with my photo and my name on it.

3) If I went into a hospital in Sweden and needed 1M worth of surgeries, I would get it but I can't get a little piece of plastic with my photo and my name on it.

4) Once I start working, Skatteverket would take taxes away from my paycheck to partially pay for issuance of ID cards (I suppose). Why can't I get one if I'm paying for it?

Does anybody know if there are any constitutional issues involved here? They accept my identity as far as paying taxes, but they don't accept my identity to function normally in Swedish society! How's that proper?
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