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More than 20 British citizens 'absconded' after orders to leave Sweden

Richard Orange
Richard Orange - [email protected]
More than 20 British citizens 'absconded' after orders to leave Sweden
A total of 2,630 UK citizens were ordered to leave countries in the EU and EEA in 2021 and 2022, with Sweden responsible for 41 percent of these. Photo: AP Photo/Alastair Grant

More than 20 British citizens are feared to be living underground in Sweden, after failing to secure their residency following the UK leaving the European Union, Swedish border police have told The Local.


According to Swedish police statistics, there are currently 38 cases open regarding UK citizens with an expulsion order, of which 24 are cases that have been passed to the police by the Migration Agency after the person's applications for residency received their final rejection. 

"Twenty two persons from this category have absconded, meaning they are avoiding the authorities," Irene Sokolow, a police press spokesperson, told The Local, adding that in the other two cases, the police know for certain that the person remains in the country.

Almost 4,000 British nationals have been issued orders to leave by EU and Schengen area countries since Brexit, with Sweden responsible for about 1,185 of that number. 

Brits nonetheless represent less than a tenth of the 36,000 people given expulsion orders in Sweden from the start of 2021 until the end of 2023, according to Eurostat numbers collated by the Europaportalen website, of whom about 24,000 are known to have left the country. 


Currently, an expulsion order from Sweden expires after four years, something Sweden's Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard said last month should be changed as it creates an incentive for those ordered to leave to go into hiding and then reapply for residency after four years. 

"This of course contributes to the fact that many individuals go underground, which as a result makes return efforts more difficult and less efficient," she said after receiving the recommentations of a government inquiry


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