28 November 2017

Break in the trend: Since March, the number of open cases based on family ties has decreased

In March, the Swedish Migration Agency had a record number of open cases based on family ties – about 74,000. The number has now gone down by 15,000.
“It is a hugely positive development that we have been able to break the trend, and that we now settle more cases than we receive. This means that we can deliver a response to many applicants and reference persons who, unfortunately, have often had to wait a long time for a decision”, says Janne Wallin, Director of Operations.

There are many reasons why the number of open cases based on family ties, including both first-time applications and extensions, has gone down. One reason is that, this year, there are 244 more annual employees working on tie-based cases than there were in 2016. Another is that the number of new applications is steadily decreasing by about 1,200 per month compared to 2016. Additionally, a number of steps have been taken to make procedures more efficient, in terms of both processing and administration.

The priority of the Swedish Migration Agency during the year has been to settle new, complete cases, while at the same time investing time and energy in tackling older and more resource-intensive cases.

“There is no reason why new cases that are ready to be decided should be left pending”, Janne Wallin says.

Cases based on family ties 2013 – 2017

Diagram som visar inkomna, avgjorda och öppna anknytningsärenden.

This spring, the trend of increasingly more open cases based on ties (grey columns) was broken. Red curve: closed cases. Blue curve: new cases received.

A maximum of nine months’ processing time

According to the Aliens Ordinance, all applicants should receive a decision in their cases within nine months. The Swedish Migration Agency is counting on achieving its goal in regards to tie-based cases by 1 July 2018. Currently, there are still 22,500* cases left that are more than a year old and generally require a more comprehensive investigation.

“We are now investing a lot of energy in settling these cases as well”, says Janne Wallin.

To date this year, the Swedish Migration Agency has made a decision in 72,000 tie-based cases. A good third of these were new and complete applications, and the rest were received by the Agency before 1 January 2017.

* The numbers in the text are from 17 November 2017.