How to Apply for a Swedish Personal Number as an International Student

Discover the essential steps for applying for a Swedish personal number as an international student. Make your stay in Sweden seamless and hassle-free.

How to Apply for a Swedish Personal Number as an International Student
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As an international student in Sweden, obtaining a Swedish personal number (personnummer) is crucial for accessing various services and benefits such as healthcare, banking, and more. This blog post will walk you through the application process, the necessary documents, and why having a personal number is essential during your stay in Sweden.

Benefits of a Swedish Personal Number

A Swedish personal number is a unique identification number assigned to each resident in Sweden. It is essential for several reasons:

  • Access to healthcare: With a personal number, you can access Sweden's public healthcare system and receive subsidized medical care.
  • Banking and financial services: Opening a bank account, getting a debit card, and accessing other financial services requires a personal number.
  • Employment: If you plan to work part-time during your studies or find a job after graduation, a personal number is necessary for tax purposes.
  • Subscriptions and memberships: Many services, such as phone and internet contracts, gym memberships, and library access, require a personal number.

The Application Process

To apply for a Swedish personal number, follow these steps:

  • Check your eligibility: To be eligible for a personnummer, you must be planning to stay in Sweden for at least one year. This typically applies to students who have a valid residence permit for 12 months or longer.
  • Obtain a residence permit: Before applying for a personnummer, you must have a valid residence permit for studying in Sweden. The permit should be valid for at least 12 months. You can apply for a residence permit through the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket).
  • Arrive in Sweden: You can apply for a personnummer only after you have arrived in Sweden and have your residence permit card with you.
  • Gather required documents: Prepare the necessary documents for your application.
  • Visit the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket): Once you arrive in Sweden, you must visit the nearest Skatteverket office to apply for a personnummer. It's essential to do this as soon as possible after your arrival, as the process can take some time.
  • Fill out the application form: At the Skatteverket office, you will be given an application form to fill out. Complete the form with the required information, ensuring all details are accurate.
  • Submit the application: Hand in the completed application form along with your supporting documents at the Skatteverket office. The staff will review your application and may ask additional questions.

Required Documents

To apply for a personnummer, you will need the following documents:

  • Valid passport or national ID card.
  • Residence permit or visa, if applicable. Non-EU/EEA students typically require a residence permit for studies lasting longer than 3 months, while EU/EEA students may need to provide proof of their right to reside in Sweden if their stay exceeds 12 months.
  • Letter of acceptance or enrollment from the Swedish university or educational institution, confirming the duration and scope of your studies.
  • Proof of comprehensive health insurance, if you are an EU/EEA student staying in Sweden for less than 12 months. Non-EU/EEA students' residence permits usually include insurance requirements.
  • A completed application form for a Swedish personal number (available on the Skatteverket website or at their offices).
  • Any additional documents that may be required depending on your specific circumstances, such as a marriage or birth certificate if you are bringing your family with you.

Receiving your Personnummer

Once you have submitted your application, the Skatteverket will review your documents and, if everything is in order, issue you a Swedish personal number (personnummer). The processing time may vary, so it's essential to apply as soon as possible after your arrival in Sweden. You will receive a letter by mail with your personnummer.

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Post-Application Steps

Once you have your Swedish personal number, don't forget to:

  • Register for a Swedish ID card: Apply for a Swedish ID card (ID-kort) from the Tax Agency (Skatteverket). This card will serve as your identification within Sweden and can simplify various transactions, such as picking up packages or verifying your age.
  • Register with healthcare services: Your personnummer allows you to access Sweden's healthcare system. Familiarize yourself with the local healthcare services and facilities, and register with a healthcare center (vårdcentral) near your residence.
  • Open a bank account: With your personnummer, you can now open a Swedish bank account. Visit a local bank and bring your passport or national ID, residence permit (if applicable), and personnummer. Having a local bank account will make it easier to manage your finances, pay bills, and receive any potential scholarships or financial aid.
  • Sign up for a phone plan: With your personnummer, you can sign up for a mobile phone plan or prepaid SIM card. Compare different providers to find the best option for your needs.
  • Inform your university: Make sure your university has your personal number on file for administrative purposes.


Applying for a Swedish personal number as an international student is a crucial step in making your stay in Sweden smooth and hassle-free. With this guide, you'll know what to expect during the application process and the importance of having a personnummer.