Face-to-face interviews at embassies are one of the hurdles that many applicants for study or family reunion permits for example must clear in order to go through with a move to Sweden.
But all interviews booked at the Teheran embassy between now and the end of the year will be postponed until at least early 2021, based on coronavirus risk assessments.
The Swedish Migration Agency said that the decision, which was made by the embassy, would affect almost 700 scheduled interviews.
People who have already concluded their application and need to collect a passport, permit or visa decision will be able to go to the embassy for these shorter visits, which were not judged to pose such a high risk of infection.
The embassy has said it will contact everyone who had an interview scheduled to make a new appointment from January 2021 onwards, but that the waiting time was expected to be “long” due to the backlog as well as new applicants. Times will be allocated based on when the original application was submitted.
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Iraqi and Afghan citizens not resident in Iran, who in normal times can also visit the Teheran embassy for interviews, may book an alternative interview at the embassy in Amman for Iraqi citizens and Islamabad or New Delhi for Afghan citizens.
“The Embassy is aware of the fact that many applicants have already waited a long time to do their interview, and that it will be difficult to wait even longer. The decision to reduce the operations in the migration section has been made because of ongoing and worldwide pandemic, to mitigate its effects and protect visitors as well as embassy staff,” the embassy wrote in a statement.
People directly affected can find more information in English from the embassy here, but the embassy stressed it would not be able to offer any earlier appointments. The Migration Agency said it was looking into alternatives.
“We are looking at what solutions are possible, but at the same time I do not want to give too high hopes. There are legal and security barriers to using digital services,” said the head of the Migration Agency's digitalisation department, Marcus Toremar.
Has your move to Sweden been affected by the coronavirus? You are always welcome to get in touch with The Local's editorial team – we are a small team so we are not always able to answer complex questions, but we may be able to help you tell your story or point you towards useful resources.