Proposal to temporarily restrict the possibility of being granted a residence permit in Sweden
On Thursday 28 April, the Government decided on a bill proposing that Swedish asylum regulations be temporarily brought into line with the minimum level in EU law and international conventions.
At the end of 2015, the Government announced that Swedish legislation needs to be changed for a limited period. The Government now proposes that Sweden introduce a temporary residence permit, limit the right to family member immigration and tighten maintenance requirements. The act will be in effect for three years.
It is essential that these temporary amendments do not lead to practical problems in relation to other important public services and systems. For this reason, the Government proposes certain changes, based on the comments submitted by referral bodies.
- Some temporary residence permits will be extended to 13 months so that individuals can be covered by social insurance benefits in Sweden.
- Persons under the age of 25 who can support themselves will only be granted a permanent residence permit if they have completed upper secondary school education or the equivalent.
- In some specific cases, family member immigration will be possible and children will be able to receive permanent residence permits.
The proposal in its entirety
A temporary act
The act will be in effect for three years and will apply to decisions on residence permits taken during the period in which the act is in effect. The act will not apply to decisions on residence permits for children or families with children who had applied for asylum by 24 November 2015.
It is proposed that the act enter into force on 20 July 2016.
Temporary residence permits
Refugees and persons eligible for subsidiary protection who are granted protection in Sweden will be granted temporary residence permits rather than permanent residence permits – which is the general rule at present.
When a case is first examined, those who are given refugee status will be granted a three-year permit.
Persons eligible for subsidiary protection will be granted a 13-month residence permit.
When the permits expire, they will be extended if grounds for protection still exist.
Permanent residence permit if the person can support themselves
When a temporary residence permit expires, a permanent residence permit may be granted if the person can support themselves. Persons under the age of 25 will only be granted a permanent residence permit if they have completed upper secondary education or the equivalent.
Permanent residence permit for children in certain cases
A child may be granted a permanent residence permit in certain cases in light of their state of health.
Quota refugees will continue to be granted permanent residence permits.
Limited right to family member immigration
Asylum seekers who are deemed eligible for subsidiary protection will not have the right to family reunification if they had not applied for asylum by 24 November 2015. However, if this would contravene a Swedish commitment under a convention, a relative may be granted a residence permit.
Asylum seekers who are given refugee status and who are granted temporary permits under the new temporary act will continue to have the right to family reunification. This right will only apply to spouses, cohabiting partners and children under the age of 18. Reunification of spouses and cohabiting partners applies to both different-sex and same-sex couples. Child refugees will have the right to be reunified with their parents.
Tougher maintenance requirements
Family member immigration will be subject to a maintenance requirement, which will be broadened to include a requirement that the sponsor must be able to support family members who come to Sweden. At present, the only requirement is that sponsors can support themselves.
The maintenance requirement does not apply when the sponsor is a refugee or a person eligible for subsidiary protection and the relative applies for a residence permit within the first three months after the person eligible for protection has been granted a residence permit. Nor will the maintenance requirement apply if the sponsor is a child, or if the relative has applied for a residence permit by the date on which the act enters into force.
This means that the current exception to the maintenance requirement for family member immigration for Swedish citizens, citizens of other EEA states or Switzerland, and those who have lived in Sweden for more than four years, will be abolished.
Residence permits on grounds of exceptionally or particularly distressing circumstances
Residence permits on grounds of exceptionally or particularly distressing circumstances may only be granted if refusing entry to or expelling the person would contravene a Swedish commitment under a convention.
Possibility of family reunification if denying a residence permit would contravene a Swedish commitment under a convention
A relative may be granted a residence permit if denying a residence permit would contravene a Swedish commitment under a convention.
Persons otherwise in need of protection
Persons otherwise in need of protection will not be entitled to a residence permit.