Juholt backed ‘temporary citizenship’: report

Aides to Håkan Juholt initially indicated the Social Democrat leader supported a controversial proposal from Malmö mayor Ilmar Reepalu calling for “temporary citizenship” to combat criminality, according to one of the party's MPs.

Juholt backed 'temporary citizenship': report

Last Friday, Reepalu suggested that the deportation of criminals and ‘temporary’ citizenship should be considered as measures to help battle criminality in Malmö’s Seved district.

Initially, the party’s judicial policy spokesperson, Morgan Johansson, made public comments indicating the party backed the proposal.

“This is a measure worth trying,” he told the TT news agency at the time

According to Sveriges Television (SVT), however, Johansson’s comments came only after he had consulted with Juholt’s staff about the Social Democrats’ position on the issue.

“That’s how it was. They had called Håkan’s staff and he (Morgan Johansson) received a directive from Håkan’s staff to not say no to the proposal,” Social Democrat MP Maryam Yazdanfar told Dagens Arena, a left-leaning internet news site, following an internal party meeting on Tuesday during which the matter was discussed.

Yazdanfar said she was “shocked” to learn that Juholt’s aides refrained from immediately rejecting the proposal.

“To not be clear and accurate on such a principal issue; I find that very problematic,” she said.

By the end of the day on Friday, after the proposal had been roundly criticised by prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt as well as prominent Social Democrats, both Juholt and Johansson distanced themselves from Reepalu’s suggested solution.

Mariam Osman Sherifay, a member of the party’s governing board who on Friday called Reepalu’s proposal “pure racism” has now demanded clarity in what led Johansson to initially issue statements indicating the party backed the proposal.

“I learned of this through the media and therefore I want to know exactly what the proposal was and who supported it. Regardless of who supported it, that person is alone,” she told TT on Wednesday.

“This isn’t something that was discussed by the party board or is included in our programme or has been taken up in a party congress.”

Juholt on Wednesday denied that he instructed Johansson to not reject the proposal.

“He really didn’t receive any instructions from me to give that impression, therefore I really don’t believe it. That’s not they way we’re going to fix serious gang crime,” Juholt said on Wednesday.

When asked whether or not anyone on his staff gave Johansson such instructions, Juholt replied:

“I state that Morgan Johansson quite quickly after his statements corrected himself. I think that’s a good thing.”

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Reader question: How do you meet the requirements for a sambo visa?

In Sweden, a sambo is domestic partner – someone you’re in a relationship with and live with, but to whom you aren’t married. If you, as a non-EU citizen, are in a sambo relationship with a Swedish citizen, you can apply for a residence permit on the basis of that relationship. But meeting the requirements of that permit is not always straightforward.

Reader question: How do you meet the requirements for a sambo visa?

An American reader, whose son lives with his Swedish partner, wrote to The Local with questions about the maintenance requirement her son and his partner must meet in order to qualify for a sambo resident permit.

“Their specific issue is that they meet the requirements for a stable relationship and stable housing, but have been told that qualifying for a sambo visa based on savings is unlikely,” she wrote, asking for suggestions on how to approach this issue. Her son’s partner is a student with no income, but whose savings meet maintenance requirements. But, they have been told by lawyers that Migrationsverket will likely deny the application based on the absence of the Swedish partner’s income.

How do relationships qualify for sambo status?

In order to apply for a residence permit on the basis of a sambo relationship, you and your partner must either be living together, or plan to live together as soon as the non-Swedish partner can come to Sweden. Because this reader’s son is already in Sweden as a graduate student, he can apply for a sambo permit without having to leave the country, provided that his student permit is still valid at the time the new application is submitted.

The Migration Agency notes that “you can not receive a residence permit for the reason that you want to live with a family member in Sweden before your current permit expires”. So once your valid permit is close to expiration, you can apply for a new sambo permit.

What are the maintenance requirements for a sambo permit?

The maintenance requirements for someone applying for a sambo permit fall on the Swedish partner, who must prove that they are able to support both themselves and their partner for the duration of the permit. This includes both housing and financial requirements.

In terms of residential standards that applicants must meet, they must show that they live in a home of adequate size – for two adult applicants without children, that means at least one room with a kitchen. If rented, the lease must be for at least one year.

The financial requirements are more complicated. The Swedish partner must be able to document a stable income that can support the applicant and themselves – for a sambo couple, the 2022 standard is an income of 8,520 kronor per month. This burden falls on the Swedish partner.

While the Migration Agency’s website does say that you may “fulfil the maintenance requirement (be considered able to support yourself) if you have enough money/taxable assets to support yourself, other persons in your household and the family members who are applying for a residence permit for at least two years”, it is unclear how proof of this would be documented. On a separate page detailing the various documents that can be used to prove that maintenance requirements are met, there is nothing about how to document savings that will be used to support the couple.

Can you apply on the basis of savings instead of income?

Well, this is unclear. The Migration Agency’s website does suggest that having enough money saved up to support both members of the sambo relationship is an option, but it gives no details on how to document this. It is also unclear whether applying on the basis of savings will disadvantage applicants, with preference given to applicants who can show proof of income from work.

The Local has reached out to an immigration lawyer to answer this question.