rules changed in 2009

Fewer granted asylum second time round

Failed asylum seekers who go underground and then later apply for a residence permit have less chance of success following a court judgement in 2009, according to SR International.

On average 20,000 applicants are refused asylum in Sweden annually, and 15,000 of them are sent back to their home countries. Around 500 asylum seekers a year go into hiding to avoid being sent home, and many of them then apply for a residence permit after four years, when the statute of limitations has passed for their first asylum application.

In the past, the vast majority would then get a permit, after having lived in Sweden for several years. But the 2009 judgement meant that the fact that they had gone into hiding and not co-operated with the Swedish authorities was a black mark in their new application.

New figures show that only 60 percent now get their applications approved, compared with 85 percent before 2009.