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Immigrant ID cards set for June launch

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10:07 CEST+02:00
Immigrants living in Sweden will be able to receive national identification cards from the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) from June 1st, it was announced on Friday.

All those above the age of 13-years-old and able to prove their identity will then be able to apply for an identification card at 23 locations across the country.

"We have noticed from the large number of people applying at banks in Sweden that there is a large pent-up demand for ID cards which are a necessity in today's society," spokesperson Anna-Lena Österborg told The Local on Friday.

When asked whether the tax agency would be able to meet the demand, Österborg replied:

"We hope so. We have had a short time to put this together and have all our focus on the start date of June 1st to ensure that this important job is executed smoothly."

The tax agency will now work to develop clear guidelines for what is required by applicants to obtain an identification card. These guidelines will be published in May.

Anna-Lena Österborg confirmed that the tax agency would initially offer ID cards at 23 main locations across Sweden.

"We want to first see how the system develops and get a measure of the demand. We will then later review the situation and see if there is a need to expand the service," Österborg said to The Local.

When Svensk Kassaservice closed in April 2008, no other government authority took over the task of issuing identification cards.

After months of silence the government confirmed in September 2008 that Sweden's Tax Agency would take over responsibility.

The delay has caused widespread problems for foreign citizens living in Sweden who have been in need of a legitimate identification that is accepted in Sweden.

The new identification cards will cost 400 kronor ($50) and will be valid for five years.

Applicants must personally visit the tax agency to be photographed, prove their identity, and that they hold a Swedish personal identity number (personnummer).

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