I’m perpetually behind with updating this and I have plenty of other updates, but those will need to be summarized in a different post. As previously promised, I wanted to outline the process I took to update my name and gender marker as a US citizen living in Sweden in hope this is helpful for someone else. This was not a very intuitive process and required hours of research and some uncertainty. This worked for me, but I cannot guarantee it would work in all situations, nor am I offering official legal or immigration advice (proceed at your own risk).
Unlike guides for doing this within the US, which suggest updating your name with US social security first, I had to start with my passport because the name change was done abroad (I don’t maintain residency in a US state and do not otherwise have the ability to obtain a US court order of name change). Here is a flowchart of how I worked through the various agencies:
Here’s a more detailed account:
- Name change through Skatteverket. This can be done online by logging into Mina Sidor on Skatteverket’s website, costs 250 SEK. If you pick a name that is on their “common names list” (Tristan is), you will get official notification of the name change being complete within 5 minutes in your digital mailbox. Otherwise, it may take 3 months to complete the change. This was mindbogglingly easy to do and the change was instantaneous!
- Gender marker change through the US Embassy in Stockholm. I had to make the appointment 4 months in advance (something to keep in mind when doing the name change). Gender marker is self-declared for US passports now, so I just checked the “male” box and that was done. At the same time, I changed my name on my US passport using the name change documentation from Skatteverket (which they accept at the US Embassy in Stockholm). I also requested a “certified copy” of my passport (need this to update your name with US social security).
- US Social Security Number: About 1 week later, I received my new passport in the mail. I mailed the certified copy of my passport and the appropriate forms (note: this is just a piece of paper) to the US Social Security office in Norway (not intuitive!) to do the name change on my social security card.
- Skatteverket (personnummer & gender marker): I brought my US passport with the gender marker change to my local Skatteverket office to initiate the gender marker change/personnummer change in Sweden. Here (in Swedish) is the documentation that you do not need Swedish “trans diagnosis” for gender marker change if you are a foreign resident in Sweden and your foreign ID does not match your Swedish ID. With my new passport, I also submitted a foreign “trans diagnosis” letter (I don’t believe this should be necessary, but if you have it, might was well bring it). The person I talked to at the Skatteverket office was unsure this would work and said it might have to get approved by Socialstyrelsen (note: this is incorrect), but within 2 weeks, I received notification that the personnummer change went through successfully! As a foreigner, I opted to not make my old personnummer secret to ensure ease of transferring my accounts. Once the new personnummer was generated, I lost access to some online functionality associated with the old personnummer (like 1177), while being unable to use the new one because I didn’t yet have the new BankID. Prepare for 1-3 months of incomplete functionality of some online systems.
- Swedish residence permit: Once the change has been completed through Skatteverket, you can update your residence permit (gender marker must match your personnummer, so this cannot be changed until Skatteverket completes the personnummer request). I also learned that it can take about 1 week between when Skatteverket sends you the official new personnummer letter and when it gets populated through the system for Migrationsverket. I recommend making the appointment at Migrationsverket at least 1 week after otherwise you’ll have to make more than one trip.
- Swedish ID card (the one from Skatteverket): you’ll need a new one to update your Swedish bank account, BankID, etc. Prepare to wait a bit for the new ID card – they had to send it through Stockholm to cancel my old one. This took about 6 weeks to get the new one. Here is a good resource for updating your personnummer on various accounts. I bank with Nordea, and once I had the new ID card, it was very easy to get everything switched over/new BankID. My old card under the old personnummer worked until they generated the new card, which I received in the mail 2 days later.
- Accounts in the US: Will need updated US passport and social security card. Unfortunately, most of these required an in-person appointment.
Please feel free to reach out if you have questions! I was prepared for this process to be more challenging, but it was mostly smooth for me (most annoying parts were updating my US bank accounts and transferring högkostnadsskydd to the new personnummer – but both were entirely doable) .