Swedish Migration Board
Asylum Seekers

Longer Wait for Those Unable to Work

Swedish local authorities are not as willing to welcome asylum seekers who are less likely to find employment. Handicapped or traumatised people are waiting longer for a place – sometimes up to four months.

About 20 000 people with new residence permits were placed by Swedish local authorities in 2008. Out of these 400 had to wait over four months before a place was found. According to the government, no one should have to wait longer than one month.  However, local authorities are given extra funds from the state for every asylum seeker who finds gainful employment.  Behind this bonus system is the idea that the newcomers should be encouraged to support themselves. As there is no scheme in place for those without such prospects, there is less of an incentive for local authorities to offer them a place.

According to Dan Eliasson of the Swedish Migration Board this is becoming an ever increasing problem.

“The asylum system is not there just for those who are able to work. It is supposed to offer protection also to those that are traumatised, tortured, handicapped, and illiterate or of little education. It is them who are the most vulnerable,” Eliasson told TT.

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