Time-limited residence permits a serious blow to LGBTQI refugees

Asylum and migrationRFSL

RFSL is very critical of the current suggestion of a new migration policy. It risks seriously affecting LGBTQI people who seek asylum in Sweden.

RFSL is, in its reply, very critical of the migration committee’s suggestions in the report En långsiktigt hållbar migrationspolitik, as these suggestions entail a deterioration of asylum-seeker’s opportunity of being granted residence permit in Sweden. If the suggestions are implemented, Sweden will have an asylum legislation which is significantly more restrictive than many other EU member states’ legislation.

RFSL believes that the suggestion, to give all in need of protection a time-limited residence permit, will be a serious blow to LGBTQI-persons in need of protection. An improvement of the situation for LGBTQI-persons in a country rarely occurs quickly; instead, asylum-seeking LGBTQI-persons’ need for protection is long-term and most often permanent. Therefore, RFSL wants there to be an exception from the main rule of time-limited residence permits for asylum-seekers belonging to especially vulnerable groups, among others LGBTQI-persons who have been granted residence permit based on risk of persecution because of sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression.

– Those who are LGBTQI who are forced to flee persecution, torture and inhumane treatment come from situations that are neither temporary nor passing. To be exposed to worry about perhaps being sent back causes mental suffering and inhibits the possibility of creating a life in Sweden, says RFSL’s president Deidre Palacios.

The report’s original suggestion contained requirements regarding the circumstances of when permanent residence permits in family reunification-cases should be granted. LGBTQI refugees have seldom had the opportunity to live with their partners in the country of origin. Therefore, the suggestion would, in practice, make family reunification in LGBTQI asylum cases impossible. 

The government has listened to the criticism and has issued a new, complementary, suggestion that will make family reunification easier for partners of LGBTQI refugees.

– We are pleased that the government has come to its senses and realised the injustice in inhibiting family reunification in LGBTQI cases, says Deidre Palacios.

In connection to the suggestion, the Moderate Party’s migration policy spokes-person Maria Malmer Stenergard has claimed that the government, through this suggestion, “drastically wants to increase immigration”.

‑ We regret the Moderate Party’s completely exaggerated reaction to the suggestion for an improvement of LGBTQI-persons’ possibility of family reunification. We hope and believe that the Moderate Party wants LGBTQI refugees to have the same opportunity as other refugees to reunite with their families, says Deidre Palacios.