Immigration to Sweden
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Immigration to Sweden


Around 3.5 million of these people live in and around Sweden's three largest cities: Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö. Around 1.7 million people (roughly 17 percent of the Swedish population) were born outside of Sweden.

Throughout the twentieth century, many people immigrated to Sweden. Sweden has had a positive net migration rate for the majority of the years since WWII, meaning that more people have immigrated than have emigrated.

Sweden needed labor in the 1950s and 1960s. People from neighboring countries came to work in Sweden. 

Many citizens from Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, and Turkey have also migrated here.People from South America, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, and Eritrea found refuge in Sweden in the 1980s. 

People from Somalia and Eastern Europe arrived later.The European Council voted in 1999 to draft a collective asylum and immigration policy for the European Union (EU). The Schengen Agreement is the name for this scheme. In 2001, Sweden ratified the Schengen Agreement. 

According to the agreement, anyone who is lawfully present in one of the signatory countries will be able to fly freely to other signatory countries without having to display their passport. At the turn of the century, the Schengen Agreement resulted in a rise in asylum seekers.

The Aliens Act, which includes regulations on asylum, residency permits, and family reunification, regulates immigration in Sweden.In 2016, a little more than 163,000 people relocated to Sweden. Men made up 56% of the party, while women made up 44%. Around 15,000 Swedes returned to Sweden as part of the sum, but Syrians made up the majority of the immigrants.In 2010, 32,000 people applied for asylum in Sweden, a 25% rise over 2009; however, the number of people granted asylum did not increase because the significant increase was due in large part to the introduction of visa-free travel to Sweden for Serbian nationals.


Sweden has the highest rate of asylum seekers per million people in Europe.Beginning in 2014, the number of asylum seekers arriving in Sweden increased. In 2014, 81,300 people applied for asylum, a 50 percent rise over the previous year. 

It was the highest number since 1992, when 84,018 people applied for asylum in Yugoslavia during the war. The acceptance rate was 77 percent (63,000) but it varied greatly between various classes, such as Syrians and Eritreans, who had nearly all of their applications accepted. In February 2015, it was predicted that 90,000 people would apply for asylum in 2015, with 80,000 expected in 2016.

Due to a shortage of 15,000 accommodations, the Swedish Migration Agency is forced to rent from private actors. The figure for 2015 was revised down to 68,000–88,000 at the end of April 2015, with 80,000 as the key scenario. 

The revised figures were due to long processing times and the situation in Iraq not improving as the Swedish Migration Agency had feared.

The Swedish Riksdag has passed a provisional law restricting asylum seekers' and their families' ability to receive residency permits in Sweden. The new legislation went into effect on July 20, 2016, and is set to run for three years.

 People who applied for asylum before July 20, 2016, could be affected by the law.As a result of the new legislation, asylum seekers who are eligible for protection will be granted a temporary residence permit in Sweden.

 Applicants who are determined to be refugees will receive a three-year residence permit, and those who are determined to be eligible for subsidiary security will receive a 13-month residence permit.If a person who has been issued a temporary residence permit is still eligible for protection when the permit expires, an extension may be granted.

 If the individual is self-sufficient, a permanent residence permit can be given.If they applied for asylum before November 25, 2015, unaccompanied minors and families with children under the age of 18 who are found to be in need of security may be given a permanent residence permit.

You must apply an application to the Swedish Migration Agency in order to become a Swedish citizen. To become a Swedish citizen, you must be 18 years old, have a permanent residency permit, and have resided in Sweden for at least five years. Children under the age of 18 who have a foreign father or mother will become Swedish citizens at the same time.