Sweden offers permanent residency to Syrian refugees

Updated: 2013-09-03 20:41


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STOCKHOLM -- The Swedish Migration Board decided Tuesday that all the Syrian refugees coming to Sweden could become permanent residents due to the deteriorating situation in Syria.

"The conflicts, to put it mildly, have been obviously worse. We believe that it is not going to end within the foreseeable future, so we have made a conventional change," Anders Danielsson, general director of the Migration Board, was quoted as saying by the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.

"According to international law, they should have permanent residence permits and that is the decision we have made," said Danielsson.

The decision also meant that around 8,000 Syrians that had temporary Swedish residence permits could stay permanently and also bring their families to Sweden.

Sweden has become the first country in the European Union (EU) to give permanent residence permits to Syrian refugees, local media said.

One year ago, Sweden had given Syrian refugees a three-year residence permit. But as Sweden had no diplomatic mission in Syria, relatives of the refugees had to go to a neighboring country while about 1,600 Syrian refugees had applied to bring their families to Sweden, the report added.

The number of refugees that are to be offered protection in Sweden is decided every year by the Swedish government, which has given the Swedish Migration Board the task of making decisions about settlement and permanent residence permits.