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.