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Flow of asylum seekers to Sweden expected to drop: agency

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Flow of asylum seekers to Sweden expected to drop: agency
17:39 CEST+02:00
Sweden's Migration Board (Migrationsverket) doesn't forecast a rise in the number of asylum seekers coming to the country, but instead expects more relatives of existing refugees to seek residency in Sweden.

In its latest forecast, submitted to the government on Thursday, the Migration Board said it believes the number of asylum seekers coming to Sweden will stay at around 22,000 in 2009 and 2010, which is about 1,000 less per year than the agency forecast back in late February.

At the same time, however, the number of relatives of refugees already living in Sweden who seek residence permits for themselves is expected to reach 51,000 in 2009, up from the previous forecast of 43,000.

The agency expects, however, that the level of refugee-relative migration will dip once again, settling at 43,000 in 2012.

The economic crisis and weak economy have also caused the Migration Board to revise its forecast for how many immigrants are expected to take advantage of Sweden's recently relaxed rules for granting permits for immigrant workers.

Instead of the previously expected 26,000 applicants per year, the agency now expects to have an annual applicant pool of around 23,000 people.

The Migration Board also expects more people who have been denied Swedish residents permits will be sent home due to its own efforts and those of the police.

Altogether, therefore, the agency expects the total number of immigrants registered in its system during the forecast period to drop from the current level of 33,900 to around 25,000 by 2012.

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