“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.
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.