In the face of bitter gang wars and increasing street battles, Sweden is rethinking its approach. Now, as of the end of October, security officials have for the first time spoken out against the naturalization of migrants in more than 600 cases – a record. There were 147 in 2019. The reasons given were evidence of extremist sympathies and serious crimes abroad, as well as suspicions of war crimes and ties to foreign states.
Unless there is a previous conviction, recommendations from security officers are non-binding. However, the Migration Office may refuse naturalization on this basis. To become a Swedish citizen, you must live in the country for more than five years, have a permanent residence permit and live a “settled life”.
The centre-right government is also planning to tighten the law. They may lose their residence permit again in the future due to potential security threats. This is not currently possible if the person concerned has been in Sweden for more than three years. Sweden’s Migration Minister Maria Malmar Stengård said, “Anyone who can be considered involved in terrorist activities or state-controlled economic espionage should not only be deprived of Swedish citizenship.”