It has been a long two-and-a-half-year wait, but immigrants who arrive in Sweden are once again able to get a Swedish national identity card. As of 1 June, the Swedish Tax Agency will accept applications from anyone over the age of 13 who is registered as living permanently in Sweden and can prove it with their personal identity number.
“We’re absolutely ready and have done all that we can do at this point,” Anna-Lena Osterborg, from the Tax Agency, told The Local newspaper. “It’s exciting. This is a whole new activity for us.”
Osterborg is managing the national ID card project, and expects a flood of applications during the first few weeks of the new scheme. The 23 Tax Agency offices around Sweden, where immigrants can file their applications, have added extra staff to deal with any overload to the system.
“Since it’s the first time that any of us will be carrying out this activity, we’re going to be well-prepared,” Osterborg stated. “There may be long lines and application times may end up being longer than the expected two weeks.”
The Swedish government has been wrestling with the issue of ID cards for immigrants for more than a year. Without an ID card, immigrants are at a loss when it comes to seeing a doctor or even collecting mail from the post office. The final decision was to put the Tax Agency in charge of issuing new IDs. This will certainly come as welcome news to the immigrants living in Sweden.