Sweden tightens immigration rules

People crowdPhoto: Laurent Perren / Unsplash

To obtain permanent residence in Sweden, you must now have a temporary residence permit for three years, be able to support yourself, and have a clean record.

The new immigration law, which the government says will make immigration policy more humane, legally secure, and effective, was passed in the Swedish parliament (Riksdag) in June.

The changes are in line with what has been the main practice since 2016. But the temporary residence permits should, in principle, be a temporary arrangement in the aftermath of the so-called refugee crisis.

After three years, the refugees can apply for a permanent residence permit. According to the bill, however, they must meet the requirements for Swedish language skills, have the ability to support themselves, and have knowledge of Swedish society. The applicant’s record will also be checked.


The so-called quota refugees are the exception to the new immigration law. They can get a permanent residence permit when they arrive in Sweden. Sweden receives 5,000 quota refugees annually (in recent years, many from war-torn Syria).

The Moderates, the Sweden Democrats, the Christian Democrats, and the Liberals voted against the bill and came up with a number of counter-proposals which were voted down.

According to the Swedish Migration Board, how long the temporary permits will be valid will vary. However, the main rule is that they must be extended by two years at a time if they are extended.

Relatives of persons who are Swedish citizens or have a residence permit do not automatically have the right to stay. They can get temporary permits, which will depend on several criteria.

A special exception can be made for persons who have had the right to stay temporarily in Sweden and have a “special connection” to the country. If several conditions are considered to be in place, there may be grounds for expansion.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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