SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

RESIDENCE PERMITS

How to get a faster decision on your Swedish citizenship or permit application

People who have been waiting for a decision on an application for Swedish citizenship, or a work or residence permit, for at least six months have the right to request an immediate decision from the Migration Agency. We explain how the process works, and the potential pitfalls.

How to get a faster decision on your Swedish citizenship or permit application
An office of the Swedish Migration Agency in Stockholm. File photo: Marcus Ericsson / TT

How does the request for a decision work?

People who have submitted an application for Swedish citizenship, or a work or residence permit, can apply to the Migration Agency to request a quick decision on their case.

This is done by filling out a form online, which can be found here in Swedish and here in English. It’s a short form which just requires giving a few personal details, plus the names of anyone else who is included on your application, such as children.

Who can submit the request?

The request applies if you submitted your initial application at least six months ago and have not yet received a decision.

Is it guaranteed that this will speed up my application?

The short answer: no.

After such a request is submitted, the Migration Agency has four weeks to either make a decision or refuse your request. So it’s possible that they will simply conclude it’s not possible to make a decision within four weeks. 

If that happens, you have the right to appeal that decision to the Migration Court. If your appeal is successful, the court will mandate the Migration Agency to give you a decision “as soon as possible”. These are the cases that get the highest priority, the agency told The Local in 2020.

But if your appeal is rejected too, unfortunately there’s not much more you can do than wait, since it’s not possible to submit this request twice during the same case.

What’s the background?

The request is possible due to a law called Administrative Procedure Act, which requires government agencies to deal with cases as quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively as possible. 

Under Section 12 of that law, applicants have the right to request a decision after they’ve been in the queue for six months.

This came into force in the summer of 2018 and more than 30,000 such requests were made in the first year it was in effect. The same law also requires authorities to inform individuals in advance if it’s likely that they will experience “substantial” delays. 

Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Anything else I should know about the request for a decision?

Well, one consideration is that if the agency does end up making a faster decision on your case, this negatively impacts people who have been waiting longer.

“The large number of such requests took resources from the actual processing of citizenship cases. Since these cases must also be prioritised after any judgment from the Migration Court, and since very many applicants who requested a decision hadn’t waited longer than six to nine months for a decision, this contributed to the fact that the oldest cases became even older,” a Migration Agency press officer told The Local.

What other factors affect when a decision is made?

The best thing you can do to boost your chances of a speedy decision are to ensure that your paperwork is filled out comprehensively and accurately, with all the required information and evidence, when you first submit it.

Around a quarter of the applications that come in are typically judged to be complete and ready for a decision to be made, and the Migration Agency has told The Local these cases are typically processed in less than three months. All others are put into a queue and processed in order of date submitted, with the exception of those where a request for a decision is made.

Have you been caught up in Swedish bureaucracy? Email [email protected] with ‘Citizenship’ in the subject line or fill out this form to share your story with The Local.

Member comments

  1. Don’t bother… they wait until the 4 weeks are up, & then said ‘No’. With no further info, as usual. My lawyer said i could file an appeal, but it would just be more legal fees to get the ubiquitous ‘No’ & zero additional info. I’ve been waiting 4 years so far, & have been a permanent resident for 5.

    Really, if Morgan Johansson wants to fix things, fix the administration of Migrationsverket, not add a language requirement which will be just another clusteruck for the MV employees to use as an excuse to do little other than look for another job (now that they’re all getting fired anyway…)

  2. My case was refused, I was given no reason in the letter, my case worker took 4 days to answer their phone, didn’t take any notes as to why the refused my application, and then had the gall to complain that they only had 4 weeks of summer holiday! They’re running a 5 star organisation over there…

  3. Sounds like long processing times, and frustration for all those involved.

    At times like these – I think many should consider Canada as a positive and viable alternative.
    It’s a great and enormous country. And Canada has thrown the doors to immigration wide open, and is now admitting anyone and everyone under Justin Trudeau. Highly recommended.
    – Great universities.
    – Advanced economy with jobs in high tech, resources, tourism, government etc.
    – High pay (higher than Sweden), and lower taxes.
    – An accepting populist comprised of immigrants (all of them).

    Don’t overlook Canada.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

RESIDENCE PERMITS

REVEALED: The truth about waiting times at Sweden’s Migration Agency

A new report from Sweden's Parliamentary Ombudsman has found that a number of cases at Sweden's Migration Agency were "not actively processed for the majority of the processing time", despite waits of more than three years.

REVEALED: The truth about waiting times at Sweden's Migration Agency

What is this report?

The report, which came out on December 13th, addresses complaints to the Parliamentary Ombudsman about long processing times at the Migration Agency for citizenship, asylum and residence permit applications.

In the report, Parliamentary Ombudsman Per Lennerbrant said that the Migration Agency must make “special efforts” to address the long waiting times faced by those applying for asylum, permanent residency, or citizenship in Sweden.

Lennerbrant stated that it is “unacceptable” that the Migration Agency, year after year, has unreasonably long processing times for a large range of cases.

He further criticised the Migration Agency for “slow and passive” processing in all cases which were a subject of the investigation.

How long did these applicants have to wait?

The report, which assessed five cases reported by applicants for Swedish citizenship, asylum and residence permits, concluded that, in all cases, processing times “exceeded what is considered acceptable”.

The five cases are described as follows:

  • “AA”, who applied for Swedish citizenship on May 21st, 2020. In January 2021, a Migration Court concluded that the Migration Agency must conclude “AA”‘s case “as soon as possible”. The case was concluded on February 1st, 2022. Waiting time: 1 year, 8 months, 11 days
  • “BB”, who applied for Swedish citizenship on July 30th, 2018. The case was concluded on March 16th, 2022. Waiting time: 3 years, 7 months, 16 days
  • “CC”, who applied for Swedish citizenship on June 27th, 2018. The case was concluded on March 3rd, 2022. Waiting time: 3 years, 8 months, 4 days
  • “DD”, who applied for asylum in Sweden on January 9th, 2020. The case was concluded on February 18th, 2022. Waiting time: 2 years, 1 month, 9 days
  • “EE”, who applied for a residence permit as a family member (a so-called ‘sambo’ permit), on November 29th, 2020. The case was concluded on March 28th, 2022. Waiting time: 1 year, 3 months, 28 days

What did the Ombudsman say about these cases?

The report concluded that, in all cases, processing times “exceeded what is considered acceptable”.

The report further concluded that all five cases were subject to “long periods of passivity”, stating that four cases were “not actively processed for the majority of the processing time”. One of these cases was concluded after “roughly a week” once a Migration Agency case officer finally started processing it.

In the fifth case, it states, processing “was initially carried out”, with “more than a year” passing before further action was taken, and then “a further ten months” before the case was concluded.

How has the Migration Agency responded?

The Parliamentary Ombudsman demanded a response from the Migration Agency, as well as answers to a number of questions, which it received on June 8th, 2022.

In its response, the Migration Agency stated that it “works to conclude received applications within the dates stipulated by law in all types of case”. It further stated that it “calculates that the goal of being able to conclude asylum and family reunification cases within legal deadlines […] will be reached during 2023,” and that the goal of concluding citizenship cases within six months will also be reached the same year.

It further states that a “new structure to provide support to employees working to conclude cases” was established at the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, which introduced a “case concluding support network” for each part of the process.

In March 2022, the Agency continues, “a new process was introduced for cases addressing residence permits due to family reunification, meaning, for example, that all new family reunification cases are handled by a central function which sorts out those cases which should be processed quickly”.

In 2021, the Agency states, an additional centre for handling citizenship cases was opened to “increase recruitment and lower vulnerability”.

It also stated that issues for the Agency which can cause delays include decisions from the Migration Courts demanding that cases should be concluded quickly, which affects the order in which different cases are prioritised, as well as outside factors such as war in Ukraine, which can cause bottlenecks.

The Agency agreed with the Parliamentary Ombudsman that processing times had “not been satisfactory” in any of the five cases addressed by the report.

Does that really mean people applying for citizenship next year will have an answer within six months?

The Parliamentary Ombudsman doesn’t seem to think so. It stated that the investigation shows that “the Migration Agency still has major issues with processing times”, and that it “concludes that it will take years before they reach an acceptable level”.

“In my previous assessment,” Ombudsman Per Lennerbrant said, “I spoke of a fear that the agency’s long processing times would become the norm if serious measures were not taken,” he said.

“I am now forced to confirm that my fears appear to have been valid. The Migration Agency must make special efforts to address the long processing times.”

The Parliamentary Ombudsman has also sent a copy of the decision to Sweden’s governmental offices, as the long waiting times are also in part due to a lack of resources.

SHOW COMMENTS