The agency told Sveriges Radio that it had received around 17,000 requests for an extension in 2017, with around 10,000 of them already processed. The vast majority – 9,300 – were granted a residence permit extension for a further two years.
“We see many people with a continued need for protection. Many come from Syria, and there the situation hasn’t changed, so you refer to around the same reasons as when the first application was made,” Migrationsverket deputy operations head Veronika Lindstrand Kant told Sveriges Radio.
The extended temporary residence permits will last until July 2019 – the same time when a temporary asylum law approved by the Riksdag in the summer of 2016 also expires.
In October, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights called on Sweden to improve its asylum laws, saying it needs to “move beyond emergency mode” in its treatment of asylum seekers.