Personnummer – the Swedish Social Security Number

For an assignment of 12 months or longer, you (and accompanying family, if any)are required to apply for Swedish personal identity numbers -“personnummer”. This can only be done when you have officially moved to Sweden as you need a valid address in Sweden to apply. Also known as a “civil registration”, you need to inform the Swedish authorities that you are currently residing in Sweden, and it needs to be done within 7 days after arriving in the country.

What is a “personnummer”?

All countries have some kind of personal id or social security number, the personnumer (also known as personal number) is your identity number in Sweden. You will only be issued one number and you will have the same number for the rest of your life. It is written as the year you were born, your birth month and date, and finishes with 4 random digits at the end (YYYYMMDD-XXXX).

You will need the personal number to do almost everything in Sweden. From paying taxes and receiving a salary, to opening an internet or cell-phone subscription, to getting a gym card at your local gym. You will also need your personal number to access the same healthcare benefits as Swedish citizens. The process to get a personal number can take some time, but it is an integral part of settling into your life in Sweden.

Can anyone apply for a personal number?

You need to have a job contract for at least at least one year in Sweden to qualify for a Swedish personal number. For Non-EU and EEA citizens, you must also have a valid permit from the Swedish Migration Agency for one year minimum to qualify.

There are other rules for unemployed citizens moving to Sweden, however as Human Entrance only handles corporate clients, please consult Skatteverket’s website to find out what applies to you.

For those who have job contracts for less than 12 months, you will need to apply for a samordningsnummer (coordination number in English) instead. 

How do you apply?

You will need to visit the Swedish Tax Agency, Skatteverket, in person to make the application.

While at Skatteverket, you will fill in a form called “Moving to Sweden”. A handler will collect copies of all your documents and your finished application then send them to Skatteveket’s head office in Stockholm. You will be assigned a case handler who will review your case and decide if you qualify for the Swedish Personal number. The average wait time to receive a personal number is anywhere between 2-18 weeks.

Human Entrance works with corporate clients to ensure all applications to obtain a Swedish Personal Number are correct. Should there be a mistake on the application or with the documents, it can delay receiving the personal number by several months. Without the personal number, an individual does not have access to the same health care, utility subscriptions, housing alternatives, among other things, which can negatively affect their quality of life in Sweden.

Worried about delays to your employees application? Let us handle it!

Documents are required for the application

  • Passports of all applicants – valid for at least one year
  • Swedish residence permit (if Non-EU or EEA citizen)
  • Original marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Children’s birth certificates (if applicable)
  • Original divorce papers (if applicable)
  • If you are divorced, have a child/children and are bringing it/them to Sweden and have shared custody, you need a written approval from the other parent. The approval needs to contain following:
    • Complete names and birth dates of you, the other parent and the child/children
    • Your address in Sweden and the other parents’ current address
    • A statement that the other parent approves you to move to Sweden with the child/children
    • Signature of the other parent

It is important to remember to back these documents in your carry on luggage. If your check in bags or house hold goods removals are delayed or lost, you will be delayed to apply for your personal number!

Temporary Personal Number

If you need to use health services before you’ve been issued your personal number, the hospital or doctor may issue you what’s known as a temporary personal number to add you into the system. You will also be required to pay full price for your care.

How to check your Swedish personal number

When you’ve been issued a personal number, you will receive a letter in the mail to the address you listed on your application with the number. Should this letter get lost or you have moved, you can also call Skatteverket to find out if you’ve received the number yet. You should not call until at leastatleast 2 weeks have passed since you applied.

The number to Skatteverket is 0771-567 567 and their phone lines are open Monday – Thursday 8:00- 18:00, and on Fridays between 8:00 – 16:00.

Next steps after receiving your Swedish personnummer

After receiving the personnumer, you will need to send in your application for the Swedish Social Insurance (Försakringskassan), and apply for the Swedish ID card. You can read about applying for the Swedish ID card and book your appointment on Skatteverket’s website.

Once you have received your Swedish ID card, you have completed all of the steps to your civil registration. You are now eligible to open a bank account and receive Mobile Bank ID. For employees working in Sweden, there are exceptions to open a bank account: Read about opening a bank account in Sweden here.