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Scandinavia Today / Sweden



Asylum seekers are queuing Swedish embassies after the country's recent generous asylum offer

Friday, 13 September 2013
Just as domino theory goes, what is unfolding in Swedish embassies in the Middles East could be seen as a great exhibition of that theory. After the Swedish government decided last week to grants permanent residency to Syrians who had come to Sweden, and claimed to have been fleeing the conflict, a long queue of people has suddenly emerged outside Sweden's embassies in the Middle East.

Their wish now is to see if Sweden could grant them asylum and ferry them into Sweden just as their counterparts last week, reports radio Sweden. It  looks like they had misunderstood the roles and signs, Swedish officials say.
"This information has been misunderstood and people think that it is possible for them to come to the embassy and seek asylum to Sweden," says Charlotta Ozaki Macias, Communications official for the Swedish foreign office to radio Sweden.Swedish Embassy
"It is true that this rule change will have consequences for our foreign missions. The number of people coming to the embassies to apply to come to Sweden has increased. Some people come because they have relatives in Sweden and thus in time, probably get the visa to Sweden. Some come to the embassy because they believe that all Syrians can be granted asylum in Sweden. Sometimes there is misunderstanding but sometimes it is so because they think that our system is much faster than expected," says Charlotta Ozaki Macias.

Every morning, long queues develop outside the Swedish embassy in Amman, Ankara and Cairo, writes the Swedish daily, Dagens Nyheter. People who go there hope that they could be granted residence permit to Sweden.
Last week, the Swedish Migration Board decided to grant Syrians already in Sweden and who previously had a three-year, temporary residence permit permanent residency.

Many who come to the embassies have either misunderstood the decision or taken to the chances that they could come to a new  and safer country.

"When a country decides to give asylum to a larger group, it naturally leads to the hope that seekers are able to leave the war or crisis zone they are in. In the case of Syria, many people are in exile for many years now. Obviously, this gives them hope that there could be a route to a safe haven," says Charlotta Ozaki Macias.
by Team

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