Sweden Offers Residency To All Syrian Refugees

Sweden announced Tuesday that they will be the first country in Europe to offer permanent residency to all refugees from Syria.

According The Wall Street Journal, the announcement comes one day ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Stockholm en route to the meeting in Russia of the Group of 20 industrial and developing nations. The report continued on to say:

“The Swedish Migration Board, however, said the move is in anticipation of conflict continuing in Syria for the foreseeable future, and didn’t link the announcement to Mr. Obama’s visit.”

According to The Local, the decision covers all asylum seekers from Syria who have been granted temporary residency in Sweden for humanitarian protection.

The Swedish Migration Board announced Tuesday that they will now receive permanent residence permits.

The Wall Street Journal stated that to date, Sweden has said people not needing special protection can be granted three-year residency, and about half of Syrians granted asylum have received temporary residency.

“Currently around 1,000 Syrians a month apply for asylum in Sweden but the number is expected to rise with the changed assessment, because under Swedish immigration law family members of people holding permanent residency are eligible to apply for residency from abroad.”

As the situation in Syria continues to worsen, President Obama has been trying to get Congress to back up the decision to take military action.

The Inquisitr reported earlier that on Sunday, lawmakers were divided over whether to intervene in the war torn country. Supporters say that Syria should be punished for its use of chemical weapons while opponents favor diplomacy and cite wide unwillingness to get involved in yet another war.

The Local reported that this decision to open up to refugees means that the roughly 8,000 Syrians who have temporary residency in Sweden will now be able to stay in the country permanently.

The Syrian refugees will also have the right to bring their families to Sweden.

[Image by Voice of America News: Henry Ridgwell on the Turkish border via Wikimedia Commons]