22 June 2017

British seeking Swedish citizenship

More people are applying for Swedish citizenship, and there is a clear trend of British people also taking the plunge. This is shown in the Swedish Migration Agency's statistics up until National Day.

The total number of applications for Swedish citizenship continues to increase at the same rate as in recent years. 64,000 applications were received last year. 29,000 have been received this year through May. The Agency's forecast for the government is 77,000 for the whole year.

In this context, the United Kingdom stands out as an interesting trend. In 2015, only 511 British people submitted applications for Swedish citizenship. Last year, the number rose more than threefold to 1,600 applications.

By spring this year, 959 applications had already been received by the Migration Agency's citizenship unit. At this rate, there may be more this year than the previous year, if British people's interest in becoming Swedish citizens holds throughout the year. As yet, there is no single factor that can explain the increase.

Continuous increase

The waiting time for a decision on citizenship has continuously increased. In normal cases, the processing time is now approximately one and half years. Around 25 percent of applications are complete and ready for a decision to be made, and in these cases, the decision can be made considerably quicker, in one to five months. This is true for both positive and negative decisions.

Somalians and Syrians

Since 2016, the largest group of new Swedish citizens has come from Somalia, where the figure doubled from the previous year. After them come Syrians, who were three times more numerous in 2016 than the year before.

However, Somalians have to wait longer for their citizenship: they need to have lived in Sweden for eight years instead of the usual five. This is because Somalian documents do not meet Swedish security requirements.

Through notification

For children and young people, there is in many cases an easier way to become Swedish citizens – through notification. In 2016, a third of applications were made through notification, and here, too, Somalians were the largest group. Hence, the proportion of children among those seeking citizenship is large. It appears that this will be the trend for this year as well.

Minors may be included in their parents' application, and thus do not have their own cases, but instead appear as dependents. Parents applying for citizenship can apply for their children at the same time. If the parents are approved, the children can be approved as well, provided that the relevant conditions are met. If the parents' application is rejected, no individual decision is made for the child.

The most common countries of origin for people seeking Swedish citizenship in 2016:

  1. Somalia
  2. Syria
  3. Stateless
  4. Iraq
  5. Afghanistan

The most common countries of origin for people seeking Swedish citizenship in 2015:

  1. Iraq
  2. Somalia
  3. Stateless
  4. Thailand
  5. Poland

Applications for citizenship


Through notification



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