The queues for Swedish citizenship are growing and applicants can now be forced to wait several years for a decision from the Swedish Migration Board.
Last year, a new administrative law came up that was intended to force shorter processing times, but SVT’s review shows that the law has rather aggravated the queues.
In addition, the law has made it possible to jump the queue. But only for those who know the rules.
– This is a genome-wide rule. The requirement for equal treatment is not followed, says Olle Lundin professor of administrative law.
This year, 100,000 citizenship applications are expected to be submitted to the Swedish Migration Board. According to the authority’s own estimates, an estimated 81,000 cases will be settled during the year. The pile of unfinished cases will thus continue to grow.
“Prioritizing asylum seekers”
The Migration Board’s website shows that the waiting time can be 30 months. A reduction in the budget and an increased number of applications is an explanation. But SVT’s review shows that there is another reason for the long queues. The new Administration Act, which was thus intended to force shorter processing times, rather makes the queues longer.
The law says that anyone who has waited for six months can write to the Migration Board and apply for a so-called “request to settle a case”. The Migration Board then has four weeks to decide whether they can decide on citizenship.
Since July last year, 30 270 have requested a ruling in their cases.
– It has greatly increased our administrative burden. We get to handle many of these applications, which has taken time from the actual case handling, ”says Fredrik Bengtsson, Head of Communications at the Migration Board.
At the top of the pile
In most cases, the Migration Board rejects this request for a decision on the case and says that they need more time to make a citizenship decision.
According to the Administration Act, this refusal can, in turn, be appealed. If this is done, it is almost always the duty of the Migration Board to decide the case and make a citizenship decision as soon as possible.
This means that those who stand up and take the case all the way, their cases get to the front of the queue and receive top priority.
“Not decent in a rule of law”
Olle Lundin, professor and researcher in administrative law at Uppsala University, is strongly critical of creating a kind of “sour cream” for those who know the rules.
– This is a genome-wide rule. It creates fantastic inequality. The demand for equal treatment that we have in government form is not followed. Without it, those who know the system will push and push themselves forward. It is not decent in a rule of law.