New judicial position concerning Syria
The security situation in Syria continues to be very serious, however the level of conflict in some of the country’s provinces has decreased slightly. As a result, the situation in the country as a whole is no longer regarded to be such that everyone is at risk of suffering indiscriminate violence.
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This is reflected in the Swedish Migration Agency’s new legal stance concerning the citizens from Syria.
“Despite the fact that we see a somewhat reduced level of conflict in certain provinces, many Syrians continue to be granted asylum in Sweden due to the uncertainty of the situation in the country,” comments Fredrik Beijer, Director of Legal Affairs at the Swedish Migration Agency.
In six provinces, the level of conflict remains such that it means that each and every person who is presently there is at risk of suffering indiscriminate violence. This applies to the provinces of Aleppo, Idlib and Raqqa, among others. No one who is domiciled or has their ordinary residence there will be deported to there.
The assessment of the security situation in other parts of Syria, is that except in the province of Tartous in the western part of the country, there exists internal armed conflict, however not at such a severe level that the violence is indiscriminate.
Previously, the Migration Agency was of the view that the situation there was so serious that each and every person there was at risk of suffering from the violence, however now a different assessment has been made, keeping in mind that the security situation varies widely within and between these provinces.
In Tartous, there are other severe conflicts in such a manner so that there are no armed groups there right now.
Since 2012, the Syrians constituted the largest group of applicants for asylum in Sweden, and since the start of the conflict, in 2011, over 115,000 have been granted asylum.
Currently approximately 1,300 Syrians are waiting for the decision of the Swedish Migration Agency.
Significantly more, 26,500, will have to apply over the next three years at the Migration Agency to extend their temporary residence permit.
“These are not affected by the new legal stance, but rather this affects only new applicants for asylum. Those who are already here in Sweden and who have received protection status as a refugee or subsidiary protection will retain that status. They do not need to state new reasons for asylum when applying for an extended residence permit, as long as the reasons are the same as before,” observes Fredrik Beijer.
“This is due to that a person who has been granted a protection status retains it. Only in the event of a long-term and significant change in the security situation may it be relevant to revoke the protection status, and at present we do not see such occurring,” concludes Fredrik Beijer.
In 2018, 2709 Syrian citizens applied for asylum in Sweden.
It is estimated that in 2019 some 2,300 Syrians will seek asylum, and the following year the number will be closer to 2,600. This is based on the Migration Agency’s latest forecast, published 29 July 2019.