After seven reviews from the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) and one final review by the European Court of Human Rights, Ganna Chyzevska has been given permanent residence to live out the rest of her days in Sweden with her family.
However, a spokesperson of the Board claims that it was the woman’s illness that ultimately led to authorities’ reversal in the matter.
“We have received new information and reviewed the case again, and with this new information we can say that it’s no longer reasonable that she travels. She cannot handle a flight,” said Annette Bäcklund of Migrationsverket to the TT news agency.
Bäcklund emphasized that the woman’s sickness was behind the decision to allow her to stay in Sweden.
Family members of Chyzevska were beaming with the news that the nonagenarian could stay.
“I am so overwhelmed, I am really happy,” said her granddaughter Anna Otto to TT.
“I’ve spoken with my mother, and now Grandma knows too. She is happy, but tired.”
The 91-year-old, whose imminent deportation to Ukraine was stopped at the last minute in October by the European Court, has been the subject of a continuing debate ever since it came to light that it appeared she would be sent to Kiev to fend for herself.
The elderly woman has heart problems, is almost blind, and suffers dementia.
Since Chyzevska’s husband died of cancer eight years ago, she has been forced to travel between Ukraine and Sweden several times, only being granted temporary visas and residency permits for short periods of time.
Chyzevska’s application for residency was initially denied due to what Otto describes as “not a close enough family connection” to her remaining relatives in Sweden.
“We didn’t live in the same household as my grandmother before we moved to Sweden. My mother was 50 years old when she moved here. It isn’t common for a person to live with their parents at that age,” her granddaughter told The Local at the time.
According to current Swedish law, a family member needs to be living with their adult children and be financially dependent on them before the residency permit is granted based on family connections.
Due to the woman’s advanced stages of dementia, Swedish doctors pleaded with authorities that she would not be able to survive in Kiev alone, however the pleas fell on deaf ears.
However, Bäcklund claims that the public protests and the fact that the European Court of Human Rights intervened had no influence in the result.
“It doesn’t influence the legal assessment of a case. It is only the new circumstances in the case that have meant we’ve made an examination and concluded that she cannot travel under the current circumstances,” she told TT.