The Swedish Ministry of Justice has announced the Government’s decision to grant temporary protection to people who left Ukraine before the invasion of the country started on February 24.
According to a statement of the Ministry issued on April 8, the Government stressed that this decision applies to those who travelled and stayed in Sweden between October 30, 2021, and February 23, 2022, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
On March 4, 2022, the EU Temporary Protection Directive was activated by a decision of the EU Council as a result of the start of the war in Ukraine, covering those who were forced to leave Ukraine on February 24 and later due to the aggressive invasion of the country by the Russian forces.
“This includes Ukrainian citizens residing in Ukraine, stateless persons and third-country citizens who have international protection in Ukraine, and their family members. It does not, however, cover those who left Ukraine before the invasion on February 24 2022, due to the increased tensions and Russia’s military mobilization,” the statement reads, explaining who was previously covered by the Directive.
Further, the Government notes that now, in order to make it easier for people who left Ukraine before the war to settle in Sweden, the Government has passed a legislative amendment, which makes it possible for those who travelled and stayed in Sweden between October 30, 2021, and February 23, 2022, to obtain temporary protection, provided that they meet the requirements, e.g. being a Ukrainian citizen and resident in Ukraine.
The Government has also announced that this legislative amendment to the ordinance will enter into force on April 26, 2022.
On March 15, the Swedish Government, seeing the increase in the number of refugees coming from Ukraine, saw the need to re-establish identity checks on buses, trains, and passenger ships to enter its territory through a new interim act.
This interim law was supposed to allow the Government to introduce identity checks for travel by bus, train, or passenger boat to Sweden from abroad for law enforcement and national security purposes.
However, on March 23, the Swedish Government decided to impose identity checks for all passengers arriving in the country only by sea, where it also approved a legislative amendment in order to make the checks mandatory by law. Widespread criticism from politicians and business groups, particularly in southern Sweden, has prompted the Swedish Government to delay planned identity checks on trains and buses.