Swedish migration court slammed for long waiting times

Swedish migration court slammed for long waiting times
The Gothenburg Administrative Court, of which the Migration Court is part. Photo: Jonas Dagson/TT
Asylum seekers appealing their permits to the migration court face a long wait, far beyond what is acceptable and reasonable, a new report finds.

Sweden's parliamentary ombudsmen, more often known as the Justice Ombudsman (JO), criticized the Migration Court in Gothenburg for unacceptably and unreasonably long processing times.

Asylum cases currently take around 17-21 months for the court to process, and cases regarding permits for visiting or residing in Sweden take 12-16 months – both of which the ombudsman said were far too long.

The body, which handles complaints from individuals against public authorities, said the review was sparked by a complaint in January regarding a boy whose asylum application was first rejected and then followed by a four-year wait before he received a temporary permit to study in Sweden.

But the ombudsmen also looked at the Gothenburg Migration Court's overall processing times, and found they were in violation of Swedish laws which state that a trial must be held without unreasonable delay.

“The criticism is justified to the extent that our processing times in several cases, including asylum, are far too long, so it is correct that these people have to wait far too long,” Johan Sanner, president of Gothenburg's administrative court that handles migration cases, told Swedish public radio.

The long processing times are partly explained by Sweden's high number of asylum applications in 2015 and partly by the division of labour. The Gothenburg court is meant to process 20 percent of cases in Sweden's four migration court, but has had to handle up to 31 percent in recent years.


migration court – migrationsdomstol

administrative court – förvaltningsrätt

appeal – överklaga

Justice Ombudsman – justitieombudsman

months – månader

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  1. This is an issue not only for asylum seekers but for anyone who has cases in the migration… unclear directions, don’t give you access to important information eventhough they have to provide you with such, too long time for each case.

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