swedish migration board

Residence permit process still splits families

Many parents are still forced to leave their young children in Sweden while they apply for a residence permit from their homeland, despite a 2010 change in legislation to prevent families from being separated.

People applying for residence permits on the basis of family attachment have to do so from their own country. However the rules were changed so that those who had children and family here - and who would obviously have their application approved - would be able to avoid an unecessary trip which would split the family.

However, there are many situations not covered by the legislation. For example, for the purposes of the application, children are not considered to be close family members.

Ombudsman for Children in Sweden, Fredrik Malmberg, tells Radio Sweden that it is not in a child's best interest for his or her family to be split up for several months.

There are no figures from the Swedish Migration Board about exactly how many cases this concerns.