Sweden’s new migration law comes into force

Sweden's new migration legislation comes into effect on 20 July, replacing temporary legislation introduced five years ago to bring down the unprecedented number of asylum requests at the time, news wires reported. The bill, which was put forward by the government in late April, was approved by the parliament in June.

One part of the new law, for example, makes residence permits for asylum seekers limited in time instead of permanent. Since the temporary law was introduced temporary permits have been the norm in Sweden, but before that permanent permits were the default since 1984. It also brings in exceptions from family maintenance requirements for Swedish and EU/EEA citizens who wish to bring their partner to Sweden.

A requirement for Swedish language skills in order to receive a permanent residence permit was floated as part of the legislative work on the migration bill, but this hasn’t made it into law. The original proposal states that these should be introduced at some point, but they are not yet an official requirement, so it is unclear how these skills will be tested and measured.

Initially, the plan was to pass a law that had a broader political consensus behind it. A Migration Committee was set up with representatives from each party and a mandate to come up with ideas for a “humane, legally certain and effective” migration policy to replace the temporary laws introduced in 2016.

But the talks were fraught, with immigration a core issue for most of the parties and widely disparate views on the best way forward. So the proposals brought forward by the committee were less extensive than expected; after cross-party talks broke down, the final report was made up of more than 20 proposals rather than a comprehensive policy, each one supported by a different combination of parties.

The junior government coalition partner, the Green Party, was not happy with many of the proposals, in particular a proposed cap on the number of asylum seekers who can enter Sweden each year.

So the government put forward a new bill, based on the committee’s suggestions but with some notable differences, including no cap on asylum seeker numbers. The Green Party also pushed through rules that mean that people who are not eligible for asylum may in some cases be allowed to stay in Sweden on compassionate grounds.

More on this subject: Migration crisis

Similar articles

  • Explosion at German chemicals plant, extreme danger warning issued

    Explosion at German chemicals plant, extreme danger warning issued

    An explosion at a chemicals plant in the western German city of Leverkusen on Tuesday led to an "extreme danger" warning being issued and residents of the city on the Rhine being urged to close windows and doors, dpa reported. Leverkusen police said several people were injured. A large number of police officers were deployed at the place of incident. They closed the nearby motorway and urged residents to keep roads free for the emergency services.

    44
  • Hungarians protest against the government for alleged use of Pegasus spyware

    Hungarians protest against the government for alleged use of Pegasus spyware

    About 1,000 Hungarians protested on Monday over allegations that the government used Israeli-made Pegasus spyware for illegal surveillance of public figures in Hungary, drawing comparisons with the country's communist past, Reuters reported. Protesters gathered at the House of Terror Museum in the capital, Budapest, which commemorates victims of Nazism and Communism, and marched to the headquarters of the governing Fidesz party. Criticising PM Viktor Orban, some chanted: "Victator."

    23
  • Recovery fund: EU ministers approve four more national plans

    Recovery fund: EU ministers approve four more national plans

    European Union finance ministers approved on Monday the national recovery plans of Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania and Slovenia, paving the way for the disbursement of EU pre-financing for projects envisaged under the schemes, news wires reported. The European Council is expected to adopt its implementing decisions on the approval of these plans by written procedure shortly after the informal ministers’ meeting held on Monday. Following the formal adoption of the decisions, this second batch of member states will be able to use the facility’s funds to foster their economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    38