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Getting Settled – step by step

There are a number of things to think about when you arrive here and it is not always easy to know how to prioritise. 

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Step-by-step guide

This step-by-step guide can help you become acquainted with some of the things you need to know and some things that are good to know when arriving here. 

Take a trip to Stora Södergatan, Lund’s own “Agency Avenue”. Always make appointments first.

If you a need a break from dealing with all these practicalities, you might want to visit the main city park in Lund, Stadsparken, which is located nearby for a coffee and a stroll. You can also walk down Stora Södergatan and check out the two large second hand shops where you can find furniture, kitchen utensils and other things you might need for your new home, which can be delivered straight to your door.

Open a bank account in Sweden

In order for Lund University to pay out your salary, you will need a Swedish bank account.

There are two kinds of accounts: An Interim or temporary account, which will make it possible for you to receive salary, pay your bills and get a debit card (VISA/Mastercard). And an “ordinary” bank account, which allows for more services, internet-banking, Bank-ID, Swish and to take loans with the bank etc.

You can’t have these two accounts at the same time – so which one should you choose? And which documentation must you bring to the bank? 

In both cases below, you need to bring: 

  • Your residence permit (if you are not an EU citizen), your visa (if applicable).
  • Documentation from the population registration (that you have registered at the tax office). 
  • The decision about your personal number/coordination number (from the tax office). 
  • Passport
  • Decision of employment or similar, that proves you have an income or equivalent, and the length of your employment/affiliation with Lund University. 
  • If you have a permanent residence in Sweden, your rental agreement, which includes your address.

The “ordinary” account

If you’re planning to stay in Sweden for a year or more, we recommend this account, since you’ll have the possibility to use Internet Banking (nearly all Swedes do their banking online) and get the useful Bank-ID. 

Read more about how to get a bank account and BankID (the Newbieguide) 

But both a Swedish Personal Identity Number (Personnummer) and a Swedish ID-card is needed. It can take up to 2-3 months to get the Personal Identity Number and then the Swedish ID-card, which means you must wait for your salary to be paid out during a long time. Remember that your employer needs your personal identity number to register you in the salary system, Primula. 

The temporary/interim account

If you need an account right away or if you’re not going to stay in Sweden long enough to get a Personal Identity Number, you can visit Nordea at Stora Södergatan in Lund and they will help you set up an interim/temporary account. 

When/if receiving a Swedish personal number and Swedish ID card, you need to visit the bank and change to a new, ordinary, account. Bring all the documentation above again together with your new Swedish ID-card.

Please note that you need to cancel the temporary/interim account when opening the new one. If you choose Nordea also for the ordinary account, they should see to it that the salary from now on comes into the right account, but double check. And: Don’t forget to inform your employer about the new personal identity number, so the information in SCC-Primula is correct.

How do I close my account, when I leave Sweden?

Discuss this with the bank already when opening the account, so you know the bank’s view/rules when the time comes. 

Useful information

It is your responsibility that your salary ends up in the right place, so continue to check and double check with your local admin at the department and your bank so there isn’t a mix-up. 

Read more about salary payments 

No banks in Sweden handle cash anymore. You can’t walk in and redraw cash from your account at the cashier (!). ATM-machines are found here and there still, but paying with cash in stores gets more and more difficult. Swedes often use ebit or credit cards or “Swish” for smaller sums. 


Åsa Thormählen
Human Resources
asa [dot] thormahlen [at] hr [dot] lu [dot] se

Relaterad information

Getting settled – Step by step, the complete guide (PDF 401 kB, new window)

The complete guide including all contact information, links to various websites and other relevant information. Also available in print.