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Photo: Alexander Linder/Swedish Radio Foto: Alexander Linder/ Sveriges Radio.

Twice as many asylum seekers cancel applications to return home

"The processing times are very long"
2:13 min

The number of asylum seekers who cancel their asylum application before it has been processed has doubled over the past few months.

Last year, approximately 300 people a month cancelled their asylum applications before they had been processed, but that number has more than doubled over the past few months, to roughly 700.

Azatullah Azammi from Afghanistan tells Swedish Radio's local channel in Karlskrona in the southeast that many asylum seekers are disappointed in how long the process takes and choose to return or go somewhere else instead.

"I am one of many people who wants to go back to Afghanistan. We come here with dreams and hopes, but they won't come true," Azammi says.

He says that his brother was killed in Afghanistan and that he had to flee because he felt threatened. His family is still there, and he sees no other option now but to return home and try to help them, despite fearing for his life.

"My family is in danger. I have to go back," he says.

Most asylum seekers who have cancelled their applications come from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, and Kristina Rännar at the Migration Agency believes that there are several reasons why more and more people choose to return home.

"I can only speculate, but the processing times are long, people have to wait to bring their family here and the housing market is very strained," Rännar says.

Asylum seekers who choose to withdraw their application and return home voluntarily can apply for reestablishment support of up to SEK 30,000 per person, or SEK 75,000 for a family. However, the Migration Agency does not have to approve this request, says Rännar.

"The law does not tell us that we have to approve these applications, only that we can. It is not feasible to pay this much money to someone who has only been here for a week, but maybe if they've been here for a few months," Rännar says.

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