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How does Sweden's fast-track scheme for delayed permits work?

The Local Sweden
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How does Sweden's fast-track scheme for delayed permits work?

People who have been waiting for a decision on an application for Swedish citizenship for at least six months, or a work or residence permit for at least four months, have the right to request an immediate decision from the Migration Agency. We explain how the process works, and the potential pitfalls.


How does the request for a decision work?

People who have submitted an application for Swedish citizenship, or a work or residence permit, can apply to the Migration Agency to request a quick decision on their case.

This is done by filling out a form online, which can be found here in Swedish and here in English. It's a short form which just requires giving a few personal details, plus the names of anyone else who is included on your application, such as children.

Who can submit the request?

The request applies if you submitted your initial citizenship application at least six months ago, or your work permit application at least four months ago, and have not yet received a decision.

Is it guaranteed that this will speed up my application?

The short answer: no.

After such a request is submitted, the Migration Agency has four weeks to either make a decision or refuse your request. So it's possible that they will simply conclude it's not possible to make a decision within four weeks. 

If that happens, you have the right to appeal that decision to the Migration Court. If your appeal is successful, the court will mandate the Migration Agency to give you a decision "as soon as possible". These are the cases that get the highest priority, the agency told The Local in 2020.

But if your appeal is rejected too, unfortunately there's not much more you can do than wait, since it's not possible to submit this request twice during the same case.


What's the background?

The request is possible due to a law called Administrative Procedure Act, which requires government agencies to deal with cases as quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively as possible. 

Under Section 12 of that law, applicants have the right to request a decision after they've been in the queue for six months.

This came into force in the summer of 2018 and more than 30,000 such requests were made in the first year it was in effect. The same law also requires authorities to inform individuals in advance if it's likely that they will experience "substantial" delays. 

Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT


Anything else I should know about the request for a decision?

Well, one consideration is that if the agency does end up making a faster decision on your case, this negatively impacts people who have been waiting longer.

"The large number of such requests took resources from the actual processing of citizenship cases. Since these cases must also be prioritised after any judgment from the Migration Court, and since very many applicants who requested a decision hadn't waited longer than six to nine months for a decision, this contributed to the fact that the oldest cases became even older," a Migration Agency press officer told The Local.

In fact, this is one of the reasons the Migration Agency asked the government to pause the fast-track option for delayed cases for eighteen months in April 2023. This request had not yet been approved or denied at the time this article was last updated on April 4th, 2023.

What other factors affect when a decision is made?

The best thing you can do to boost your chances of a speedy decision is to ensure that your paperwork is filled out comprehensively and accurately, with all the required information and evidence, when you first submit it.

Around a quarter of the applications that come in are typically judged to be complete and ready for a decision to be made, and the Migration Agency has told The Local these cases are typically processed in less than three months. All others are put into a queue and processed in order of date submitted, with the exception of those where a request for a decision is made.

Have you been caught up in Swedish bureaucracy? Email [email protected] to share your story.


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Rony Das 2023/04/06 09:31
It actually worked in my case. Of course, the application for faster decision was declined. However, I appealed and it did not cost me anything. The migration court ordered the migration agency to take a decision. Then it took about two months to get a decision. And it was a positive decision.
Rony Das 2023/04/06 09:31
It actually worked in my case. Of course, the application for faster decision was declined. However, I appealed and it did not cost me anything. The migration court ordered the migration agency to take a decision. Then it took about two months to get a decision. And it was a positive decision.
sontuchowdhury 2023/03/14 15:03
Well, let me tell you about my experience. I applied to the Migration Agency make a decision after waiting for nearly four years. They refused to do it. I appealed against the decision. The case went to the Migration Court (a different organization). Fortunately, the Migration Court agreed to my appeal and ordered the Migration Agency to make a decision on my case. The Migration Agency took one more month and gave my citizenship.
steveh83216 2022/09/21 22:42
Sounds like long processing times, and frustration for all those involved. At times like these - I think many should consider Canada as a positive and viable alternative. It's a great and enormous country. And Canada has thrown the doors to immigration wide open, and is now admitting anyone and everyone under Justin Trudeau. Highly recommended. - Great universities. - Advanced economy with jobs in high tech, resources, tourism, government etc. - High pay (higher than Sweden), and lower taxes. - An accepting populist comprised of immigrants (all of them). Don't overlook Canada.
j.a.burrell 2022/09/20 19:44
My case was refused, I was given no reason in the letter, my case worker took 4 days to answer their phone, didn't take any notes as to why the refused my application, and then had the gall to complain that they only had 4 weeks of summer holiday! They're running a 5 star organisation over there...
[email protected] 2021/02/18 12:54
Don’t bother... they wait until the 4 weeks are up, & then said ‘No’. With no further info, as usual. My lawyer said i could file an appeal, but it would just be more legal fees to get the ubiquitous ‘No’ & zero additional info. I’ve been waiting 4 years so far, & have been a permanent resident for 5. <br /><br />Really, if Morgan Johansson wants to fix things, fix the administration of Migrationsverket, not add a language requirement which will be just another clusteruck for the MV employees to use as an excuse to do little other than look for another job (now that they’re all getting fired anyway...)

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