Sweden: Applicants must speak Swedish for residency, report recommends

Foreigners seeking permanent residency in Sweden should pass language tests and demonstrate knowledge of how Swedish society works, according to a report presented to the government on Monday.

According to the report by Court of Appeals Councilor Fredrik Fries, the tests should be introduced in 2027 for foreigners aged 18 and over seeking permanent residency.

“For someone who will live and work in this country, it is absolutely central to have knowledge of the Swedish language and be familiar with the basic conditions in Swedish society. A person must understand what obligations, but also rights, one has,” Minister for Migration Maria Malmer Stenergard told Swedish Television (SVT).

She added: “The aim is to promote integration and an inclusive society where the individual … increases opportunities to actively participate in society.”

However, quota refugees and those with physical or mental impairments will be exempt from taking the tests, SVT reported. It will also be possible for those who fail to re-take the tests.

“Sweden is one of few countries without such a requirement and the idea is that Swedish legislation should approach that of other countries,” Fries said.

According to the Swedish Migration Agency, 6,990 foreign citizens were granted permanent residency in 2022. ■

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