Sweden last had ID checks in place at the border in 2015 and 2016  | Photo: picture alliance/N. Hougaard
Sweden last had ID checks in place at the border in 2015 and 2016 | Photo: picture alliance/N. Hougaard

The Swedish government has announced it plans to reintroduce checks at its border, as the number of refugees arriving from Ukraine increases.

Sweden has proposed the reintroduction of ID checks at the border to help the country deal with an expected rise in the number of people trying to enter from Ukraine. The Swedish government on Tuesday said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had resulted in Europe's "experiencing the biggest and fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II."

The Scandinavian country introduced border checks in 2015 when more than a million people, mostly fleeing war in Syria, entered Europe within one year. Sweden alone took in over 160,000 refugees, more per capita than any other European country.

The checks proposed this week will need to be approved by the Swedish Parliament, the German news agency dpa reported.

Border checks expected from April 8

If the law is approved, the new temporary measures are expected to come into force by April 8. Anyone coming from, or via, Norway, will be exempted from the checks, reported dpa.

In Sweden’s Scandinavian neighbor, Denmark, Danish Public Radio DR reported that police on the border with Germany were regularly turning back between 10-20 Ukrainians a day because they lacked the correct biometric passports or wanted to transit through Denmark.

However, dpa added that the Danish police clarified their position on Monday and explained that the vast majority of Ukrainian citizens were in possession of a biometric passport and therefore could stay in Denmark for 90 days under the current rules.

Current Swedish border rules

The Swedish police have similar rules. They confirmed on March 3 on their website that Ukrainian citizens in possession of a biometric passport could enter the country without a visa for a maximum of 90 days.

Those applying for asylum at the Swedish border do not need a valid travel document. These cases are currently referred to the Swedish Migration Agency, which processes asylum claims.

Any Ukrainian citizen can get a temporary residence permit in Sweden if he or she left Ukraine after February 24, 2022.

With dpa


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