When I arrived in Linköping, I did not know how long I was planning to stay in Sweden – to be honest, I still don’t. However, in some cases knowing how much time you are going to spend here is necessary. Getting a Swedish personal number is one of these cases.
Applying for a personal number is not as much as paperwork as it sounds. Copyright: Unsplash/Cytonn Photography.
In this post, I am going to talk from experience and thus only tackle the situation regarding students coming from an EU country.
What is a personal number?
Every Swedes have a personal number from their birth. It is created from their birth date, to which are added four random numbers. Like the following: YYYYMMDD – XXXX. Swedes use this number during their entire life to accomplish the smallest daily things. For example, they need their personal number to open a bank account, for a phone subscription or even to register to the gym. With one number, they have access to all their activities history.
Although it might sound a bit creepy, this number is very useful and you might need it in two cases: if you plan to stay more than a year, or if you plan to work in Sweden. It allows you to be registered into the Swedish population.
However, if you plan to work for less than a year, you will only get a coordination number, which is not similar to the personal number, since it is only temporary.
How to get a personal number
In order to get a personal number, you need to register to the Tax Agency Office – Skatteverket – as soon as you can. If you are studying, you need to prove you will stay in Sweden for more than one year – thus, you have to study a two-year master. (If you need a coordination number to work, then you need your work contract.)
Skatteverket. Copyright: Flickr/Magnus D.
In any case, follow these steps:
- Go to Skatteverket’s website and fill in the online form, available here. (You will need to print it afterwards)
- Gather all the following documents:
- The printed form
- Your passport
- Your rental agreement (to prove you live in Sweden)
- Your letter of admission to LiU
- A certificate from LiU to assert you are really studying there (in my case the student card worked).
- (A work contract if you are planning to work)
- Go to Skatteverket – in Linköping the address is the following:
Kungsgatan 27 (hörnet Kungsgatan – S:t Larsgatan)
There you just have to say you wish to apply for a personal number and give them your documents. Skatteverket’s employees are usually very friendly and all English-speaking. If no document is missing, you should receive your personal number within a few weeks.