Although it is possible to have the right to reside in Sweden without having a personal identity number, many believe that the holy personnummer (PN) is absolutely necessary to survive in Sweden, which is not always the case. Although every conversation seems to start with a question about your fyra sista (the last four digits of your identity number), it is possible to find your way without them.
- Yes, you can get a job. Actually, the most common way of getting personnummer (personal identity number) is a job. So, first a job, then PN! If prospective employers keep on telling you excuses based on your lack of personnummer, maybe they don’t really like you as much as they claim to.
- Yes, you can rent an apartment. There is no law stopping you from that.
- Yes, you can open a bank account. A bank has to have a serious reason to believe you are e.g. laundering money to deny you their services. Of course, you will not immediately get a credit card or Internet-banking, but even a debit card will work fine in the beginning. Refer to Deposit Guarantee Act: “lagen om insättningsgaranti 11§d”.
- You can study. Education is compulsory for children residing in Sweden if they have the right to reside in Sweden and does not matter if they have personnummer or not. Refer to School Laws: “skollagen (2010:800), kap. 7, §2-3 6 kap. 29, §2”. You can also sign up for SFI, Swedish for Immigrants, or for university studies regardless on your PN status.
- You can use libraries. Although many librarians at first require your personnummer to apply for a library card, it seems that a solution without PN is always found in the end.