Stricter requi­re­ments for young people and stronger protection for people in a vulnerable situation when the rules for Swedish citi­zenship change

On 29 May, the Swedish Parliament decided to tighten the rules of the Citizenship Act. From 1 October, young people who apply for Swedish citizenship will be required to meet requirements concerning an orderly life. At the same time, vulnerable children and adults will gain stronger protection of their Swedish citizenship.

This autumn, new requirements will be introduced for young people who apply for Swedish citizenship. Starting on 1 October, in order for a person between the ages of 15 and 21 to be granted citizenship, the applicant must not:

  • be suspected of a crime of a more serious nature
  • have been convicted of more serious crimes or repeatedly engaged in criminal activities
  • be a threat to Sweden’s national security or public safety
  • be associated with groups or organisations that commit abuse against other people.

Amend­ments concer­ning release from Swedish citi­zenship

The second major amendment to the Citizenship Act aims to strengthen protection of the citizenship of people in a vulnerable situation. Under this amendment, a person can be denied release from their Swedish citizenship if there is reason to suspect that the applicant does not wish to be released.

For children, a provision is being introduced stating that a child shall not be released from their Swedish citizenship if this would be contrary to the best interests of the child. The child’s views will be taken into account in the assessment. Children aged 12 and older must also consent to their release from citizenship.

The Swedish Migra­tion Agency will be respon­sible for all citi­zenship cases

Until now, Nordic citizens have been able to acquire Swedish citizenship by notification, via their local county administrative board. From 1 October, these applicants will need to contact the Swedish Migration Agency, which will take over responsibility for all citizenship cases on that date.

How the agency will be affected by the legislative amendments

The Swedish Migration Agency is currently preparing its operations for these legislative amendments.

“One of the major changes is that we will be taking over the processing of notifications from Nordic residents from the county administrative boards. According to a forecast based on the boards’ data from previous years, that will mean an average of about 3,000 such cases per year. We need to be equipped to handle that influx,” says Merima Ilijasevic, acting Head of Section at the Swedish Migration Agency.

The second major amendment concerns the requirement of an orderly life.

“The Swedish Migration Agency has been calling for a change to the legislation on young people for many years. Now it’s finally happening, and we think it’s a really valuable step,” explains Merima Ilijasevic.

Click here to read about the amendments to the Citizenship Act (in Swedish) External link, opens in new window.

Different ways to acquire citizenship

A person can acquire Swedish citizenship through:

  • birth
  • adoption
  • application (for adults)
  • notification (for children and young adults).

It is the rules for notification that are now being tightened.

Click here to read more about becoming a Swedish citizen.