The Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) was prepared for 20,000 applications following changes that made it easier for family members to apply for residency in Sweden to be reunited with Somalis who had already migrated to Sweden.
However, so far only 7,430 Somalis have applied after a court ruling that allowed DNA tests to be used to prove family relations, Sveriges Radio (SR) reported.
Authorities plan to adjust forecasts downward to 8,600 as early as this month.
Habane Abdulkadir Hassan of Sweden’s Somali association Somaliska riksförbundet told SR there are likely several reasons for the lower numbers.
Among other things, the high unemployment rate among Somalis in Sweden, a lack of identification documents to confirm Somali nationality, as well as new hope of a better life in Somalia have all contributed to fewer family reunification residency applications.
Around 70 percent of Somalis who applied for residency in Sweden are expected to have their applications approved, according to SR.