Two-year backlog for Syrian families seeking reunification
Families of Syrians who have been given permanent residency in Sweden could wait two years to be reunited, according to a new investigation by Swedish Radio.
In January, Sweden's foreign ministry added the country's embassy in Sudan to the list of places where family members of Syrians with permanent residency in Sweden can be interviewed.
Under Sweden's asylum law, the immediate family of those given permanent residence have the right to come to Sweden.
But those who are granted appointments today need to wait for eight months to schedule an interview.
In addition, the embassy in Sudan has a backlog of 2,500 interview applications which it has yet to process. Swedish Radio has calculated that at its current pace, the backlog will take at least two years to clear.
"We are not happy with this situation," Patric Nilsson, a deputy director at the Foreign Ministry told Swedish Radio. "We have recently increased staffing. We are also adding local staff and we are adding more support from Sweden."
Madelaine Seidlitz, a lawyer for the human rights group Amnesty International, said that the long wait times put people at risk.
"The waiting time is so long for people who are often in vulnerable and high-risk situations. That is extremely serious," she said.