Sweden Implements Stricter Conditions for Family Reunification and Limits Humanitarian Residency Permits

The Swedish government has announced a proposal aimed at tightening the conditions for family reunification in certain cases and limiting the opportunities to grant residency permits on humanitarian grounds.

Maria Malmer Stenergard, the Minister for Migration, stated, “The proposals we have decided on today are a crucial part of the paradigm shift taking place in Swedish migration policy. Sweden is facing significant challenges with growing social exclusion, a situation exacerbated by extensive immigration in recent years combined with insufficient integration. The purpose of these proposals is, among other things, to reduce the number of asylum seekers coming to Sweden and to create better conditions for a welcoming reception and effective integration.”

In this proposition, the government suggests several key changes:

  1. Raising the Age Limit: The age limit for denying residency permits on the basis of family ties will be increased from 18 to 21 years.
  2. Limiting Exceptions to the Maintenance Requirement: Exceptions to the financial maintenance requirement for family reunification, especially when the family member has alternative protection needs, will be restricted.
  3. Removing Special Humanitarian Grounds: The provisions for granting residency permits based on particularly compelling humanitarian grounds will be eliminated. Instead, children will be eligible for residency permits based on exceptionally compelling circumstances, even if these circumstances do not have the same gravity and severity as those required for adults.

These proposals stem from an agreement between the government and the Sweden Democrats.

The proposed changes to the law are expected to come into effect on December 1, 2023. These alterations are part of Sweden’s broader efforts to reform its migration policy in response to evolving social and economic challenges.