Confused Syrians queue at Swedish embassies
13 Sep 2013, 08:22
Published: 13 Sep 2013 08:22 GMT+02:00
The refugees are lining up in their hundreds outside the Swedish embassies in Egypt, Jordan and Turkey.
"People are coming to the gates in the belief that all Syrians will be allowed to come to Sweden," Charlotta Ozaki Macias at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.
Earlier this month, Swedish migration authorities ruled that all Syrian asylum seekers in Sweden will be granted permanent residency in light of the worsening conflict in Syria.
The ruling means that their relatives also have the right to come to Sweden, however, they must find their own way here to seek asylum, and cannot simply head to the Swedish embassy.
Sweden was the first country in the EU to offer permanent residency to refugees from Syria, with the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) granting the permits on a case by case basis, fully aware of the risks of war criminals seeking asylum in Sweden.
There are around 8,000 Syrians in Sweden currently with temporary residence who will now be offered permanent residence permits.
In 2012 and 2013, a total of 14,700 Syrian asylum seekers came to Sweden. Together with Germany, Sweden is the EU country which has accepted the highest number of asylum seekers from the war-torn country.