After you move to Sweden, you soon will realize that without a Swedish Identity Number, so-called personnummer, you will be more than lost. You won’t have access to services and be able to handle bureaucratic issues until you get the number. If you get admitted to a university program, you get a temporary one (see on the top of your admission letter), but it only helps out in certain situations, mostly in study-related ones. Therefore I suggest you to get the process of applying for the personnummer ongoing as soon as possible. To do that, it is better to prepare the required documents already before leaving your country.

There is a general confusion about distinguishing between being registered at the Migration Board and at the Tax Agency. For this reason I intend to clarify in the following who has to register, where, and how.

Everyone who spends more than 3 month continuously in Sweden has to register at the Migration Board (Migrationsverket). The type of documents you have to submit varies by citizenships (EU or non-EU) and depends on why you are moving to Sweden – for study, work or other reasons. You can find all the necessary information and register on the website:

Migrationsverket (web page)

The ones who are planning to stay more than one year in Sweden, have to register at the Tax Agency (Skatteverket) to get the personnummer. (So if you are an exchange/erasmus student, you have no need of doing that.) In Gothenburg you will find their office under Östra Hamngatan 16 (Google Maps), on the side of Nordstan shopping centre. You will be required to fill out a form and provide necessary documents (you can find more info on what those are here:

Tax Office (Web Page)

These processes will take some time, so the sooner the better you get them going. If you are planning to stay for a long time, possessing a Swedish ID Card would make your life much easier – you can request one after getting hold of your personnummer. You find all the information on how to do it here:

Swedish ID Card, Tax Agency (Web Page)

Swedish bureaucracy is harsh and time-consuming, but once you are done with everything, managing bureaucratic issues in the future becomes very comfortable. You can do everything online, after getting an electronic ID fromyour Swedish bank – more info here: Electronic Bank ID


As a student you can already open a bank account while waiting for your personnummer at SEB Bank (pdf. Info Document SEB) or at Nordea Bank (pdf. Info Document Nordea). But to enjoy the full benefits you will need the Swedish ID Number.

Written by Dóra Deák