Introduction of new arrivals to Sweden

Introduction reform

The Act on introduction activities for certain newly arrived immigrants came into force on 1 December 2010. A central premise of the Act is that a labour market perspective should apply from day one. On the basis of their own circumstances, each new arrival is to be given professional help to, as quickly as possible, learn Swedish, find a job and earn their own living, and learn about the rights and obligations that apply in Sweden.

Responsibility for the various activities is divided between several central government agencies and municipalities.

Arbetsförmedlingen

Arbetsförmedlingen (the Swedish Public Employment Service) has a coordinating responsibility for the introduction activities and, together with the new arrival, draws up a plan comprising activities to facilitate and speed up his or her establishment in work and society.

Arbetsförmedlingen should also offer employment preparation activities, decide on introduction benefits and, if necessary, assign a place of settlement to people who are entitled to an introduction plan and their family members.

Arbetsförmedlingen procures and offers introduction guides in accordance with the Act on Free Choice Systems. The guides are independent actors who should be supportive and encouraging during the introduction period and develop the introduction plan together with the new arrival. The new arrival has the right to select their own introduction guide.

County administrative boards

Newly arrived immigrants who help draw up an introduction plan, or who take part in activities under an introduction plan, are entitled to a benefit. The introduction benefit is individual and the same for everyone regardless of where in the country one lives. The introduction benefit is designed to encourage newly arrived immigrants to both work and take part in introduction activities.

Municipalities

Local authorities should provide Swedish for Immigrants (SFI) and civic orientation courses for new arrivals. SFI aims to help adult immigrants acquire a basic knowledge of the Swedish language. Civic orientation aims to facilitate the establishment and participation of newly arrived refugees in Swedish society. This should be provided as early as possible after arrival to the municipality. Housing provision and initiatives for children in schools and pre-schools, for example, are also the responsibility of the municipality.

Swedish Migration Board

The Swedish Migration Board is responsible for the settlement of quota refugees and for people and households who are not entitled to introduction plans.