Tag Archives: getting a personal number

becoming legal in Sweden

16 Oct

Before Ben and I moved here this month, I did an extensive search on the internet about the process of becoming a legal immigrant in Stockholm. I needed to find things out like “uh, how do you even start the process of living somewhere other than the US?” and “what is a skatteverket?” and “how do you find a place to live again?” and “how long is it going to take for me to get a bank account so I’m not stuck paying for everything in usd?” Either I wan’t typing the right info into Google for all the answers, or some of the information on the Migrationsverket and Skatteverket’s websites was not so specific or conflicting, but needless to say I didn’t find out much.

Well. Luckily for you (or maybe luckily for no one except myself), I am able to answer some of these questions accurately! After getting yr visa approved through the Swedish embassy of whatever country you come from, these are the things you have to do before you can get anything legit in Sweden (bank account, phone plan, renters’ insurance, supermarket discount card, etc etc etc.)

1.) get an appointment with the Migrationsverket ASAP. you have to e-mail the Migrationsverket at biometribokning-solna@migrationsverket.se – include all the names, designation numbers (beteckning), and contact info. You find the beteckning off of your visa acceptance letter. They should text you an appointment within three days. Yes, a text message. (In our case, we had to send two e-mails because our first was ignored or not gotten around to. When we got our appointment it was for almost a week and a half after the first time we tried to get an appointment, so make sure you leave yourself some time for this to happen.)
You can try to just go to the Migrationsverket and take a number, and they will get to you if an appointment doesn’t show up. This is not a good way to do things, we tried. When we got there, they were on number 200, we had number 205. Not so bad, right? After about an hour of people going up to the windows and numbers not being called we started talking to some of the people waiting with us, and it turned out they had only done one number (200) since 9 that morning; it was noon. Not surprisingly, once someone gets an appointment they do not pass it up.

2.) go straight to the Skatteverket. The main Skatteverket (tax office) is located somewhere close to T-Centralen. Don’t go to that one, you can get to the one in Sundbyberg by walking or train (it seems that it takes about 40 minutes either way, you have to back-track a little on the train. However, the train might be worth it, Ben and I got turned around walking because of construction and ended up going almost an hour out in the opposite direction.) The Skatteverket in Sundbyberg is not nearly as busy as the one by T-Centralen. Don’t tell them that you don’t have your resident ID card yet (that’s what you get photographed and fingerprinted for at the Migrationsverket), just tell them “yes, I’ve been to the Migrationsverket.” You get a short form to fill out, take a number while you fill out the form, and you should be called up shortly after you’re done with the form. Take all of your papers that you’ve received so far. The more papers you have, the more prepared you look, and the more they’re willing to just process your things. We had our visa acceptance letters, lease, passports, reciepts from the Migrationsverket (they’ll give you one if you ask) and Ben had his offer of employment papers and some other paper from his employer. When we came in August we stopped at the tax office and we were told we couldn’t start the personnummer process until we had our resident ID cards, but when we went yesterday we didn’t need any further paperwork than what we had back in August, and they didn’t ask for us to present our ID cards, just our passports. And make sure you have some kind of Swedish address to give them. They do everything by post so they’ll need somewhere to send your personnummer.

We were told by a random woman that we met in a store that overheard our American English that if one person tells you no then just keep trying. We haven’t had success on the bank account thing with that, but as far as the Migrationsverket and the Skatteverket go, it is totally true. If you go to the Skatteverket in Sundbyberg and they don’t let you process your form, even if you have a Swedish address, your passport and acceptance letter for your visa from the Migrationsverket, just go to the Skatteverket close to T-Centralen or just come back the next day or so. It can be done without the resident ID card in hand.

It was a huge relief to just have those two big things out of the way, and now our resident cards should be here in a week and our personnummers should be here within the month, and we should be free to open bank accounts and credit cards and get discounts on grocery shopping, hooray!

And if you’re in the position we were in back in August, we’re told you can start with your closest Swedish embassy with getting your fingerprints and photograph taken and getting a resident ID card BEFORE you move to Sweden. I highly recommend doing that, as it’ll save you about two weeks or so in getting a personnummer. If you don’t care about having a bank account, then I guess you don’t have to care about doing these things in a timely manner, but try paying rent without a Swedish bank account and no fees. It’s a bitch.

xoxo –
Val & Ben♥

p.s. helpful links!
www.skatteverket.se
www.migrationsverket.se

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