‘Relax restrictions’ for asylum seekers with Swedish kids

Sweden's Migration Minister Tobias Billström has vowed to ease residency restrictions for asylum seekers who have started families with Swedish partners.

While an asylum seeker who has children with a Swede already has the right to permanent residency in Sweden, the person in question must first return to his or her home country to seek a permit, a process that can take up to half a year.

Under the current regulations, mothers with newborn children have often been left with no other option than to leave Sweden with a newborn child in order to apply for a residence permit.

But now Migration Minister Tobias Billström has said he will endeavour to “fasttrack” a new law that would enable the migration authorities to make exceptions to the law.

In an interview with Sveriges Radio, Billström said he expected the amended law to come into force in Spring 2010.

Previously, the minister had indicated that he would await the outcome of an official inquiry before giving his backing to a legislative amendment.