Today I received in the mail a letter addressed to me. Not that unusual you are probably thinking. Yet this was the first ever letter that was in my name since I moved to Sweden. After a few months of waiting my Personnummer had arrived, I was finally registered in Sweden.
The process began last summer when I decided that, whilst I was still paid by my UK employer, it certainly was time that I began to do things properly here. I needed to be put on the tenancy list, I needed a bank account, and of course, none of this can be done without the personal number.
In my research, I had come across an torrent of different stories of peoples experience in dealing with MigrationSverket and Skattverket. From countless negativity to some who just breezed in and got the number the same day, I read over thirty different accounts.
So just before Christmas I armed myself with confidence and braved the subzero temperature and went to my local Migrationsverket office. Upon arrival, I was under the impression that some fire-breathing dragon would interview me, going on the tales of those who had experienced this before. I had a folder with more documents that probably exist. Work contract, passport, ID, birth certificate, bank slips, wage slips, proof of address, you name it, I had it.
I had put three hours on the car park ticket as I thought I would be in for a terribly long wait. In fact, I was in and out within ten minutes. The application was processed; they took a copy of my passport and employment contract and said my answer would be there shortly. Low and behold a week later my right of residence arrived in the post.
Surely though the tales of the Skattverket would be more accurate. I had read of those who had been trying to get a personnummer for months, so what chance did I have? Again a three-hour parking ticket was put in the window as I entered, shaking rather nervously. However, it was once more a fabled myth. They photographed my passport I gave them the date they arrived and that was it. Five days later and I now have my number with me.
For those who trawl through the discussions here and talk to others I only have one bit of advice. Go to the offices. They speak perfect English; the staff I found were polite, friendly and much more helping than the civil service offices back in the UK.
There were no dragons, no months of waiting and no mountain of forms to complete. It was a direct, easy process that has put my mind at ease. Now I believe I can just live here in Sweden with comfort and peace of mind that the process is not at all that bad.
Don’t be scared people. It actually is easier than you think.