How to open a bank account in Sweden

Sweden was not previously a country where migrants from Eastern Europe and Asia relocated en masse. However, the situation is changing. In 2020, the Philippines reopened its embassy in Stockholm, which had been closed for several years. In August 2022, the authorities of Uzbekistan opened a representation in this Scandinavian country (before that, the nearest diplomatic mission was in Latvia).

This means that the interest in moving to Sweden from Asian countries will grow. In this article, we will talk about one of the necessary procedures on the path to legalization in the country: opening a bank account in Sweden.

We previously wrote about how to transfer money from Sweden to Serbia without a fee.


Opening an account in a Swedish bank for an individual involves meeting two main requirements: personal identification and a clear answer to the question: “Why do you need this?” Let’s talk about each of them.


Identification, namely the documentary confirmation of the client’s identity, is mandatory for anyone who decides to open an account in a Swedish bank. There are several ways to do this:

1. Present a valid Swedish document proving the client’s identity: a passport, national identity card, or profile through BankID. A driver’s license issued in the country is also acceptable.

2. Present a foreign passport or other document with a photograph containing information about citizenship, which must be issued by a government agency or another authorized body. Please note that bank employees may request additional documents.

3. If it is not possible to provide the listed identifying documents, it is necessary to confirm the identity and citizenship with other papers obtained from an independent and reliable source.

Now let’s consider the second requirement. When opening an account, it is necessary to explain why you need it and how it will be used: for receiving a salary or other monetary remuneration, for paying rent, for storing savings, etc. The bank may also ask other questions to better understand you as a client. We recommend answering honestly and openly.

If both requirements for opening a bank account are met, the client gains access to basic services: card issuance, deposits, mortgage loans, etc.

However, situations where banks might refuse exist, not only for residents from distant countries but also for EU citizens.

The bank can refuse if:

  • It cannot establish the applicant’s identity in a sufficiently reliable manner.
  • The information provided about the reasons for opening the account is considered insufficient.
  • There is a likelihood of violating any legislatively established norm or prescription.

The bank can also refuse to open an account if any “dishonest behavior” by the applicant in the past is detected.

Foreign students, in addition to proof of identity, will need:

  • Residence permit or visa (exception: EU citizens).
  • Notification of enrollment from the university (antagningsbesked) indicating the duration of the studies.

To open a bank account for a non-resident, one needs to provide not only a passport, residence permit, etc., but also an identification tax number. This number allows tracking income and tax payments and can be obtained from any local tax office.

The list of documents required for an immigrant to open an account may vary depending on the client’s nationality and the purpose of staying in the country, so the lists are compiled individually.

A non-resident who does not have official income in the country can also open a bank account in Sweden, but their options will be limited: there will be no internet banking and overdraft.

Reminder for Immigrants

Don’t forget that during your visit to the bank:

  • You must understand the questions asked by the staff and respond to them.
  • If you need a translator, bring one with you.
  • You will be asked where your money came from; prepare your answers.
  • Other individuals are not allowed to use your account and other services without a contract with the bank.
  • Additional questions may be asked, or other requirements might be presented.

Services in banks are provided in Swedish and English. Opening accounts for non-residents does not require additional fees, but a commission is charged for transaction processing.

Bank ComparisonBefore approaching a bank, it is recommended to study the current offers. By default, banking services include the issuance of a debit card and the ability to use telephone and internet banking. Phone support services usually operate from 9:00 in the morning until 9:00-11:00 in the evening.
SEB (Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken)One of the largest financial groups in Northern Europe. Annual maintenance costs 420 Swedish kronor. Free service for individuals under 18 or 21 years old (depending on the type of account).
HandelsbankenA major bank with a high long-term credit rating. It has branches throughout the country, as well as in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and the Netherlands. Free service for children and youth up to 21 years old, as well as students up to 27 years old. Service fee: 25 kronor per month, except for those with Mastercard, Allkort, Platinum Bank Card.
Nordea BankA financial group with 1500 branches in 19 countries worldwide. Monthly maintenance fee: 39 kronor. Free for children, youth up to 22 years old, and students.
SwedbankSwedbank is a credit organization founded in 1820. It serves 10 million private and corporate clients in Sweden, Estonia, Denmark, and Lithuania. Service fee: 39 kronor/month. Free for children, youth up to 21 years old, and students.

Getting a bank account for legal entities undoubtedly requires more documents. To register a company, personal documents of all founders and official representatives must be provided.

Banks may require the company’s registration securities and certificates from the tax service. To open a company account, you need to provide a certificate of incorporation, allowing operations within the country.

It is not possible to open an offshore account in Sweden, but theoretically, registering a bank account for an offshore-registered company is possible. However, financial experts do not recommend doing so. The reason lies in meticulous checks by banks and the requirement to disclose the identities of beneficiaries. Moreover, the Swedish tax system does not allow businesses to reduce their tax burden.

Closing a bank account is a standard procedure. The user goes to the branch, fills out an application, and the operator, after checking the stored finances and existing obligations, closes the account (assuming everything is in order).

If you want to close self-opened accounts (for example, in a mobile app), you can do it yourself.

While having a bank account offers extensive options for clients, it does not necessarily provide any advantages in terms of international money transfers. Transferring money abroad through traditional banking channels can be slow and costly.

For this task, the Korona mobile app is a better solution. It allows you to send money from Sweden to 50+ countries. Transactions occur 24/7, and transfers are delivered instantly (sometimes a bit longer, depending on the recipient country’s banking hours).

You can send transfers in the recipient country’s national currency, in dollars, or euros (check within the app). The commission for transfers starts from 0%.

In our blog, we regularly write about emigration to European countries, life nuances in the EU, and advantageous money transfers. You can find topics of all our articles here.