The Swedish Migration Agency revised its projection for asylum seekers applications to 29,000. The projection in July was 34,500.
Tuesday’s downward revision is the fifth this year. In the February, Sweden projected over 80,000 asylum applications for 2016.
The projection for 2017 has also been lowered from 51,200 to 36,700.
Expectations were raised in 2015, when Sweden surpassed the 1992 record of Asylum seekers – following the War in former Yugoslavia – with refugee applications from Syria nearing 90,000.
Disruption of migration flow
In effect, border controls in the Schengen zone, the raising of fences, and the EU-Turkish deal have cut immigration to Sweden by about 2/3.
Speaking to the Swedish public broadcaster, the Migration Agency analyst Arvid Zheng Norin explained that Sweden expects sustained difficulty in traveling to Greece via Turkey. That means, Sweden expects the EU-Turkey agreement to hold. Sustained border controls that are expected to remain in place are also projected to disrupt the flow.
“That means that it’s just so much more difficult to reach Sweden,” the analyst said.
Tougher border controls signaled a dramatic reversal of the original Swedish asylum policy in July, which made it harder for asylum seekers to secure permanent residency.