Friday, March 16, 2007

The cost to the Swedish state of receiving asylum seekers is set to rise to 12.2 billion kronor ($1.7 billion) by 2010, double the 2005 figure

The Local:

The rise is largely due to more generous new laws introduced last year, which has led in particular to a large number of Iraqis being allowed to stay.

The introduction last April of the 2005 Aliens Act coincided with a large rise in the number of asylum seekers granted Swedish residence permits, according to a report by news agency TT.

Between 2003 and 2005, before the Aliens Act came into force, 13 percent of those who applied for residency were allowed to stay. In 2006 that figure was 42 percent. The Swedish Board of Migration predicts that figures of around 40 percent will continue between 2007 and 2010. At the same time, the number of applicants has more than doubled since 2005.

"These results are not due to the law in itself being more generous," said Krister Isaksson, chief analyst at the Board of Migration.

Very few of those who apply are granted asylum. Instead, they are allowed to stay on "exceptional compassionate grounds", a term that replaced the term "humanitarian grounds."

Iraqis account for most of the rise in the number of people allowed to stay in Sweden. They account for half of applications, and Sweden's immigration policies have much more generous to them as the security situation there has deteriorated.

Iraq War Refugees Turn to Sweden, Not U.S.

Danish People's Party fears influx of Swedish immigrants


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