Blog: NI expat deported for three weeks from Sweden due to new Brexit rules – Belfast Telegraph

A Northern Ireland expat who has lived in Sweden for more than a decade is now “in limbo” after being temporarily deported from the country over Brexit-related paperwork.

t happened last month after Stuart Philpott (40) flew to Scotland to visit his mother and catch a Rangers game. 

When the Lisburn native arrived back in Sweden, he was denied entry and had to fly back to Scotland as he did not have post-Brexit residency status.

Following a three-week wait, Mr Philpott was eventually able to get the correct paperwork to allow him to return to his home in Stockholm, but is now waiting for a decision on receiving permanent residency status, which could be denied.

Under the new rules following the UK’s departure from the EU, those living outside the UK in other EU countries had to apply for post-Brexit residency status before December 31, 2021.

Mr Philpott, who has two children in Stockholm with his Swedish ex-partner and works as a chef, said he had “no idea” he had to apply for post-Brexit residency status until his trip to Scotland.

He said: “I haven’t left Sweden since before the pandemic and went to Scotland last month to visit my mum, who lives there, for a few days as it was both our birthdays.

“I went to a Rangers match and when I arrived at the airport in Sweden, I was told I wasn’t allowed in and I had to go back to Scotland. I had no idea about these new Brexit rules.

“I’ve been living and working in Sweden for 12 years and have two kids living here.

“The immigration police actually escorted me away, which was a bit much, and I had to fly back.

“I asked the immigration people at the airport in Sweden if I would have to pay for the flight back to Scotland, and they said they would pay for it but I would have to wait two days in the airport, so I ended up paying for a flight myself.”

He added that he contacted the Swedish authorities over the problem and was also due to start a new job.

“I was eventually able to get the paperwork to go back, but it’s only temporary and I’m living in limbo because I’m waiting for a decision on permanent residency, which could be denied. If that happens, I don’t known what I’ll do,” Mr Philpott said.

“I didn’t know that the whole residency situation all changed after Brexit. I doubt I’m the only one in this situation, it’s all a bit of a mess.”

According to the Swedish Migration Authority (SWA), if someone did not apply for post-Brexit residency status before December 31, 2021, their right to stay in the country ended on that date.

“In some cases, the SWA can accept an application for residence status that has come in after this date. This presupposes that there are reasonable grounds for why you did not apply in time. A review will be done of each individual case,” it said.

“Some family members can apply afterwards. For them, it is important that their application has been received within three months of when they came to Sweden.

“However, people with permanent residence permits have the right to continue to stay in Sweden as usual even after this date.

“People who have temporary residence permits in Sweden may, on the other hand, need to apply for a work permit to continue to have the possibility of working in Sweden after the end of the application period.”

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