Begin your new life in Sweden

Last updated: 18/1-2023

Read here about what you need to do and what public authorities you need to contact when you have been granted a residence permit.

Skatteverket (Swedish Tax Agency)

Once you have moved to Sweden, you have to be registered in the Swedish population register. In order to be registered there, you have to notify the authorities that you have moved to Sweden. You do that by going to the Tax Agency's local service centre.

When you visit the Tax Agency's service centre to notify them of your move to Sweden, you also have to provide information for your registration in the population register. All the members of your family who have moved to Sweden have to accompany you to the Tax Agency's service centre, including any children. Once the Tax Agency have registered you and your family in the population register, they will send you a letter (at the address you specified that you had moved to) containing personal identity numbers for you and your family.

Before you visit the Tax Agency's service centre, you need to fill in an application available via the Tax Agency's Move to Sweden e-service on their website. The e-service also tells you what information and documents are required to ensure the process is as quick as possible once you go to the Tax Agency's service centre. The Move to Sweden e-service is accessible to everyone. When you have filled in the application, you have to print it out and take it with you to the service centre. If you do not have access to a computer, there are computers at the service centre you can use.

Everyone who lives in Sweden is registered in the population register, which maintains data on who lives in Sweden and where.

When you visit the Tax Agency's service centre to notify them of your move and to get registered in the population register, it is very important that you are able to answer the questions the Tax Agency needs to ask you. If there are documents missing or no answer is given to specific questions, you may have to wait much longer to become registered and get your personal identity number.

If you provide the Tax Agency with complete and correct information, you will be registered in about four weeks. Applications containing all the requested information are given priority. If information is missing, you may have to wait much longer – possibly several months. In that case, it is also very important that you have given correct contact information to the Tax Agency. You may have to wait even longer if they are unable to reach you to ask you about the missing information. It is important, therefore, that you notify the Tax Agency if you move to another address before you have received a reply to your application – so that your papers are sent to the right address.

You need to take the following with you to the Tax Agency's service centre:

  • Passport, if you have one
  • Swedish residence permit
  • A document certifying your civil status
  • Birth certificates for your children, if you have any
  • Your address

When you get a reply from the Tax Agency saying that you have been registered, you will also receive a personal identity number (personnummer). Your personal identity number is necessary for:

  • Receive various payments from Försäkringskassan.
  • Open a bank account.
  • Apply for an ID document.
  • Apply for an e-ID.
  • Participate in activities in Arbetsförmedlingen's introduction programme.

“ID card” is an abbreviation of identity card. You use your ID card to prove your identity when you buy medication in a pharmacy, for example, or when you do bank business.

In order to apply for an ID card you have to be registered in Sweden, be at least 13 years old and be able to prove your identity. If you are under 18 years of age you need your guardian's consent in order to get an ID card. A guardian is the person or persons who is legally responsible for a child under 18.

You can prove your identity by showing an approved identity document such as your passport. You also have to take your residence permit card (UT card). If you don’t have a passport, just take your UT card. You can also ask someone who can certify your identity to accompany you.

You have to visit one of the Tax Agency’s service centres to apply for an ID card. You need to book an appointment at the service centre before going there.

The Tax Agency’s ID card is valid for five years. It is an approved identity document in Sweden. You cannot use the Tax Agency’s ID card instead of a passport when travelling outside of Sweden. It is only valid in Sweden. If you lose your ID card, you have to call to block it. That way no-one else can use your ID card. If your ID card gets stolen, you have to report the theft to the police.

Banks

If you have been granted a residence permit you have to get registered in the population register as soon as possible. You will then also be issued a Swedish personal identity number. Once you have that you can apply for a Swedish ID document, and once you have your Swedish ID document you can apply to open a bank account.

E-ID is an electronic identity document which is comparable to an ordinary ID document. You can use an e-ID to prove your identity securely on a website or in an app, for example. One type of e-ID is BankID. There are several other types, including Freja eID and AB Svenska Pass.

BankID is a simple way of providing your ID, e.g. when you enter into a contract, and electronically sign for payments on the internet. Using your electronic signature via BankID is legally binding in the same way as a physical signature.

Banks are the issuers of BankIDs. You need to have a Swedish personal identity number in order to obtain a BankID.

Safety:

  • BankID is your personal e-ID. Do not use BankID if someone else asks you to do so, for instance if you get contacted by phone or via social media.
  • The security code for your BankID is personal. Never reveal the security code to anyone else. If you do, you risk being defrauded.

Mobile phone

You need to have a SIM card in your phone in order to be able to make and receive calls, send text messages and use the internet. You can get a SIM card by buying a prepaid card or getting a subscription.

A prepaid card is a SIM card you pay for up front, and then you can call, send texts and use the internet for the amount of money you paid.

If you get a subscription, you enter into a contract with a mobile network operator. The contract will specify how much data and how many calls and text messages are included in the price. You will then receive a bill every month.

When you buy a prepaid card, you have to register it in your name in order to be able to use it. When you register the prepaid card, you need to prove your identity with an ID card, a passport or a mobile Bank ID.

Arbetsförmedlingen (Public Employment Service)

It is important that you contact Arbetsförmedlingen as soon as possible after you have received a decision on your residence permit. Arbetsförmedlingen will determine if you are eligible to participate in the introduction programme.

When you visit Arbetsförmedlingen, you have to take the decision on your residence permit (which you will have been sent by the Migration Agency) with you. The first thing that will happen is that an assessment will be made of your previous knowledge – this is in order to adapt your action plan to your individual circumstances. The assessment can begin before you have been registered and have received your personal identity number, but you must have documentation that you have been granted a residence permit, and you have to be able to prove your identity. You will receive an allowance during the period of the assessment.

You have to be registered and have received your personal identity number in order to be enrolled in the introduction programme. It is important, therefore, that you answer the questions that the Tax Agency will ask you when you notify them of your move to Sweden so that you can become registered in the population register as quickly as possible.

You have to be enrolled in the introduction programme to begin doing activities to prepare you for work or training/education. You will then be eligible to apply for an introduction benefit from Försäkringskassan.

If you are new in Sweden and taking part in the Establishment Programme, the Intensive Year could be an opportunity for you. Over a period of one year, you can study at a fast pace or do an intensive full-time internship at a place of work, in combination with spare-time activities. The goal is for you to find a job quickly.

Försäkringskassan (The Swedish Social Insurance Agency)

Once you have been registered with Arbetsförmedlingen for the introduction programme you can apply for benefits from Försäkringskassan. You apply for one month at a time, retroactively.

Försäkringskassan have a video in which they explain what the introduction benefit is and how you apply for it. This information is only available in Swedish.

Register for a civic orientation course about Swedish society

Civic orientation courses are free of charge and are offered to people who have recently been granted a residence permit in Sweden, in order for them to learn about Swedish society.

Driving licences in Sweden

You have to have turned 18 and have a driving licence that is approved in Sweden in order to drive a car here.