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Sweden received fewer refugees but immigration from Europe increased

Sunday, 08 January 2012
Immigration to Sweden is still at a high level. But the number of refugees has halved in recent years - instead it's citizens, mainly from Poland and Romania, which accounts for the largest increase, according to new statistics.

In 2011, the Swedish Migration Board granted 93,050 permanent or temporary residence permits to immigrants to Sweden. That was a slight increase compared to 2010, and the number did not reach the record 98 .644 permits granted in 2009.

“Immigration is at a stable higher level now than it was ten years ago,” says Immigration Service Communications officer, Johan Rahm. In contrast, immigrant groups have changed.

The number of overseas students granted a residence permit has been more than halved, from 14, 188 in 2010 to just 6, 836 last year. The reason for this is simple: university studies are no longer free for this group. They are required to pay very high tuition fees and there is limited scholarships in Sweden.

But in return, the number of EU citizens with permanent or temporary residence permit has increased by almost 5000 to 23. 226. The increase applies mainly toPolish citizens, from 3.875 to 5. 062.
Refugee Immigration reached its peak in 2006 and 2007, when immigration from Iraq was high and when the Temporary Asylum Act gave many previously undocumented residence permits.

Since then, refugee immigration has halved even though it is now slowly rising again with a few hundred per year. Last year, 12 726 asylum seekers were granted permit to stay.
What has driven the granting of residence permits is due to events in the world, but also on domestic decisions.

Across Europe, the numbers of asylum seekers from Afghans have risen. Violence Developments in Afghanistan is an explanation.  Also many Afghans who have lived as refugees in neighbouring Iran are now travelling to Europe.

The Afghans were the largest group, 3160 subjects, who received a residence permit in Sweden in 2011. It is up by 33 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of Somalis, who previously were the largest group, who applied for asylum and were granted residence permits, has declined radically. This is probably due to Somali families currently can not being able to reunited in Sweden following a decision by the Migration Court of Appeal. The number of Somalis who received residence permits fell by over 30 percent to 3.153 in 2011.

Over the past seven years the number of work permits issued to persons from outside the EU tripled. But the biggest group of immigration to Sweden in general have mostly been refugees.

After a slight dip in 2010, the number of labour migrants and their relatives again rose last year. In total, 17 877 permits were granted - berry pickers and farm workers have indeed fallen by 37 percent to 2. 821, but is nonetheless the largest group.

As a percentage the number of cleaners from overseas countries increased the most. In this profession, the number increased by 64 percent to 798 permits granted last year. Computer specialists, mainly from India will also be more. Here, the number of residence permits granted rose by 27 percent to 2795 items.
by Scancomark.se Team

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