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New record: 4,120 Brits have become Swedish citizens so far this year

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New record: 4,120 Brits have become Swedish citizens so far this year
More Brits than ever have applied for Swedish passports since the Brexit referendum. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT
07:51 CET+01:00
More than 4,000 Brits have become Swedish citizens this year, with around 1,200 Swedish passports handed out last month alone.

In October, the Swedish Migration Agency granted citizenship to 1,205 British nationals, according to fresh statistics. That means 4,120 Brits have so far become Swedish citizens this year.

This was already a record when The Local reported on the rush for citizenship in September (the figure then stood at 2,406), as the Migration Agency attempted to fast-track applications ahead of Brexit.

The agency said at the time that they were unable to prioritize Brits as a national group, but were prioritizing all cases related to Brexit, with fully completed applications dealt with first.

"The Migration Agency has, since this spring, a general decision in place which states that matters related to a possible Brexit should be prioritized so that processing times can be kept in accordance with our service commitments," spokesperson Johanna Måhlén told The Local in September.

This makes Brits the second-largest group of international residents who have been given Swedish citizenship this year, after Syrians (24,740 new Swedish citizens between January 1st and November 1st this year), but before applicants from Afghanistan (2,264) and Somalia (3,069).

As The Local has previously reported, it is a huge increase on last year, when 1,305 Brits were given citizenship, and follows a rush for Swedish passports by British residents to ensure they can keep their EU freedom of movement after the UK leaves the EU by January 31st, which is the current deadline.

A total of 1,228 Brits became Swedish citizens in 2017, 960 in 2016 and 444 in 2015.

So far this year, 94 percent of processed applications from Brits for Swedish citizenship have been successful and out of those the average waiting time was 259 days. When we last wrote about these statistics in September, the approval rate was 95 percent and waiting time 281 days.

A record 1,991 Britons submitted their applications for Swedish citizenship in 2018, an increase from 1,859 in 2017, 1,616 in 2016, and a huge leap from the years preceding the Brexit vote: in 2015, only 511 Brits applied for Swedish citizenship while 491 did so in 2014.

WHAT DO BRITS NEED TO KNOW...

Have you had your citizenship application rejected? We would be interested in hearing from you. Email news@thelocal.se.

 
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