The Swedish government is recommending tightening the criteria for family members of foreign nationals already residing in Sweden.
Such a proposal has been made in an effort to reduce immigration to the country as there has been a lack of integration in recent years.
Commenting on the planned changes, the Migration Minister of Sweden, Maria Malmer Stenergard, said that measures are necessary and, at the same time, stressed that the country is currently dealing with major challenges related to the inclusion of migrants into society.
“Extensive immigration in recent years combined with a lack of integration has contributed to Sweden facing major challenges with growing exclusion. In order to break and reverse the development, a series of measures need to be taken,” the statement of Minister Stenergard reads.
As part of the bill, the government has proposed to increase the age limit for refusing a residence permit for foreign residents’ family members from 18 to 21 years.
This means that if the bill is approved, a residence permit may be refused for a partner or spouse in cases when the partner who is in Sweden or the partner who wants to join them is under the age of 21.
Commenting on the proposal, Minister Stenergard said that this would help in preventing forced marriages and stressed that this is the highest age limit that is permitted by the EU law.
“The possibilities for exemptions from the support requirement in the case of relative immigration, when the dependent person is alternatively in need of protection, are also limited,” the Swedish government further said.
In addition to the above-mentioned, the government said that it also wants to apply no longer a certain rule that gives the right to the Swedish Migration Agency to grant residence permits to those subject to “unfortunate situations”.
Nonetheless, it stressed that children should continue to be granted residence permits when subject to such circumstances.
“It is proposed that the provisions on residence permits due to particularly distressing circumstances be removed and that children should instead be granted residence permits due to particularly distressing circumstances, even if the circumstances do not have the same seriousness and weight as for adults,” the government’s statement reads.
The proposals mentioned above are based on an agreement that has been reached between the Sweden Democrats and the government, and if approved, the changes to the law have been proposed to enter into force on December 1, 2023.