The requirements for getting citizenship in Sweden will vary depending on your grounds for getting it and the application process will also be slightly different. Now, after years of liberal immigration policies, Sweden has the plan to make it harder for immigrants to become citizens.
At a press conference to present the proposal, justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson said it aims to support integration into Swedish society and “strengthen the status of citizenship and promote a more inclusive society.”
Sweden has long been a safe haven for many migrants who escape war, political persecution, and poverty, a history that spans World War II, Vietnam War, and the Yugoslav Wars.
However, since the European migrant crisis of the 2010s, a fierce debate has erupted around the apparent inability of some migrants to assimilate into society, as well as the appearance of “parallel societies” around certain ethnoreligious groups that enforce rules in conflict with the general Swedish society.
For years now, Sweden experienced an uptick in gang violence, sex crimes, bombings, and deadly shootings that have been starkly absent from the country.
With the surge in immigrants, it became apparent that Sweden needs to require higher standards of its prospective citizens.
The move would align Sweden’s citizenship policy with most of Europe. Sweden is one of only three EU countries not to have language requirements built into the citizenship process.
Foreign nationals would have to pass exams in all four language skills: speaking, writing, reading, and listening, along with a social studies test. Individuals would be required to pay a fee of approximately $300 for the exams, on top of the $180 citizenship application fee.
Achieving an A2 level for speaking and writing would be required, but a B1 would be needed for reading and listening. The levels represent the second and third levels of six on the Common European Framework of Reference used to assess language skills across the continent.
“Language is the key to work, but also the key to society,” according to Minister Johansson.
However, according to AWM, Sweden gives consideration to people who cannot pass the difficult Swedish tests if they are part of these groups:
According to one report, disabled, illiterate, and stateless people will not be held to the same standards as everyone else. Instead, they will need to show proof that they tried their best to pass the various tests and explain why they were unsuccessful in doing so.
Erik Nord, Gothenburg’s chief of police, told MailOnline: “These criminal clans have a completely different culture that makes them very difficult to tackle with normal police methods. We need more police, and our courts and prisons need to be reinforced to deal with this situation urgently. Otherwise, we will turn into a gangsters’ paradise.”