Changes continued to be made to the length and type of residence permits delivered to beneficiaries, shaping the content of international protection. Civil society organisations welcomed more stable permits and underlined the risks and consequences of shorter, temporary permits. Administrative hurdles were also noted within the process.
The amendments of the Law of 10 September 2018 came into effect in France, by which beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and their family members receive a multiannual residence permit for four years. This change was welcomed by civil society organisations.592
In contrast, the length of residence permits for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection was decreased in Greece to one year (from three years), renewable for two years. The Greek Council of Refugees underlined that beneficiaries need to apply for the renewal of the permit no later than 30 days before the expiry, but the guarantee that a delay cannot lead to the rejection of the renewal application remained only in force for refugees, as it was revoked for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection.593
Beneficiaries of international protection who were granted status under the previous procedure in Greece faced additional issues, as only a few renewal decisions were issued by the Alien Police Directorate, preventing access to employment, social security and social welfare.594
The application of the law on temporary limitations on the possibility of obtaining a residence permit in Sweden was extended until 19 July 2021, through which beneficiaries of international protection continue to receive temporary residence permits instead of a permanent one. A Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry was set up to develop proposals on Sweden’s migration policy, including the type and length of the residence permits for beneficiaries of international protection. A report from the Swedish Employment Office found that women with temporary residence permits participated less in the 24-month integration support programme than women with permanent residence permits. This was exacerbated for women with poorer labour market perspectives, for example, due to lower educational levels.595
The method of issuing or extending residence permits for beneficiaries of international protection was simplified in Czechia. The documents are no longer re-issued and a new expiration date is noted directly on the existing permit.
Civil society organisations still noted that administrative barriers in obtaining residence permits persisted. For example, the Cyprus Refugee Council observed that the Civil Registry and Migration Department stopped issuing residence permits for family members of beneficiaries of international protection and requested them to turn to the Asylum Service for a decision. The Asylum Service took steps to solve this situation.596
592 See: EASO. (2019). Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union 2018. https://easo.europa.eu/sites/default/files/easo-annual-report-2018-web.pdf
593 AIDA Greece. (2020). Country Report: Greece - 2019 Update. Edited by ECRE. Written by Greek Refugee Council. https://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_gr_2019update.pdf
594 AIDA Greece. (2020). Country Report: Greece - 2019 Update. Edited by ECRE. Written by Greek Refugee Council. https://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_gr_2019update.pdf
595 European Web Site on Integration. (2019, June 1). Lower participation in integration activities among women with temporary residence permits. https://ec.europa.eu/migrant-integration/librarydoc/lower-participation-in-integration-activities-among-women-with-temporary-residence-permits
596 AIDA Cyprus. (2020). Country Report: Cyprus- 2019 Update. Edited by ECRE. Written by Cyprus Refugee Council. https://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_cy_2019update.pdf