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Sweden to let would-be residents apply online

The Local/js · 8 Dec 2011, 15:17

Published: 08 Dec 2011 15:17 GMT+01:00

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“Giving those who want to unite with loved ones in Sweden a possibility to apply electronically means we are creating significantly shorter waiting times, making it easier for residence permit applicants”, said Migration Board head Christina Werner said in a statement.

Until recently all applicants have been required to visit a Swedish embassy to file their applications for residency, but with the new system showing up at an embassy in person is no longer necessary.

“The reason why applications in the past have taken so long is that the Migration Board largely has had to focus on those who are asylum seekers, therefore applicants with other backgrounds had to wait”, Werner told The Local.

Another reason for applications taking long to process is that forms are often not completed fully and accurately, and thus lack vital information which can delay processing.

“When applying online you have to fill in all the information or your application cannot be submitted. We have found that this helps a lot to speed up the process our end, once the application comes through," Werner said.

The agency’s “digitalization program” has been on-going since 2008 with the aim to improve the service for customers.

The new online resident permit application process should especially help those seeking residency based on a connection to someone already residing in Sweden.

Story continues below…

An application can be submitted by anyone who is 18 years of age or older and who is a holder of a valid national passport.

The Local/js (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:21 December 8, 2011 by Iraniboy
Migrationsverket's procedure will soon become unsustainable once they have a waiting list of 12 months long for a 12 month resident permit!

A student will get a resident permit of up to 12 months. Current waiting time for such a permit is 5 months! If you are studying 5 years as a PhD, that means you cannot leave Sweden 40% of your total education time. This is a joke for PhD who needs to attend different conferences abroad. Given that PhD salaries come from government too and the research goes back to the Society, this means Migrationsverket is ruining the money spent by the government! It is totally an unsustainable procedure! I have talked to them. They simply don't comprehend common sense!
16:44 December 8, 2011 by Iraniboy
@Carolina Correia

Not sure if you are referring to me.

Well actually a great deal of Swedes who work for the government and the Universities, BEG these students NOT to stay in their countries and come here to accomplish the research that is funded by the government. This is a case of contradictory interests between Swedish government representatives funding the researches and Swedish government representative working in Migrationsverket. Your opinion in is sadly not anywhere remotely in this spectrum.
16:55 December 8, 2011 by Vill
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:02 December 8, 2011 by Iraniboy

From your language I can just make a guess that you are not Scandinavian. Do you know that without Swedish Migration Board, NO European citizens except Nordic can work and live in Sweden?! You know snails have the same problem as you do. They can only see thing in 1-D so it's very difficult for them to make any smart decision.
17:10 December 8, 2011 by ?????

by answering to each idiot around personally you give them credit.

Anyone that ditches foreign students in Sweden has obviously never been to a university to see how important they are. They can be happy with their primary education and you can be happy with yours, so stop it!
17:13 December 8, 2011 by occassional
I think I know what's coming next. Permits via sms. Sponsored by Halebop.
17:15 December 8, 2011 by crocadoodledoo
@irani boy: i am a non-EU PhD student, and i exactly echo your views. I do not intend to stay in sweden after i finish anyway...what is the ache for these wimps in Migrationsverket to grant a 3 year visa for example!..i have written to the ombudsman of MS a couple of times but nobody replied.. its really a pain to wait for 5 months that too for a 1 year visa.. I am pretty sure no other developed country has such a lousy system.
17:44 December 8, 2011 by seekingthetruth
While this is good progress for immigration, it isn't fair to people in countries where internet service is limitied. The ones lucky to have internet will get first in line, where the people who need to come to Sweden more badly will have to wait longer. Migrationverket should think this one over.
18:24 December 8, 2011 by big5
I hope they'll counterbalance this by making it easier to deport convicted criminals. Maybe give the prosecutor a simple computer application form and speed it through the system.

Asylum seekers are able to get away with convictions for rape and instead of being deported and rewarded with permanent residence permits.
19:58 December 8, 2011 by spo10
Although this may help both the applicants and Migrationsverket, it is very important for them to identify and scrutinize every applicants. It would be very wrong to grant people with criminal records with residence permits and deny those who deserve it. So I hope that despite this new system, Migrationsverket is still vigilant in handling applications.
20:12 December 8, 2011 by big5
@spo10 "So I hope that despite this new system, Migrationsverket is still vigilant in handling applications."

Still? You mean maybe that Migrationsverket might start being vigilant?
20:46 December 8, 2011 by axiom

I totally agree, but when you think about it, its probably more like 6 months since you must wait for the card to arrive in the post. I had a conversation about this a few weeks ago and when we thought about it, a student could typically spend 50% of his time in Sweden waiting for a residence permit from Migrationsverket.

At some point you get to the point of diminishing returns, eg a student who was granted an initial permit in July could find that he never gets to travel home for summer or christmas during his studies in Sweden, and thats bordering on being unacceptable.

I have sent both electronic and regular applications to migrationsverket before and it made no difference in the processing time.
20:48 December 8, 2011 by graphixperson
It's so great they decided to implement this after all the hoops I jumped through to get my permit, including a drive to Washington...
20:51 December 8, 2011 by spo10

I think that they're doing a good job and I hope that they continue to be so and be even more vigilant now that there's a new application system being introduced.
22:58 December 8, 2011 by dearyajuan
I totally agree with you, Iraniboy!

I just can't understand why they need such a long waiting time. The year before last year is 3 months. Last year it's 4 months. Now it's 5 months. Maybe in the near future, we should send in the application for the next year just when we get the extension. This year the number of international students dropped dramatically but the waiting time is longer. It's weird.

Even if we get the decision, we have to wait at least 3 hours in the migration board to get the sticker or take the fingerprint. It's also quite a long time.
01:30 December 9, 2011 by plswun
Im an American who got married to my Swedish wife here in Stockholm. To obtain my residence I had to go aaaaalllll the way back to San Francisco to apply. Does this mean that now one can apply without having to go back to your county??
06:00 December 9, 2011 by axiom
In reality, it only changes how you submit the application, You might still have to travel all the way to your embassy to submit biometrics data and possibly to fetch the card after.

If you are expected to be outside of Sweden while your application is being processed, then this doesn't change that either.
06:28 December 9, 2011 by Douglas Garner
I got my permit through the Swedish Consulate in Los Angeles. At least now you won't have to spend time sitting in waiting rooms for a turn at the window.

Also, using the internet should help with communication/language difficulties as are frequently experienced with personal interface.
08:00 December 9, 2011 by big5

Migrationsverket doesn't even know for sure the identities and country of origin of a large fraction of the people being granted PUT. That makes any talk of "vigilance" a joke. Surprised you weren't aware of that.

Thinking and wanting things to be a certain way because it makes you feel good doesn't make them so.
08:43 December 9, 2011 by spo10

What nonsense is this? I want to make myself feel good? I went through the actual process a year ago. Went to Migrationsverket to apply for a permanent residency. They were meticulous with me, went through all the papers and asked me all sorts of questions. I am expressing on my POV and it doesn't have to be the same as yours. Yes, immigration is a huge issue in this country but the people who processed my papers back then were very strict and I was basing my previous comments out of that experience.
09:59 December 9, 2011 by sweden_lover
Online application may not work for them. They can process one student case in a week and they take 5 months. Just I will say, lazy people.
11:41 December 9, 2011 by Global1
@Iraniboy Agreed. I don't understand why is it so painfully slow. First time I applied for a residence permit extension, it took 15 minutes. They checked that I was actually studying, that I had the intend to continue studying, and that I had the money. The second extension took 4 months, and the third one 6(!). And they ruin both summer and Christmas holidays in a single move. Great.
11:54 December 9, 2011 by Danne8
I have applied for study/work permit extensions 3 times now and all of them have been online. It makes no difference. Last time it took them 7 months to evaluate my application which was for a 8 month extension (the woman at MS even thought it was silly when I went to pick up my residence card with 1 month of validity).

Now I am in the same deal, waiting for my work permit (applied online 4 months ago) and every time I talk to someone at MS all they say is that they cannot give me more information.

The waiting times are not being respected and they still do not provide special "single-entry" visa permits for business travelling (like other EU countries). Apparently they do not know that business takes you around sometimes. Oh, I know! Perhaps they believe that all work permit applications are for berries-pickers as their work does not require them to travel.

I have gotten to points where I really don't know what else to do. I'm stuck in Sweden trying to travel for work but the work permit application process does not allow it (ironic uh?).

Btw, does anyone know about law firms specializing in work/migration law in Sweden? Could be handy.
11:56 December 9, 2011 by w_t_f
m doing an exchange for 6 months in basel ... i applied for swedish permit extension 4 months ago and i am still waiting it no answer no replies nothing .... for 10 months extension they make people wait for more than 4 months this is really epic .... looks like i applied for MARS residence permit or something....I am just a student ---that s all ... these people are shameless and they have no idea about working ethics .....
12:15 December 9, 2011 by flintis
@iraniboy #5: don't know from where you get your fact, in any case you're incorrect, any citizen of the European Union can live & work in Sweden, although migrationsverket demand an application for a residence permit, it is not necessary, just report to skatteverket.
12:21 December 9, 2011 by big5

You can't generalize from your personal experience (rule #1 of drawing correct conclusions).

It's a well-known fact that a large fraction of the people being granted PUT do not have confirmed identities or countries of origin. They arrive without passports, and sufficient background checks are not performed. This leaves a lot of room for criminals or for people without legitimate grounds for asylum to get in.
13:51 December 9, 2011 by sweden_lover
I think, migrationsverket has shortage of people, might they need to hire more. I agreed they take 2 weeks to process student application when its been assigned to VISA OFFICER. But they take 4 Months to assign one application to one VISA OFFICER, that is totally strange :(
17:48 December 9, 2011 by dearyajuan
It's so bad I can't comment here
17:39 December 10, 2011 by expatjourno
Has anyone tried to get a residence permit for an aged parent? Mine is self-supporting with a decent retirement but we are a little worried about medical care.
02:06 April 28, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
On-line applications are a HUGE mistake! I had to apply for my sambo permit in person at the Swedish Consulate in San Francisco and feel that is absolutely the correct way of doing this! It took just 4 weeks or so from interview until Inrecieved my permt. An in person interview allows Sweden the opportunity to literally see what type of person you are. On-line submissions do not.
22:49 April 28, 2012 by amerisvensk
plswn to answer your question no you must still leave Sweden and go back to your birth country.I myself am going back to Santa Cruz next week to apply on line.It is still a shorter time than going to the consulate at least that is what they say online.@ spuds even if you apply on line you still have to have an interview as well as your Sambo though in my case she will have it at the local Migrationsverket . Luckily I was able to get a temporary job back state side during the time I have to wait.
02:20 June 22, 2012 by ssbn622g
wow, talk about having me worried.. i applied for my sambo permit on the 5th of april, onoine. I still had to travel to a swedish mission in Ft lauderdale and conduct an interview bringing with me all original paperwork. this after a 4 hour process of filling out all this information online, and having the web site basically crash every 15 minutes. Clicking the next page button when i copmpleted a step was like a time warp back to the 1980's in the days of 14.4 k modems, very slow..

needless to say i am currently on day 76 of this process with a huge knot in my stomach as to whether this process is completed by day 90 or not. the household get packed in 4 days, and my sambo's plane leaves on the 8th of july... there is a country and western song called "where my gonna live when i get home?" i may be signing this tune..

sounds like proceedures change all the time.. I applied onoine but still had to do face to face interview, thought that was the norm. i just dont understand why it takes so long? Im in good physical health, retired from the military have a pension , want to work and have no plans on living off the government when i get to sweden, no criminal record or anything...
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