Burak, born in 1990 in Adana, Turkey
"I thought people looked at me sideways as they thought "Yet another one from Syria". There was a difference when people found out that I was from Turkey. My mother-in-law is a teacher and many people know her in the village. When they found out I was together with her daughter, I was approved."
– When I was 17, I moved from my hometown to Alanya where I got a job as a beach boy. We rented out sun loungers and parasols and sold food and drink on the beach. It was perfect! It was fun to work in tourism. The sun shines and everyone is happy. I worked from the morning until late at night. It was there on the beach that I met my wife. The first time we only made eye contact but three years later she came back and I recognised her. I think it was fate that brought us together. When she went home, we stayed in touch on Facebook and then she came and visited me several times. We lived together in Turkey for nine months and got engaged. We wanted to start a family and felt it would be better for us to do it in Sweden. There is no equivalent to SFI in Turkey, so my wife had not received the same help as I have received here. She wanted to be able to work and not only be a housewife.
– The first time in Sweden was a little tough. In Alanya, all Swedes I met were happy and pleasant. They were pleasant here too, but also a little reserved. Many people I met thought that I’d come from the asylum residence nearby and looked at me a little suspiciously. I didn’t want to go out in the first weeks. I thought people looked at me sideways as they thought "Yet another one from Syria". There was a difference when people found out that I was from Turkey.
– My mother-in-law is a teacher and many people know her in the village. When they found out I was together with her daughter, I was approved. I did work experience in the local supermarket and I now have a job there that I really like. Life is great. I have a job, car, house, wife and children – just like a Swedish family. It will be easier for me to travel with a Swedish residence permit and above all with a future Swedish citizenship. I want to travel everywhere, see the world.
Reunited with family – 2015
In 2015, 43,414 persons received a residence permit to move to a close relative living in Sweden.
Close relatives to refugees
Close relatives to others
To get a residence and work permit as a relative is the most common reason for people to become resident in Sweden
Relative initially refers to husband/wife/registered partner or cohabiting partner and children under the age of 18 years who have a connection to a person with a residence permit or citizenship in Sweden. Adult siblings or the parents of adult children can normally not get a residence permit as a relative. The permit must be ready before entry into Sweden.
The rules are slightly different depending on which type of residence permit the person who is living in Sweden has. Generally, the person in Sweden must be able to support both themselves and the relative who wants to move to Sweden. This applies both to Swedish and to foreign citizens.