Getting Started with the Swedish System

After more than 10 weeks of agonizing wait, I finally received my Swedish personal number! 🙂

Unfortunately it didn’t come in the mail like we were told it would so my fiance and I had to return to Skatteverket or the Swedish Tax Agency to check with them if my personal number is already available. And indeed it is! They just haven’t sent it through mail yet though it’s way past the deadline that was promised to us. 🙁

But enough of this rant, the most important thing now is that I can truly start  getting my way into the Swedish system.

First up was going through the process of acquiring a Swedish ID card through Skatteverket. Fee for getting this ID card is around 400 SEK (55 USD) and waiting time is 2-3 weeks. Getting this ID will probably come in handy for me if I am to buy booze here. With my short stature and youthful appearance , I can easily pass for a minor (*coughs* I’m sooo guilty of complimenting myself here 😀). So yeah, having a locally recognizable ID is a must! I also found out that the same ID is needed when opening a bank account.

Second agenda in my list was to visit Arbetsförmedlingen or the Swedish Public Employment Agency. Actually I seemed to already have an idea of what to expect about the agency based on reading online forums and blogs. I find that the reviews were mostly mixed especially when it comes to topic like whether this public office can really help you land a job if you are an immigrant with little to no Swedish. But I still opted to take this shot just to have a solid direction at least and also to get an information from them on how to get to SFI (Swedish for Immigrants). When I went there, I was asked to register first to their website ( so I can input all my work related information into their database. Then I received an appointment from them to return the following week to talk about an action plan with an employment officer. In my observation, the action plan is specialized depending on the education and work experience of an individual. In my case though, the primary action plan set for me to get a job is to spend time learning Swedish first. (And I thought I’m done with school!) Without learning Swedish, I am pretty much handicapped here despite having good education and work merits. But I guess I’ll just have to take this as a challenge since learning a new language is a skill.

Lastly, we went up to VĂ€xjö Kommun to hand them my application form for SFI. Swedish for Immigrants or SFI is a free government program where immigrants are provided the basic knowledge on Swedish language and culture so as to assimilate better into the Swedish society. Originally, we were informed to mail the application form but we discerned that shoelace express is much more reliable in making things go faster. We hope that it would because the faster I am able to learn Swedish then the faster I can easily get a job. 🙂

Well this is just the start.

We still have heaps line up for the following days and I’m ecstatic that finally I’m doing some progress because for the past couple of months I’m stuck doing nothing and I was frustrated, agitated and basically feeling useless – like I simply want to return to my country of birth. :p

But now – I can already feel a sense of freedom since I can assert myself into getting services and I can finally resume to my old clumsy self with no worries of breaking a leg or two as I can already rely on Sweden’s publicly funded health care. But heh, I don’t plan of getting killed in Sweden anytime soon. I haven’t even learned Swedish yet! 😀






Loves pets, travelling and food.
Now living in Sweden but originally from the Philippines.

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