Since the 20th of July 2016 there is a temporary new law in Sweden affecting all asylum seekers in Sweden. My column today focuses on the Syrians´ rights, or rather the lack of rights, to family reunion.
According to the new law most asylum seekers will only be granted temporary residence permits instead of permanent ones. Another big change is that only persons with refugee status will have the right to family reunion. This has an immediately effect on most Syrians because it excludes all persons who are granted permits by the Migration Board based on the war in Syria.
Asylum seekers from Syria, generally do not have the right to get a lawyer provided by the government. But in the absence of a lawyer by your side it can be difficult to know how to present your case to the Migration Board. Therefore, there is a big risk that the asylum seeker will be granted a residence permit based on the war in Syria in general, instead of one based on their personal situation and circumstances. And if you receive a general residence permit based on the war in Syria in general, this means that you lose the right to family reunion.
It is very important to make sure everyone knows that even an asylum seeker from Syria has the right to have a lawyer provided by the government when claiming refugee status. Have you, or anyone you know, been granted residence permit in Sweden but not refugee status? In that case you are more than welcome to contact us. We will help you to make an appeal to the court and to apply for refugee status. It´s free of charge. The purpose is to convince the court to give you refugee status and the right to family reunion.
Are you uncertain if you have the right to refugee status or not? According to UNCHCR the following groups of people fleeing the Syrian Arab Republic should be considered to be refugees;
– Persons opposing or perceived to be opposing the government
– Persons supporting or perceived to be supporting the government
– Persons opposing, or believed to oppose, ISIS in areas under its de facto control or influence
– Persons opposing, or believed to oppose, anti-government armed groups in areas under their de facto control
– Persons opposing, or believed to be opposing, the PYD/YPG in areas under their de facto control
– Certain professionals (journalists, doctors, NGO workers, artists, businessmen)
– Members of minority religious groups such as Christians or Yazidis among others
– Persons perceived as contravening Shari´a Law in areas under the control or influence of extremist Islamist Groups
– Members of minority ethnic groups
– Individuals of diverse sexual orientation and/or gender identity
– Palestinian refugees