Kurds anxiously await decisions by Swedish immigration officials

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Kurds in Europe are hopeful that they are told soon whether they will be allowed to stay or will be sent back to their homelands.

“I cannot wait any longer. I will either start a new life or return home,” Sleman Shakir told Rudaw.

The native of the Kurdistan Region is 27-years-old and has spent more than five years travelling from country to country, and now awaiting a decision to be made by Sweden’s immigration establishment. 

He is very anxious, fighting against time as his case worker has informed him that his case will be settled in the near future.

“I have pinned my hope on these few months. I am on the brink of life and death,” Shakir said. 

He is among the hundreds of Kurdish immigrants in Sweden who are waiting for their asylum cases to be decided this summer.

Hemin Uzer, 28, is another immigrant who has been waiting for more than one and a half year. He has neither been accepted nor told to go home.

“There is nothing more unpleasant than waiting. It is better to be told to go home than kept in waiting,” he said.

It can take more than a year for the Swedish Office of Immigration to settle asylum cases. Many Kurdish and Iraqi immigrants have been rejected over the past two years. But this year, new Kurdish immigrants in Sweden are hopeful.

“I believe we will be accepted this time,” Uzer said, who is living in a house with eight more immigrants. They say that they pay a lot of cash for the house they have rented.

According to the figures of Sweden’s immigration, 53,000 immigrants are waiting for their cases to be decided, of whom many are Kurds.

Sina Mohammadi is a Kurdish lawyer who is a case manager for many Kurds. Just like the immigrants, he is hopeful about their future and believes that most of them will be accepted.

“New immigrants have obtained experience in employment, studying and commitment to the tax system and the country’s executive relation,” Mohammadi said.

The immigration office has projected that the number of new immigrants in 2017 could reach 28,000, slightly fewer than last year’s figure of 29,000.

In the beginning of this year, Swedish media reported the country is processing about 105,000 cases. The latest figures, reported by Dagnsnihitr Newspaper, are that the Swedish immigration office has the ability to process 80,000 cases this year.

“We will be working on reducing the waiting time,” Sweden’s immigration minister Morgan Yohanson said.

According to the immigration office, work will be done in early August on the cases of 13,500 people who have applied for their residency permit to be renewed.

The cases will be judged in accordance with Sweden’s latest immigration law which came into effect on July 20, 2016. The law gives temporary status for some to remain if there is insecurity in their previous place of residence.

Yohana Lingberi works for an organization that supports immigrants.

“Last year’s law was a courageous but wrong step to take. I believe they will be rectifying it,” he said. “The immigration establishment’s first step can deal with the immigrants who have temporary leave to remain and have been successful in their assessment: being able to get a job and continue in their studies. These people can be treated specially, giving them indefinite leave to remain or a two-year leave to remain.”

Iraqi Kurds from outside the Kurdistan Region face further uncertainties on whether they will be forced to return to the war-ravaged state.

Sarmand Jalal is a Kurd who born in Mosul. He is one of those given the right to remain in the country according to the new immigration law. But he fears his residency permit might not be renewed. He currently works and studies two days a week.

“They haven’t told me anything officially. But they told me that my hometown was liberated, I had no problem and that my life is no longer in danger there,” he said. “That is why I fear they might not renew my residency permit.

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Kurds anxiously await decisions by Swedish immigration officials Kurds anxiously await decisions by Swedish immigration officials Reviewed by Unknown on 08:47:00 Rating: 5

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