Sweden proposes language requirement for would-be citizensEuropost
People applying for Swedish citizenship should be required to show proof of Swedish language skills and understanding of the Swedish society, news wires reported. "Language is the key to work, but also the key to society," Justice and Migration Minister Morgan Johansson said as he presented details of an inquiry into the proposals on Wednesday.
Foreign nationals applying to become Swedish would need proof of Swedish skills at A2 level for speaking and writing, the second lowest out of six levels on the Common European Framework of Reference, and B1 for reading and listening.
To take the test, it would cost 500 kronor (€49.5) for the section relating to civil society and 2,000 kronor for the language component.
Citizenship applicants could alternatively provide proof of passing Grade 9 in a Swedish high school, or a course at upper secondary school, or the highest level of the Swedish For Immigrants (SFI) course.
The language requirements would apply to people aged between 16 and 66 who apply for Swedish citizenship, but certain exceptions are proposed, including for people with certain disabilities or those who are from a vulnerable background, for example being stateless or illiterate, who can prove they have tried to reach the required knowledge level but been unsuccessful.
Citizens of other Nordic countries who live in Sweden would also be exempted, as they are subject to a different process and are only required to notify authorities, rather than apply, in order to receive citizenship.
The proposals were put together based on reviewing the processes in place in other European countries, of which only three including Sweden do not currently require a language test. The final decision on the proposal has to be passed by parliament. Separately, the government is looking into whether language skills should be required for permanent residence in Sweden.