Omar Sied: ”I’m young, and want to get ahead quickly”

Omar Sied from Syria has been given a residence permit for 13 months. The short time puts him under stress. After six months he is still waiting for a place in an Sfi-class.


Omar Sied has visions of a future in Sweden. But with a temporary residence permit of only 13 months, this isn’t easy.

– I was surprised. I thought I would get a permanent residence permit, but while I was waiting for it to come through, the rules were changed, he says.

What do you think of that?

– It puts a strain on me. I realised that I wouldn’t be able to live a quiet, peaceful life. People who get a three-year permit are in a more stable position.

What information have you been given about the future?

– The immigration authorities, Migrationsverket, told me I was welcome in Sweden for 13 months. But I wasn’t given any details – do I have the same rights as everyone else as regards work and studies? When I asked questions they said that the law is the way it is, but there are problems in adhering strictly to the law.

Are you studying Swedish?

– I study Swedish at ”Glimåkra folkhögskola” (Glimåkra folk high school) for three hours every day. The teaching is good. My problem is that I haven’t been able to start at Sfi yet. Those of us who just have a short -term residence permit ought not to have the same plan of study as those with a permanent permit. We need a more active plan. Now I feel that I’m developing too slowly, and that is frustrating.

– I waited for two years to get a residence permit. My establishment plan at the Job Centre covers the period from 15th April 2017 till 2nd February 2018. When my residence permit is extended my establishment plan should be extended as well. That’s why I’m worried about what’s going to happen to my plan.

– Everything is so bureaucratic, they don’t make any distinctions, they don’t take into consideration what knowledge and skills you have. I’m young, and I think I could learn faster.

How do you see the future?

– I hope I’ll be able to continue my studies in economics and find a job at the same time, any job at all. A job would give me more independence.

– I’m young, and I want to get ahead quickly and make up for what I’ve lost. I have lots of dreams, but life is hard. Besides, I’m tired of thinking about what can happen as regards my residence permit, and what problems bureaucracy can create. I can’t make any plans for my future.


Mohamad Kanina/Inga-Lill Bengtsson


Omar Sied. Photo: Mohamad Kanina


Omar Sied

Age: 23 years old.

Lives: In Broby.

Family: Parents who still live in Syria.

Career: Studied economics at university in Syria before fleeing. Now – studies Swedish at Glimåkra folkhögskola (folk high school). Is waiting for a place at Sfi (Swedish for immigrants).