• Sweden edition
 
British man stuck in Swedish ID nightmare

British man stuck in Swedish ID nightmare

Published: 10 Jun 2013 14:06 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Jun 2013 14:06 GMT+02:00

"It's a total Catch-22. I really don't know what I'm going to do," UK-native Marcus Bush told The Local.

Earlier this year, Bush, who has lived in Sweden for the past seven years, finally decided to apply for Swedish citizenship.

"I wanted to take advantage of the ease of travelling within the Schengen Area," he explained, referring to the name used to refer to the 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls and that includes Sweden, but not the UK.

"I also wanted to be able to be fully involved in the democratic processes of my adopted country."

Bush submitted his online citizenship application at the website of the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) without any trouble, later sending the agency his UK passport and Swedish national ID card via post.

"I made sure to mark the box requesting that they return my British passport, as I am due to travel quite soon," he said.

A few days later, Bush received a note in the mail that he could pick up his UK passport at an outlet of Swedish postal service Posten near his home on Södermalm in Stockholm.

But when he presented his British driver's licence to pick up the package, Bush was shocked to learn that the ID wasn't acceptable.

"They told me that, as of April 15th, Posten didn't consider foreign driver's licences as a valid form of ID to pick up a package," he said.

With his Swedish national identity card still in the hands of officials at the Migration Board and his UK passport resting in the envelope on the counter at the post office, Bush found himself without the valid ID he needed.

"The guy set the envelope on the counter and I have to admit there was a moment when I asked myself, 'Do I just grab this and run?'," he recalled.

With an upcoming trip to Prague fast approaching, Bush has been stymied in how to rectify the situation.

"I can't expect the guy behind the counter to break the rules. And every time I call the Migration Board I just get put in a phone queue," he said.

"As the Czech Republic is in Schengen, I may be able to get there without my passport. But now I'm really not sure if my UK licence is valid for air travel either."

A spokeswoman with Posten confirmed the recent policy change for The Local, explaining that a foreign driver's licence is no longer considered a valid ID for picking up a package, even if it's from another EU country.

"I can understand his frustration. It's a complicated situation," she told The Local.

However, she was hesitant to suggest any proposed solution as to how Bush would be able to claim the package that contained the very document he needed to claim the package.

A spokeswoman at the Migration Board was also sympathetic, saying she wasn't immediately aware of similar cases, but couldn't be sure as to how many other would-be Swedish citizens had found themselves with the same problem as Bush, who at this point can only think of one possible way out of the dilemma.

"I guess I could apply for a whole new Swedish ID card, but that's 400 kronor ($60) I don't feel I should have to spend and it wouldn't arrive in time for my trip anyway," he said.

"I'm all for protecting against fraud, but I've become collateral damage in all this."

David Landes

Follow David Landes on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Snake hunt after man claims playground bite
The Swedish adder. Photo: Piet Spaans

Snake hunt after man claims playground bite

A man claimed to have been bitten by a poisonous snake at a paddling pool in Gothenburg on Thursday prompting a hunt which ended without a trace of the offending reptile. READ  

Stockholmers sound off on 'beautiful Swedes'
Swedish girls in Stockholm. Photo: Susanne Walström/Imagebank Sweden

Stockholmers sound off on 'beautiful Swedes'

Following a Nordic survey in which Swedes were voted the "most attractive", The Local hit the streets to see what Stockholmers thought. READ  

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat
Norwegian police car at Oslo Gardemoen Airport. Photo: TT

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat

The Swedish Security Service (Säpo) have said that an "imminent terror threat" to neighbouring Norway doesn't yet affect Sweden although developments are being closely followed. READ  

Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
The Blomdahl family in Berlin. Photo: Private

Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin

Edvin Blomdahl is seven-years-old. He also cycled from Sweden to Berlin, a journey of 370 kilometres, in four days. READ  

Opinion
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Demonstrations at Sergels Torg in Stockholm. Photo: Kent Vilhelmsson

'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'

As the rhetoric rises at demonstrations in Swedish cities, Stockholm-based Israeli writer David Stavrou calls on Swedes to think before they shout and to cast a critical eye over much that is written and said about the conflict in Gaza. READ  

Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Sweden
The vintage tractor ready to travel from UK to north Norway. Photo: Peter Matheson

Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Sweden

A British man is set next month to drive from Scotland, across Sweden, and to the northern tip of Norway on a vintage tractor to raise money for a cancer charity. READ  

Sweden agency hikes heat warning to 'extreme'
This canine friend is not amused. Photo: TT

Sweden agency hikes heat warning to 'extreme'

Swedish weather agency SMHI has raised its weather warning to class 2, giving notice of "extremely high temperatures" in parts of the country. READ  

Songs for a hot Swedish summer
Ted Gärdestad. Photo: TT

Songs for a hot Swedish summer

Contributor Paul Connolly has put together a list of Swedish songs to capture balmy summer days, which in his neck of the northern woods are pushing the mercury above 35c for the first time in a century. READ  

Swedes suffer as buses boil in the summer sun
Photo: TT

Swedes suffer as buses boil in the summer sun

Stockholm's local traffic authority has received almost 300 complaints since June 1st with many regarding stifling heat on the city's buses, which lack air con. READ  

Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv
Photo: Matt Rourke/TT

Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv

UPDATE: About 270 passengers planning to fly to Stockholm are still stranded in Tel Aviv, and airlines have stated that flights will likely be grounded on Thursday as well. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
Blog updates

22 July

Det (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! “Det” is a personal pronoun that can be used in many ways, and it might me confusing if you always translate “det” to English “it”. In this article I will do my best to guide you to how to use “det”. Det replacing a word, a phrase or a clause Let us begin with the less confusing..." READ »

 

22 July

PROTECTING GIRLS FROM ABUSE OF THEIR RIGHTS (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Today (22 July) my Prime Minister, David Cameron, and UNICEF, are hosting the world’s first #GirlSummit in London. The Summit’s aim is to mobilise domestic and international efforts to end the appalling practices of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Early Forced Marriage (CEFM). This is a high priority for the UK government and the Prime..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Gallery
People-watching July 11-13
National
Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban
National
Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county
National
Swede's salary chopped for Facebook use
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

710
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se