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The long lines for refugee family reunions are getting even longer

Published fredag 23 december 2016 kl 07.00
Syrian refugee: I just want my kids to be with me!
(2:34 min)
Nazo Nelabndian väntar på att få återförenas med sin familj.
Nazo Nelabndian is waiting to be reunited with his family Credit: Karin Wirenhed/Sveriges Radio

Family members of refugees in Sweden have a right to join them here, but the Migration Agency says next year the wait for permission will get even longer next year.

Today family members have to wait between 18 and 24 months after the refugee here has received a residence permit to be reunified with their husband, wife or child. If you include the wait for the residence permit, that means three years or more.

The agency says it won’t be until 2019 or 2020 before they can get the time down to the nine month legal maximum.

"Nothing is more important than meeting them. Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing at all", says Nazo Nelabndian from Syria.

It has been two years since Nazo Nellabandjan last saw his wife and their two sons, who are now 7 and 9 years old. They were in Turkey and had been for an interview at the Swedish embassy in Ankara. Now they are all waiting for the Swedish Migration Agency to make a decision.

The agency has written to Nazo that he can expect a wait of 18 to 24 months. That would mean a wait for more than three years from when he first applied for residency in Sweden to be reunited with his family.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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