1 July 2016

The Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament) has decided to temporarily restrict the possibility of being granted a residence permit in Sweden

On 21 June, the Riksdag decided to temporarily restrict the possibility of being granted a residence permit in Sweden. The new law, which enters into force on 20 July, means that a person who is in need of protection will be granted a temporary residence permit. It will also mean maintenance and housing requirements for more people than previously.

The law contains several important changes. 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 under the age of 18 years who are assessed as being in need of protection are not covered by the law if they applied for asylum at the latest on 24 November 2015.

The restricted possibilities of being granted residence permits mean that only a husband, wife, cohabiting partner, registered partner or child under the age of 18 of the family member in Sweden has the possibility of family reunification. A residence permit may be refused if one of the spouses or cohabiting partners is under the age of 21 years. Exemptions from the age requirement can be made if they have common children, for instance.

Requirements concerning maintenance and housing

Another important change is to do with the possibility of being granted a residence permit in the case of persons who have met someone they want to live with in Sweden. Up until now Swedish citizens, EU citizens and persons who have had a permanent residence permit for more than four years have been exempted from the maintenance requirement for themselves and their partner and the requirement of a home of a sufficient size, The new law means that this exemption disappears.

The requirement does not cover a person who applied for a residence permit no later than three months after their family member in Sweden was granted their residence permit.

More information

The Swedish Migration Agency's webpage about the new law has more information about what the new law means

There is more information about who is assessed as being a refugee on the Swedish Migration Agency's website

You can also read about the new law on the Government's websiteexternal link, opens in new window