Limited possibilities of being granted a residence permit in Sweden

In 2016, The Swedish Parliament passed a temporary law that limits the possibilities for asylum seekers and their family members to be granted residence permits in Sweden. The law entered into force on 20 July and is intended to apply for three years.

The law means that a person who is in need of protection will be granted a temporary residence permit. A person who is assessed as being a refugee will be granted a residence permit that applies for three years and a person who is assessed as being eligible for subsidiary protection will be granted a permit for 13 months.

If the person still has grounds for protection when their residence permit expires, they can be granted an extension of their residence permit in Sweden. If the person can support him/herself, they can be granted a permanent residence permit.

Unaccompanied minors and families with children under the age of 18 who are assessed as being in need of protection will be granted permanent residence permits if they applied for asylum at the latest on 24 November 2015.

Read more about who can be granted a permanent residence permit and who will be granted a temporary residence permit

Residence permits for family members

Family members of refugees who are granted residence permits for three years are eligible for residence permits to move to Sweden. Here family members means: husband/wife/registered partner/cohabiting partner and children under the age of 18. 

In certain cases family members of unaccompanied minors who are granted subsidiary protection status can be granted a residence permit even if the child applied for asylum after 24 November 2015.

Maintenance requirement

Family members can only be granted a residence permit if the person who has been granted a residence permit in Sweden is able to support him/herself and the family members applying for residence permits. There also has to be a home of a sufficient size and standard for the family to live in.

The maintenance requirement does not apply to

  • a person who is a refugee or is eligible for subsidiary protection and who has family members who apply for residence permits within three months from when they were granted a residence permit
  • children
  • family members who applied for a residence permit no later than 20 July 2016.

Read more about who is eligible for family reunification and who is subject to a maintenance requirement

Last updated: 2018-02-23

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