Archive: Anders Ygeman, Minister for Home Affairs

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Maintenance requirement for family member immigration

The temporary act on restrictions to the possibility of being granted a residence permit in Sweden entered into force on 20 July. The act sets a maintenance requirement as a condition for being granted a residence permit in two instances; firstly, in connection with family member immigration and secondly, to allow issuing a permanent residence permit if the individual has an income from employment or business activities. The act does not specify how large an income is required. Instead, this is now specified in an ordinance.

"The maintenance requirement we have now introduced means that those who wish to bring their family members to Sweden must have a sufficient income as well as housing," says Minister for Home Affairs Anders Ygeman.

Family member immigration requires that the sponsor has an income that corresponds to the reserve amount applied by the Swedish Enforcement Authority in attachment of salary cases. It also requires that the sponsor has housing of sufficient standard and size. In the ordinance, the Swedish Migration Agency is given the right to issue more detailed provisions as to what this entails. The maintenance requirement does not apply in situations where the sponsor is a child.

The income necessary depends on how large the family is and how high the housing costs are. If only one person is applying for a residence permit as a family member, the family's support needs are lower, and housing costs may also be lower. The determining factor is the reserve amount. This amount includes housing costs and a normal amount to cover living costs. The normal amount includes costs for food, clothes, hygiene, telephone, household electricity, insurance and other minor expenses for temporary needs. The size of the normal amount is determined by the Riksdag and adjusted once a year.

The normal amount for 2016 is set as follows:

  • SEK 4 679 for a single adult;
  • SEK 7 729 for cohabiting spouses or partners;
  • SEK 2 482 for children until and including the age of 6; and
  • SEK 2 857 for children from the age of 7.

A person who is granted a temporary residence permit may be eligible for a permanent residence permit. Under the new act, this requires an income.

"To be granted a permanent residence permit, the person must have an income from employment or business activities so that they are not in need of income support," says Mr Ygeman.

Questions concerning individual cases should be addressed to the Swedish Migration Agency.