• Sweden edition
 
Presented by Stockholm Business Region
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
You want one of these. Photo: Skatteverket

Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm

Published: 29 Jul 2014 14:53 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Jul 2014 14:53 GMT+02:00

I’m moving to Stockholm. The lifestyle, the nature, the opportunities - I can’t wait. Just one small thing: how do I avoid all the bureaucracy nonsense?
 
Bureaucracy? Avoid it? Are you sure you’ve thought this move through?
 
Sure I have! But my brain cramps up at the thought of queuing at local authority offices and persuading public officials to sign this and stamp that.
 
Well, there’s obvious news and good news. The obvious news is that there is no way of avoiding the bureaucracy. Life is so complicated in Stockholm if you’re outside of the system that you really have no choice but to be in it.
 
So what’s the good news?
 
The good news is that the route into the system is incredibly efficient and involves very little in the way of papers, queuing, signatures and stamps. Here, ‘papers’ have been replaced by plastic cards and the key to almost every aspect of life in Stockholm is your own personal string of numbers.
 
My friend, I am not a number. I am a roaming citizen of the world. I am a living, breathing human being whose life cannot be distilled to a series digits. I’m a free spirit, I float with the wind, I ...
 
Let me stop you right there. That’s all very inspiring but it won’t get you a place to live, insurance, a bank account, healthcare, gym membership, a mobile phone, internet connection, TV licence, or a school place for your kids. 
 
But these numbers will? So what are these mysterious, magical numbers of which you speak?
 
I’m talking about the ubiquitous personal number. Stockholm is a highly digital city, with the vast majority of public and commercial services being managed online. Your personal number is a unique identifier that connects everything, dramatically reducing bureaucracy and processing times. 
 
At first some foreign residents are uncomfortable with their lives being held in a database but they...
 
Yeah, yeah, never mind that. I want one of these numbers. NOW. How do I get one?
 
Hold your horses. The personal number is the penultimate step at the end of an application process whose elements depend upon where you come from.
 
To summarize in a sentence, you need a work permit, a residence permit, registration with the tax agency, a personal number and an ID card. In that order. If you’re from a country in the EU/EEA (or Switzerland) then you don’t need to worry about the permits. Freedom of movement is yours!
 
I’m happy for my European friends. Truly. But how do I get a work permit?
 
First you’ll need a job offer - before you come to Sweden. There’s a fee for the application (and extension) and various rules about the period for which the permit is valid. Once you’ve been working for four years in Sweden you’ll be entitled to a permanent residence permit, but in the meantime you’ll need the temporary version for you and your family that will come with your work permit. 
 
And then I register with the tax agency, right?
 
Right. If you’re planning to be in Stockholm for more than twelve months, have a valid residence permit and can show that you can support yourself, then you need to get yourself in the ‘population register’. The tax agency will help you with that and will then furnish you with your own 10-digit personal number. Memorize it. 
 
What? Do I have to memorize yet another random string of digits? I have a terrible head for numbers. 
 
Relax. The first six digits are simply your date of birth. So there are only four more numbers to remember. Think of it like your own personal PIN-code. You can do it. And if you have kids, remember theirs too. 
 
I'm still not sure I'll manage to remember this new Swedish number. If only there was a handy reminder I could carry with me...
 
Well, you're in luck. The final step in your integration into the Swedish system is getting your Swedish ID card from the tax agency. You’ll use your ID card in many situations, such as buying booze (if you’re blessed with youthful looks), opening a bank account or hiring a car. And your personal number is printed right there on the card in case you need a reminder.
 
So where do I start?
 
With some proper advice from the good people at the City of Stockholm, a job offer and some serious memory exercises.
 
This article was produced by The Local in association with Stockholm Business Region.

For more stories about Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Elections 2014
Reinfeldt in US for first post-election speech
Fredrik Reinfeldt after a previous meeting in the US. Photo: TT

Reinfeldt in US for first post-election speech

Outgoing Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is at a UN climate summit in New York where he is making his first public appearance since election night. READ  

Elections 2014
Loophole lets neo-Nazis onto Swedish councils
Members of the Party of the Swedes march in central Stockholm in August 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Loophole lets neo-Nazis onto Swedish councils

Two neo-Nazis who received only a handful of votes have won seats on Swedish councils thanks to a kink in the country’s election laws. READ  

Assange extradition battle
Sweden pours doubt on Assange extradition
Julian Assange is currently living inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Photo: TT

Sweden pours doubt on Assange extradition

Swedish prosecutors said it was "far-fetched" to think that fugitive Wikileaks founder Julian Assange could be extradited to the United States if he returned to Sweden, in a statement released on Tuesday. READ  

Police drop case of thief caught on camera
Happier times at Park Lane: Charles Simonyi and Lisa Persdotter celebrate thier wedding in 2008. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/Scanpix

Police drop case of thief caught on camera

Damning video evidence and an apology from an alleged thief’s daughter were not enough to convince police that a well-known criminal had stolen hundreds of thousands of kronor worth of equipment from one of Gothenburg’s most popular night spots. READ  

Opinion
Sweden 'missed' global opportunities
Sweden's outgoing Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. Photo: TT

Sweden 'missed' global opportunities

As Stefan Löfven attempts to form a coalition government, Social Democrat MEP Jytte Guteland says her party needs to focus on Sweden's international image. READ  

National
Politics 'most shared' topic in Sweden
Photo: Shutterstock

Politics 'most shared' topic in Sweden

Swedes are more likely to share posts or articles on politics than on any other issues, according to a new report from Mid Sweden University. READ  

National
Fears schoolboy murdered in Sweden
Photo: TT

Fears schoolboy murdered in Sweden

Police in Halmstad say the results of forensic tests suggest a 16-year-old boy found dead in a creek was murdered. READ  

National
Elk hunters risk injury in Sweden’s woods
Hunter Ingela Olsson loads her rifle at sunrise in Norrbölla, northern Sweden. File photo: Gunnar Lundmark/SvD/Scanpix

Elk hunters risk injury in Sweden’s woods

Sweden’s vast annual elk hunt spells danger not just for the majestic animals but also for hunters, with crumbling towers and over-tiredness just two of the season’s perils. READ  

Malmö
Rat invasion closes Malmö preschool
Rats like this one have been found in a kindergarten. Photo: TT

Rat invasion closes Malmö preschool

Children in central Malmö are staying at home on Tuesday after a rat infestation was discovered at their kindergarten. READ  

National
Sweden's benefit agency site restored
Photo: TT

Sweden's benefit agency site restored

UPDATED: Sweden's Social Insurance Agency website is working again after being out of action since Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Property of the week - Torslanda
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: September 20th
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Blog updates

22 September

Welcome National Geographic! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What comes to mind when you think of the “The Arctic”? Crystal-encased cliffs jutting from the sea, baronial Polar bears scavenging over sheets of cracked ice or a lone explorer heading north into the night. The image my mind invokes is of three sparkling green lines splashed across the sky like graffiti— the Aurora Borealis— our..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
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

841
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
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
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