Swedish government sends post-Brexit residence bill to parliament

Swedish government sends post-Brexit residence bill to parliament
The proposal is meant to complement the Withdrawal Agreement. Photo: AP Photo/Virginia Mayo
The Swedish government on Tuesday put forward its proposal on British citizens' post-Brexit rights to parliament, the final legislative hurdle the bill needs to clear to come into force by the end of the year.

After the UK left the EU on February 1st, 2020, it entered a so-called transition period during which UK nationals retained the same rights as before to move to, live in, and work in Sweden. This transition period is scheduled to end on December 31st, 2020, after which EU law will no longer apply to Brits.

Under the Swedish government's new proposal, which we have previously written about on The Local, British citizens and their family members who settle in Sweden before the end of the transition period will have to apply to the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) for a new residence status (uppehållsstatus).

To be granted the status, they should fit into one of the following categories: be either employed or self-employed; have sufficient assets and sickness insurance to take care of themselves; be a family member of another person who meets the requirements; or have previously received right of residence (i.e. have legally lived in Sweden for more than five years, which means they no longer need to meet the other requirements).

Those who are granted this status will be able to continue living and working in Sweden in much the same way as before.

The government also proposes that the Migration Agency issue documents to cross-border workers (for example, those Brits who are working in southern Sweden but commuting from their home in Denmark).

The proposal states that “a fee should not be charged for the issuance of proof of residence status”. The EU left it up to individual member states to decide if a fee would be charged for the permit (although this could not be higher than fees for equivalent ID cards) and what the format of the documentation would be.

The bill, which is currently set to come into force on December 1st, also states that the government would have the authority to set a deadline for when Brits would have to apply for their new residence status. The updated proposal does not propose a specific deadline, but ten months have previously been suggested.

Some general provisions are covered in the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU, and the proposal, first published in late February, would supplement this agreement.

Brits who move to Sweden after the end of the transition period are currently expected to have to follow the process for applying for a residence permit the same way as other non-EU nationals.

A date has not yet been set for a vote in parliament.

Read the full proposal (in Swedish) here.

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