New requirements for permanent residence permits
Since 20 July, applicants for a permanent residence permit must fulfil new requirements. Among other things, you must be able to support yourself financially and are expected to live a law-abiding life. The new special requirements apply to everyone, regardless of the type of permit you already have.
In order to obtain a permanent residence permit, you must also meet the requirements to obtain a continued residence permit. These requirements vary depending on the grounds for granting the residence permit you currently have.
If you have applied for asylum in Sweden, you must have had a residence permit for at least three years. It is also required that you still be in need of protection, that you remain unable to return to your country of origin for some other reason, or that exceedingly or particularly distressing circumstances exist in your case.
If you have been granted a residence permit for upper secondary level studies, you must fulfil other requirements in order to obtain a permanent residence permit.
In addition to this, you must
- be able to support yourself financially
- be expected to live a law-abiding life.
You must be able to support yourself financially
In order to obtain a permanent residence permit, you must be able to support yourself through income from employment or your own company, or a combination of these. You can add up income from multiple jobs, provided that all of them meet the requirements.
Your ability to support yourself financially must be of a certain duration. This means that you must have permanent employment or fixed-term employment lasting at least 18 months from the date on which your application is examined. In some cases, trial employment may also be approved.
If you are self-employed, you must show that you can support yourself financially for at least 18 months from the date on which your application is examined.
What income counts?
You may only count taxed income from legal employment. You must have permission to work or be exempt from the requirement to possess a work permit.
You may count income from one or more part-time jobs or from parental benefits or sickness benefits, provided that it is assessed that the parental leave or sick leave does not exceed 18 months.
As a self-employed person, you must show that you own at least half of the company and have decisive responsibility for its operations. It is also required that you run the company professionally, independently and for profit.
How large must my income be?
An individual assessment is always made of whether you can live on your income. You meet the maintenance requirement if your income per month from your employment or company covers your housing costs and the so-called “normal amount” for a single adult.
The normal amount is a flat-rate calculation of ordinary living expenses. Every year, the Swedish Enforcement Authority calculates a new normal amount. The normal amount for 2021 is SEK 5,016 per month for a single adult. The Swedish Migration Agency generally uses the normal amount for a single adult in its calculation because it only requires that you be able to support yourself in order to obtain a permanent residence permit. This means that you do not need to be able to financially support your family members.
If you pay child maintenance, your wages must be sufficient to cover that as well.
On the website of the Swedish Enforcement Authority you can read more about what the normal amount might be depending on how many people are in your family.
Exemptions may be made to the requirement that you be able to support yourself financially in order to obtain a permanent residence permit if
- you are under the age of 18 when the Swedish Migration Agency takes a decision
- you are entitled to a pension
- you are unable to support yourself financially on other special grounds.
A law-abiding life
In order to obtain a permanent residence permit, you are expected to live a law-abiding life. The Swedish Migration Agency therefore looks at whether you have previously been convicted or suspected of any crime in Sweden. Crimes committed abroad can also be taken into account in the decision. An individual assessment is always carried out for each application.
Exemptions to the requirement that applicants live a law-abiding life are made only for children under the age of 15.
Requirements for skills in civic information and Swedish do not apply
The government has decided that the proposed requirement for skills in Swedish and civic information needs to be further investigated before it can be incorporated into the law. There is therefore no requirement for skills in Swedish and civic information in the legislative change that will take effect this year.