Syrian refugees won’t be granted permanent residence

The worsening situation in Syria has led Sweden to offer Syrian refugees permanent residence, but the Danish justice minister says he has no plans to follow suit

Denmark is unlikely to follow Sweden’s lead and offer Syrian refugees permanent residence.

Earlier this year, Sweden decided to automatically give all Syrian refugees three years of residency, but the worsening situation in Syria led Swedish officials this week to make the refugees' residency permanent.

"The conflict has been worsening and is unlikely to end in the foreseeable future so we have changed our protocol,” Anders Danielsson, the director general of the Swedish immigration board Migrationsverket, told Swedish public broadcaster SR. “According to international law they should be granted permanent residence and that is what we have chosen to give them.”

READ MORE: Syrians not given automatic asylum despite plea

No change to Danish rules
According to TV2 News, the decision means that 8,000 Syrian refugees in Sweden will be allowed to stay in the country permanently.

But there is little political support for extending the same rights to Syrians in Denmark.

“All asylum seekers have their applications treated individually,” the justice minister, Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne), told DR Nyheder. “Ninety percent of those from Syria already have their applications approved and those who do not are not sent home, so the government has no plan to change the asylum rules.”

Danish responsibility
Bødksov added that Denmark was following the situation in Syria closely and was doing what it could to help.

“Compared to nearby countries, Denmark accepts a large number of Syrian refugees and Denmark also contributes in the nearby region, so Denmark – together with Europe – is taking on its share of responsibility.”

Over 100,000 people have died and two million people have fled Syria since the civil war started two years ago. 

Denmark is contributing 100 million kroner in additional humanitarian aid to Syria, and PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne) will be in Stockholm later today, where she is expected to discuss the Syrian situation with US President Barack Obama

READ MORE: Following Putin snub, Obama to meet with Thorning-Schmidt instead