Illness a ‘sufficient cause’ to submit asylum requests

(Photo: V4 Agency)

Although Sweden’s new migration management scheme had a strong start, it does offer one controversial loophole. The plan detailed by PM Stefan Lofven on social media would make humanitarian reasons – such as illness – a ‘sufficient cause’ to submit asylum requests.

Swedish PM Stefan Lofven took to social media to share the details of government’s new migration regulations, which he believes will provide a long-term solution to migration and help the country avoid another mass influx of migrants experienced in 2015. The legal regulations, however, contain quite an egregious loophole, which was criticised by many.

It starts with measures to curb mass migration by, for example, issuing termporary residence permits or linking permanent residency to language skills and restricting family reunions, but it becomes somewhat misguided in the end and classifies a number of humanitarian reasons – such as having a “serious disease” – as “sufficient cause” to claim asylum.

PM Lofven did not elaborate on what constitutes a “serious illness”, nor on how the severity of the illness is measured or why it is classed as a “sufficient cause” to claim asylum in the midst of a pandemic. Although this aspect of the regulation has received widespread criticism, the Swedish premier says his scheme will provide long-term solutions and legal certainty when it comes to migration.