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Scandinavia Today / Sweden


Sweden received more asylum seekers in the first quarter of 2013 though far below forecast.

Sunday, 07 April 2013
Sweden received more that expected amount of asylum seekers in the first quarter of this year with Syrians making the largest amount. However, it still falls below forecast but the immigration system is not worried about any influx.

Latest reports suggest that the amount of asylum seekers in the first quarter increased by almost a third compared with the same period last year. Added for the whole of this year, they are far fewer than expected - yet the Swedish Migration Board's annual forecast remain unchanged.

"If we look ahead, there are many signs to indicate an increase. We are also expecting seasonal variations. It would be a small rise in early summer, and every year we'll see a big rise in the fall," says Mikael Ribbenvik, Operations Manager at the Swedish Migration Board, according to Swedish television.

During the first quarter of this year, 9737 asylum seekers came to Sweden, up 29 percent against the same period last year. If the influx continues at the same level, the figure for the whole of this year will hit nearly 39,000 applicants - far below forecast of 54,000.
As more people are fleeing the bloodshed in Syria, it is thought that in Europe, it is mainly two countries refugees or asylums are seeking to - Germany and Sweden.

Syria is by far the largest country in which refugees are originating from to Sweden this year. 2,545 Syrians have sought asylum - an increase of 469 percent.

It is also though that measures in the European area of migration may affect Sweden. Uncertainty about funding after April which will involve the monitoring of Greek-Turkish border which is carried out by the EU's border control agency Frontex could be compromised by lack of sufficient funding.

Despite the weak number of asylums seekers this year, the immigration authorities have decided not to change their forecast.

The second largest country of origin of refugees this year continues to remain Somalia with 1,027 applicants, though that has fallen by 23 percent.
As the situation there improved somewhat, it is expected that the number of entries to Sweden will decrease.

Also the number of asylum seeking unaccompanied children increased by nine per cent, to 722 children. This is the most expensive form of asylum seeking sine the children will require that the social services provide special care for them.

The amount of work permit to be granted to persons from countries outside the EU will decrease. This year, 2,656 work permits was granted, down by 30 percent. Some eight industries have seen their quest to import workers  tightened after it turned out that there was abject abuse of the system and workers in the sector.
by Team

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