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Inquiry over immigrant ID card problem

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17:30 CEST+02:00
Sweden's government is to set up an inquiry into the problem of immigrants being prevented from being granted Swedish identity cards.

As The Local detailed in a series of articles in February, hundreds of immigrants have been unable to get ID since state-owned Svensk Kassaservice changed its rules at the start of the year to combat identity fraud.

While applicants for ID cards could previously take along acquaintances with valid Swedish ID card to vouch for their identity, the new rules require that they are accompanied by a spouse or legal relative. Those without relatives in Sweden are denied ID cards by Svensk Kassaservice.

The change has left thousands of immigrants without the ID needed to carry out daily tasks such as picking up parcels and prescriptions, opening bank accounts and using credit cards. Banks, the only other issuers of ID cards, usually leave the question in the hands of individual clerks, and many foreigners are also refused when applying for ID by this route.

Integration and Equality Minister Nyamko Sabuni is due to address parliament on the issue on Tuesday. According to news agency TT, she will announce an inquiry into the issue. But according to Liberal Migration Spokesman Fredrik Malm, who raised the issue with ministers, immigrants cannot wait for an inquiry to run its course.

"They have told me that they are going to carry out this inquiry quickly, and this is good if this means that they come up with a good solution. But we can't wait for an inquiry before acting. There needs to be an interim solution," Malm told The Local.

Malm said that there were a number of options that could help fix the problem in the meantime. One such option would be that officials from the Swedish Board of Migration would accompany applicants to vouch for their identity.

The Local has contacted Nyamko Sabuni's office for a comment.

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