The European Commission has approached the Swedish government with a proposal for a revised directive regarding status as a long-term resident within the European Union. These regulations concern citizens of countries outside the EU who are living legally within the Union. People who have been granted long-term resident status will have greater opportunities to live, study and work within the Union.

In order to be granted long-term resident status, applicants are currently required to have legally resided within one and the same EU member state with certain types of residence permit or the right of residence for at least five years. Anyone who is granted this status in Sweden is automatically entitled to a permanent residence permit.

The Commission’s proposal aims to streamline and facilitate possibilities for third-country nationals, and their family members, to settle permanently within the Union and to facilitate their freedom to move within the Union.

SULF was invited to submit a referral response to the Ministry of Justice. Among the points we raised, were the following:

  • SULF believes that implementation of this proposal will make it easier for visiting doctoral candidates and researchers to remain in Sweden and contribute to the country’s growth and development, but certain elements of the proposal need clarification
  • SULF welcomes the proposal to include time spent in the country with a residence permit for studies in the qualification criteria for permanent resident status in certain cases
  • SULF agrees with the European Parliament that the qualification period should be reduced from five years to a maximum of four years
  • SULF supports the Commission’s proposal that applicants should be able to include time spent with a residence permits in other member states in their qualification period
  • SULF believes that Sweden’s national migration legislation must be reviewed alongside the proposal from the Commission in order to remove the obstacles that exist today and which result in many qualified people leaving Sweden. In addition, the Swedish Migration Agency’s processing times need to be reduced.

Further information

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