POLL: Should Swedish language skills be a requirement for permanent residence?

What do you think of a new inquiry that suggests it should be compulsory for foreigners to speak Swedish in order to get a permanent residence permit?

POLL: Should Swedish language skills be a requirement for permanent residence?
Have your say in The Local's poll. Photo: cottonbro/Pexels

The proposal is part of a major report by a parliamentary Migration Committee, which was set up last year to suggest new migration laws that would replace a temporary law which is due to expire next summer.

It is important to note that the fact that it has been proposed does not mean that it will automatically make it into Swedish law, or even to the next step of the legislative process. There are several hurdles along the way, not least the fact that Sweden's centre-left coalition government is split on many of the report's proposals. It may not even happen at all – but it is still worth being aware of, and you can read more about the language proposal here.

Because it is still at such an early stage, the details of what level of Swedish would be required (a passing grade in Swedish For Immigrants, level C, was suggested in the report, but only as one potential option) are very vague.

But we want to know what you think. Have your say in our poll below.

Should Swedish skills be a requirement for permanent residence?

Member comments

  1. I totally agree in the case to received the citizenship but to receive a parmanent residence is too much. It is very difficult language that It is only is talked by 10 milion peaple in the world. Why talk this language if is not a citizenship?

  2. Learning a second language is complexed. Not everyone is able to learn Swedish from the same starting point. Different languages have different SVO order and phoneme and graphemes codes. For instance: Chinese is totally different from Swedish, but English is a Germanic language like German and Swedish- meaning something similarities occur. There needs to be understanding and empathy for these different learners from different nationalities. Moreover, Sweden needs to take into account that some individuals will have the added complexities of a multilingual background or learning difficulties such as dyslexia. Of course, in order to integrate, it is helpful to try to learn the language and will make living in Sweden much more comfortable and will help in work and personal life, but support is needed as SLA takes time and patience!

  3. When it concerns the language requirements for the permanent residence, it is too much. For the first, it is never guaranteed that a person is granted the permanent residence when he/she applies for it. I know it from my own experience with the Migration Agency. Why in this case to make a huge effort and to learn Swedish if you even don’t know whether you get it or not? For the second, the permanent residence is not given unconditionally. If you want to live in another country for more than one year, your permanent residence will be taken back. Then you don’t have your Swedish permanent residence but you speak Swedish… outside Sweden. Nice.

  4. Reasonable for citizenship, ridiculous for permanent residency.

    Sweden needs to grow its labor force, not shrink it. Will be fun watching them shoot themselves in the foot.

  5. Also, all SFI needs to be offered to ALL (not just those without jobs) and in a timely manner.

    My husband who has always worked has always been denied SFI. He doesn’t need it as he works in an international environment. He would love to learn Swedish, but if its something that Sweden wants, he should be offered the same as all other immigrants.

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