The 27-year-old man, who filed his original asylum claim in 2007, was visiting the Malmö office of the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) where he learned that a deportation order against him had been lifted and that his case would be reconsidered, the Smålandsposten newspaper reports.
Upon leaving the Migration Board offices, he then made his way to the city’s central train station to board a train back to his home near Växjö in south central Sweden.
But in the excitement that followed the realization that he was not going to be forced to leave Sweden, the man inadvertently boarded a train traveling in the opposite direction – to the Danish capital of Copenhagen.
Before he realized his mistake, the 27-year-old found himself caught up in a routine, on-board identity check being carried out by Danish police.
The man did his best to explain the situation, hoping police could direct him to the next train back to Sweden.
But instead he was taken in for questioning.
After three weeks, the Danish police finally brought the man back to Sweden.
“It would have been easier if the Danish police had simply pointed the man to the right train so he could have been back in Sweden in 15 minutes,” the man’s attorney, Eva Almström, told the newspaper.
The simple mistake has proven costly for the 27-year-old’s quest to gain asylum in Sweden.
In the eyes of Swedish migration officials, leaving the country for an unintended trip meas he must now submit a new application for asylum.
“He just has to start over from the beginning,” said Almström.