‘The ID card issue is just killing us’

Having just purchased an apartment in Malmö, Arkadiusz and his girlfriend are generally happy with their lot in Sweden. But the Polish couple's experience when trying to obtain Swedish ID cards has been typically surreal.

Arkadiusz is one of a number of readers to have contacted The Local in response to revelations that Svensk Kassaservice has effectively barred immigrants from obtaining certified Swedish ID cards. While Svensk Kassaservice is not the only body authorised to issue ID cards, Arkadiusz and his girlfriend have fared little better with their bank.

Despite continuing to work and study in Denmark, the couple have no regrets about crossing the Öresund Bridge to delve into the property market in December of last year.

“However, the ID card issue is just killing us,” Arkadiusz told The Local.

Having acquired a mortgage with Swedbank in Denmark, the pair did not envisage having any problems getting an ID card from the same bank once they had registered with the Swedish Migration Board.

But the couple’s personal advisor at the Copenhagen branch informed them that it would not be quite so simple.

Her first piece of advice was for them to apply for identity cards from the Swedish police.

But when they went to the police station in Malmö they were told that the police can only issue ID cards to Swedish citizens.

Wondering why the Copenhagen branch had sent them to the police in the first place, the couple turned instead to Swedbank in Malmö.

There they found that their Polish EU passports were not sufficient to entitle them to an ID card. Instead they were asked to come back armed with a Swedish citizen who could vouch for their identity.

“So the same bank that borrowed us money to buy the apartment needs a random person to confirm our identity. Interesting, isn’t it?” said Arkadiusz.

Fortunately for them, the couple had previously come into contact with some Swedes, including three people from the Swedbank office in Copenhagen, one of whom was their personal advisor.

They duly asked their contact person at the Malmö office to get in touch with the Copenhagen branch to confirm their identity.

“And that should solve the problem,” said Arkadiusz.

But three weeks have elapsed since their last visit to the bank and, despite a number of e-mails and phone calls, Arkadiusz and his girlfriend are still waiting for their ID cards.