• Sweden's news in English
 

Syrians face longer wait for Sweden reunion

The Local · 21 Jul 2014, 12:00

Published: 21 Jul 2014 11:36 GMT+02:00
Updated: 21 Jul 2014 12:00 GMT+02:00

The greatest pressure is felt at the Swedish embassy in Cairo where it can take over a year to get an interview. Many of the refugees are eager to move to Sweden to be reunited with their family members who have already been granted asylum.

In September last year, Sweden granted permanent residence to all Syrian refugees, the first country in the EU to do so.

In the first five months of 2014 more than 8,000 Syrians, or stateless people, filed for asylum in Sweden. According to statistics quoted by Sveriges Radio, that figure is five times higher than the corresponding period of 2013.

"The reality is that there are two departments handling each case; the Swedish Foreign Ministry (Utrikesdepartementet) and the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) and there can be a long wait between submitting your application to the embassy or consulate before getting an interview. It is only after the initial interview that the application is sent to the Migration Board," Magnus Skarbo press information officer for the Swedish Migration Board told The Local. 

He added that many embassies and consulates around the world are not suited to dealing with the sheer volume of applicants. Several embassies have hired new staff to cope with the demand with Migration Minister Tobias Billström saying that Sweden's willingness to bring in refugees has led to the backlog.

"It's one of the reasons why processing times are unfortunately so long," Billström told TT. He added that waiting times have not increased in recent months.

The Migration Board has been criticised in the past for taking too long to process the applications. It has since implemented changes to speed up the situation and to give priority to Syrian refugees.

"We have a special unit in Sweden that is just dealing with these cases of Syrian asylum seekers. At present there are no plans to start a new unit dealing specifically with applicants from Iraq or in Gaza," Skarbo told The Local. 

He added; "The waiting times differ from embassy from embassy. Cairo is one where there is a lot of applicants. For the refugees it can be difficult as they can face a wait before being reunited with their families. From speaking to the people at the embassies I have a sense that they are calm and in control." 

In June The Local reported that Sweden took almost 20 percent of the EU's asylum seekers, more than any other country in Europe. Of the asylum seekers in Sweden, 46 percent were from Syria.

The Swedish Migration Board recently raised its forecast for the number of refugees seeking help and protection in Sweden from 61,000 to 70-80,000 for 2014.

It is estimated that in excess of 20,000 Syrians could form almost a quarter of the entire refugee tally to come to Sweden.

A spokesperson for the Migration Board said it was doubtful that figures would decline in the coming years. 

The Local/pr

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Migrant crisis
EU calls migrant crisis emergency talks
The Swedish coastguard rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: Kustbevakningen

EU calls migrant crisis emergency talks

2 hours ago

The European Union has called an emergency meeting of interior and justice ministers in two weeks to find concrete measures to cope with escalating migration.

'Kidnapped' man found dead in western Sweden
Swedish police investigate the scene where the body was found. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

'Kidnapped' man found dead in western Sweden

3 hours ago

Swedish police have launched a murder investigation after a 27-year-old man who was reportedly kidnapped in southern Gothenburg was found dead.

My Swedish Career
'What can I bring to Sweden that is unique?'
Trevor Adams from Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo: Private

'What can I bring to Sweden that is unique?'

4 hours ago

Trevor Adams, 23, tells The Local how he went from washing dishes to running his own restaurant franchise after turning his weakness in the Swedish jobs market into a unique strength.

One dead after shooting and stabbing in Rinkeby
Police examining the murder scene in Rinkeby. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

One dead after shooting and stabbing in Rinkeby

17 hours ago

One person has been killed and three others injured in a shooting and stabbing incident in the Rinkeby suburb of Stockholm.

Swedish police: ‘Help us find kidnapped man’
Anton was abducted in a red VW Passat. Photo of car (not involved in incident): Praiselightmedia, via Wikimedia

Swedish police: ‘Help us find kidnapped man’

19 hours ago

A 27-year-old man was beaten and abducted by several people in a red VW Passat earlier this week in Gothenburg.

Sweden Democrats: 'We will run the country'
Jimmie Åkesson, the leader of the Sweden Democrats, speaking on Saturday. Photo: Rickard Nilsson/TT

Sweden Democrats: 'We will run the country'

1 day ago

In his keynote summer speech on Saturday in his hometown of Sölvesborg, Jimmie Åkesson, the leader of the far-right Sweden Democrats, predicted that his party would one day be strong enough to run the country and called for a referendum on immigration.

Plane crash-lands on Swedish road
Photo: Adam Ihse

Plane crash-lands on Swedish road

1 day ago

A light aircraft was forced to land on Highway 27 outside Borås at lunchtime. No one was harmed.

The Local investigates
Should more people live on boats in Stockholm?
House boats at Pampas Marina. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Should more people live on boats in Stockholm?

1 day ago

Living on a boat in Stockholm used to be the preserve of the rich. But as the city's housing crisis swells, could more affordable floating accommodation help provide a solution to the shortage? The Local investigates.

Julian Assange
Sweden and Ecuador set to launch Assange talks
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Photo: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Sweden and Ecuador set to launch Assange talks

2 days ago

Sweden is seeking to reach a deal to pave the way for prosecutors to question Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where the Wikileaks founder has been holed up for over three years as he fights an extradition to Sweden over rape allegations.

Stockholm bin men rescue doomed kitten
'It trembled like a leaf'. Photo: Bekir Mercil/Private

Stockholm bin men rescue doomed kitten

2 days ago

Stockholm waste collector Bekir Mercil and his two colleagues were on Friday hailed heroes of the day after they saved a terrified kitten who had fallen into a garbage truck, stuck in tonnes of food waste headed for the incinerator.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

National
'Sweden Democrats will run the country'
National
Swedish bin men hailed as heroes after rescuing doomed kitten
National
This Swedish teen was told she was 'too big' to be a model
Lifestyle
Six reasons to stay outdoors this week
Sponsored Article
'It gives you the guts to believe in yourself'
Blog updates

28 August

Editor’s blog, August 28th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, It was all glitz and glamour in Sweden this week as Stockholm Fashion Week got..." READ »

 

18 August

Preteritum eller presens perfekt? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hello everyone, It’s grammar time ! I got an interesting question about the past tense vs present..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: August 26th
Sponsored Article
Nine places where Stockholm needs more English
National
Rescued baby lemur gets new Stockholm home
National
Stockholm Fashion Week turns island into Mars
Gallery
Property of the week: Stora Essingen, Stockholm
National
Swedish crayfish thieves caught red handed by officers
National
Veil soon to be lifted on new Millennium sequel novel
Gallery
People-watching: August 21st - 22nd
Cecilia Larsson Lantz/imagebank.sweden.se
Presented by Stockholm Academic Forum
International students welcomed to Stockholm
National
The Bridge: What does the third season have in store?
National
Lucky escape for Swedes after 'dead' bear launches attack
National
Syrian asylum seeker comic: 'We don't prefer Sweden any more'
National
Are anti-immigration nationalists really now Sweden's biggest party?
Lifestyle
Baby joy for Swedish crime queen and her wrestler boyfriend
National
Soldier accused of faking first Isis attack in Sweden
National
Fire alert as Sweden sizzles in summer heatwave
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th
National
Meet the Swede who is crazy for Norway’s mass killer
National
Swede's review of night in drunk tank goes viral
National
VIDEO: Swedish teen melts hearts with this incredible Idol audition
Society
What's a Swedish crayfish party?
National
UN: Sweden can't be left to shoulder migrant crisis alone
Gallery
Property of the week: Skogås, Huddinge
National
Men outstrip women for first time
Society
IN PICTURES: Wooden town resembles 'war zone' after huge fire
Gallery
People-watching: August 14th-16th
Sport
Swedish referee shuts viral Facebook page explaining his decisions
Business & Money
A studio in Stockholm or a castle in the countryside?
National
How did twelve skeletons end up beneath a Swedish castle?
Pharmacy to launch plasters for darker skin in anti racism drive
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
National
Millennium sequel author labelled 'grave robber'
National
Two metre long python stops traffic in Malmö
National
IN PICTURES: Shoppers pay tribute to Ikea stabbing victims
Technology
Danish 'monster' pulled out of Swedish waters
National
Bizarre baby baptism for hockey fan
Gallery
Property of the week: Löderup, Ystad
National
Sunshine brightens up Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: August 7th-9th
Sponsored Article
Getting pregnant the Swedish way
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,205
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se