Sweden to Make It More Difficult to Become a Citizen

Sweden's government is set to implement stricter citizenship rules, emphasizing the value of Swedish nationality and integration. Learn about the proposed changes and their implications for aspiring citizens.

In a move aimed at enhancing the value of Swedish citizenship and promoting better integration, the government of Sweden is planning to tighten its citizenship rules. These changes will make the process of acquiring citizenship in the country more stringent.

A Bid to Strengthen Swedish Citizenship

The Swedish government recently introduced a decision to revamp the current citizenship acquisition system. This initiative involves a comprehensive investigation into ways to efficiently tighten the existing citizenship rules.


The proposed changes underscore the significance of Swedish citizenship, both legally and symbolically.

Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard, speaking through a press release issued by the Ministry of Justice, emphasized that by increasing the requirements for citizenship acquisition, the intrinsic value of citizenship would also rise. She believes that these changes are crucial to bolster Swedish citizenship and facilitate better integration.


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Key Proposed Changes

Under the recent adjustments, the investigator is tasked with several crucial proposals, including:

  1. Extended Residency Requirement: Recommending a longer period of residence in Sweden as a prerequisite for citizenship acquisition.
  2. Enhanced Knowledge of Swedish Society and Culture: Proposing additional knowledge requirements related to Swedish society and culture for citizenship eligibility.
  3. Requirement for Self-Sufficiency: Recommending a requirement for self-sufficiency and maintaining an honest lifestyle to be eligible for Swedish citizenship.

It’s important to note that the investigator’s mandate does not extend to suggesting constitutional amendments. The investigator is expected to submit their findings by September 30, 2024.

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Prolonged Permanent Residency Requirement

In addition to these changes, the Swedish government has proposed extending the mandatory period of permanent residency in the country before one can apply for citizenship. The current four-year requirement is set to be increased to eight years.

Maria Malmer Stenergard expressed support for these reasonable requirements, asserting that they contribute to better integration within Swedish society.

Sweden’s Citizenship Landscape Shifts

Once these new changes come into effect, Sweden will no longer be considered one of the easiest countries for acquiring citizenship. Instead, it will join the ranks of nations with more stringent requirements for foreign nationals seeking citizenship.

Minister Stenergard emphasized that these changes are not aimed at seeking “superhumans.” Instead, they align Sweden with the standards applied in many other countries. These changes are expected to enhance Sweden’s value over time, ultimately aiding international residents in their journey towards integration.


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Current Requirements

Currently, to qualify for citizenship in Sweden, applicants must be at least 18 years old, be able to verify their identity, meet habitual residence requirements, maintain a law-abiding lifestyle in the country, and possess either a permanent residence permit, the right of residence, or a residency card.

What’s Next?

The proposed changes to citizenship requirements are still under development. It is unclear when they will come into effect or how strictly they will be enforced. However, it is clear that the Swedish government is serious about making it more difficult for foreigners to become Swedish citizens.

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