• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Refugees shun Sweden over long waiting times

TT/The Local · 23 Jul 2015, 17:14

Published: 23 Jul 2015 17:14 GMT+02:00

A news prognosis by Sweden's Migration Board (Migrationsverket) brings the number of predicted asylum seekers down from the figure of 90,000 suggested in February to 74,000. 

With around 80,000 people applying for asylum in Sweden in the past year, the Scandinavian country still welcomes more migrants per capita than any other EU nation.

But as news spreads about long waiting times and cumbersome bureaucracy, more and more migrants are avoiding travelling so far north, said the board on Thursday.

As The Local reported earlier this year, asylum seekers arriving in Sweden are likely to face a wait of up to six months before they can have their case heard, as migration officers struggle to cope with the workload.

“The processing times are pretty long compared to Germany, which has a fast-track lane...in Sweden It is difficult to get housing and jobs; this affects people's choice of destination country,” Anders Danielsson, head of the Swedish Migration Board, told the TT newswire on Thursday.

READ ALSO: Sweden watches as EU migrant talks collapse

Germany, which receives the most refugees in Europe in real terms, is expected to have seen 400,000 migrants cross its borders at the end of the year. But other EU countries are also welcoming more asylum seekers. Hungary, Italy and France all accepted more than Sweden over the first three months of 2015.

However, Sweden still welcomes the most children in the EU. Around 12,000 children travelling alone are expected to arrive in Sweden in 2015, up from the previous predicted figure of 8,000.

“Half of all refugees in the world are children and a lot of them come to Europe. The number of children coming to Sweden is connected to the number of children in all of Europe rising dramatically,” said Danielsson.

READ ALSO: Jump in solo children seeking asylum

Another reason behind the Migration Board's revised figures is that it has become increasingly harder to travel through Europe. France has set up controls its border with Italy, which Switzerland is also considering, and Hungary is erecting a fence on the border to Serbia.

Story continues below…

It is estimated that more than 1,800 migrants have died so far in 2015 while making their way to Europe from war-torn nations such as Syria, Iraq and Libya, in packed boats travelling in dangerous conditions.

Sweden's foreign minister, Margot Wallström, recently told The Local: “What if we lived in a war zone? We would also want to flee somewhere safe with our children, or try to secure a future elsewhere. It has to do with whether or not we are serious in the EU about our guiding principles – this will affect our credibility.”

But Sweden's open borders have been strongly criticised by opposition groups in recent months. The nationalist Sweden Democrats - backed by 12.9 percent of voters in the last general election - want the Nordic nation to limit immigration and several centre-right parties have mooted the idea of giving refugees temporary rather than permanent residency permits.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Opinion
Sweden bad, Norway good, Trump better? I'm confused
Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold/NTB scanpix/TT & Kristin Streff/AP/TT

Sweden is neither a socialist paradise nor an internationalist hell. The truth, argues The Local's reporter Lee Roden, lies somewhere in the middle.

Sweden loses fastest internet crown
Good luck untangling those. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman /SvD /TT

Worse still, the new European king is Norway.

Where to see the Northern Lights in Sweden tonight
The Northern Lights pictured in Sweden on Wednesday night. Photo: Norrsken Sverige

An unusually high level of solar activity means the spectacle could be visible from rare spots in the country.

The Local List
These are the brands Swedes love the most
What brands do the Swedes love the most? Photo: Per Groth/Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/Pontus Lundahl/TT

Revealed: Swedes' top-20 favourite brands.

Spotify launches new karaoke style streaming in Japan
Can karaoke help Spotify to crack Japan? Photo: DocChewbacca/Flickr creative commons

The Swedish streaming giant has taken inspiration from Japan's love of karaoke with its launch in the country.

US rappers' gig ends in 'bloodbath' in Stockholm
US rapper Ghostface Killah. Photo: Scott Roth/Invision/AP

A man ran onto the stage during a concert by US rappers Ghostface Killah and Killah Priest in Stockholm.

Border checks
Could Sweden's border controls soon be lifted?
The border control at the Swedish side of the Öresund Bridge to Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

The EU-approved six-month extension of controls in the south of the country will soon come to an end.

'Homemade bomb' on bus in Sweden was bike helmet
File photo of a Swedish police officer. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

A bicycle helmet sparked a bomb scare on a bus in Uppsala.

What's on in Sweden
Four don't-miss festivals in Sweden this week
Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival. Photo: Stockholm Öl & Vin AB

Arab cinema, Gay Pride, out-of-the-box art, whisky and craft beer – what more could a person in Sweden possibly need?

Sweden advised to bring conscription back in 2018
Bringing back the draft could help a stretched military, a government inquiry says. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Young men and women could be made to fill in questionnaires for recruitment to the Armed Forces as early as next year, according to a new proposal.

Sponsored Article
Expat finances in Sweden: the Common Reporting Standard
Gallery
People-watching: September 28th
Sponsored Article
Let's Talk: a personal Swedish language tutor in your pocket
National
Aliens' sex lives? Why Swedes want Nasa to send a condom into space
Analysis & Opinion
'If Sweden really wants startups, drop the red tape on migration'
Blog updates

27 September

Cutting your nose …. (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Last week, Jeremy Browne, the Special Representative for the City of London, visited Sweden. Jeremy was…" READ »

 

7 September

Svensk or svenska? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! My inbox is full of questions :-). Here’s one about when to use “svensk” and…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
‘I view the world in a different way now’
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 23rd-25th
Politics
Russian Sweden Democrat aide resigns over suspect deal
Sponsored Article
'Creating a sense of home': Collective living in Stockholm
National
Muslim teacher leaves job after not shaking male colleague's hand
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Travel
Why we adore autumn in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 21st
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
National
Stockholmers hunt killer badger after attack on neighbourhood hipster cat
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
National
Six key points in Sweden's budget plan
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
The Local Voices
How a Swedish name finally made recruiters notice this Iranian's CV
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
Property of the week: Luleå
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Gallery
People-watching: September 16th-18th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Culture
Why Swedish TV has given these kids' trucks a sex swap
Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden’s ’a-kassa’
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Gallery
People-watching: September 14th
Politics
Why Sweden is putting troops on holiday dream island Gotland
The Local Voices
'What I mean when I say: I came here to blow myself up'
Society
VIDEO: Are Swedes that unfriendly?
Features
INTERVIEW: How Arthur the jungle dog opened hearts and minds
Gallery
Property of the week: Smögen, Västra Götaland
Society
Sweden's ancient forest tongue Elfdalian fights for survival
The Local Voices
'Whenever I apply for jobs I’m treated like an unwanted stranger'
The Local Voices
Is Swedish bosses' ignorance keeping refugees out of jobs?
3,014
jobs available