Page manager Published: Thu 10 Nov 2016.

Residence Permit Decision Pending, Am I the only one?

Are you a second year Master's student? Are you holding a non-EU passport? Did you apply for extension of your residence permit? Are you still waiting for your decision? If most of your answers are yes, you should continue reading, otherwise sing Hallelujah and enjoy your life.

Here are some useful information and recent news about residence permit for second year international students who are in the same boat as I was a week ago. I know that all of us did our part in applying for the permit before the expiration date. Some of us applied early while some just applied in late august. But the point is, we did apply. We are good, responsible young people of the Earth. But, why is it taking so long? I’ve been talking to a lot of my fellow students, and I grouped them into 3 categories.

Category 1- early birds (applied early April)
Category 2- not so early birds (May-July)
Category 3- chillax birds (August)

Category 1- As the saying ‘Early birds catch the worms’ goes, yes they received their permits in August, more or less. You might think they are so lucky, and you should have known so that you would have done the same thing. But wait, there’s a plot twist. Some of these early birds ended up with rejections for their permits. So, the early birds do not always catch the worms but could be shot by the hunters first.  Anyway, I was told that the reason for rejection is because they applied too early. I don’t know if it is true but I was told that one can not apply earlier than 3 months before one’s permit expires. So, after the bad decision you have to go through a lot of paperwork to prove your innocence that you did it unintentionally or with little knowledge about the procedures to get back the 1000 sek application fee. At least swedes are nice people, they gave the money back. Things might be a little different in our countries, and we all know that. Peace!!

Category 2- I belong to this category, even though we didn’t apply so early, at least we did in good time, at least that was how I felt. And this group is less complicated because most of us are still checking our mail boxes and emails expecting the good news. In some case, stalking the migrationsverket website for at least twice a week. In extreme case, calling and emailing every individual you know in Sweden asking them about your permit. Trust me, they don’t have the information and they can not help you. But I can say most of the ‘not so early birds’ are still waiting for our good day. Let our faith be bigger than our fear, cheers!!

Category 3 - Knowing that some of us applied way earlier than these people, and still have not received a decision, they should not feel bad or even complain. I say, they have no right to complain, period. So, if you belong to category 2 and have not yet received your permit, you might think ‘good luck with that, chillax birds.’ You might be right because most of them are still waiting but surprisingly, I got a text message from a friend who is one of the chillax birds telling me he got his permit last week. HOLY MOLY!! 

I’m not trying to make any points here, it is just the way things are right now.

Interestingly, my story is a little different because it does not only involve waiting. It takes more than that. In mid September, 2015 of course, I have come to the knowledge that I will be travelling to Asia in the middle of November as a student ambassador for Chalmers, I could take a week off to travel and see my family as well. But the only problem was my permit. So, I started off with emailing the Migrationsverket, then they replied (after some time) with the whereabouts of my case and the contact number. On a Monday morning, first thing I did at 8 o’clock in the morning was calling the office. The first officer I met on the phone told me to wait for a week and promised me I would get it within a few weeks. After hearing from my friends (as mentioned above) about how they have already received their permits, I could not stay put, so I called them after a week, and the officer told me to go to the Migration office in Gothenburg. As naive and obedient as I was, I went there, participated in the lovely Swedish culture of queuing for 4 hours (seriously) and came back with nothing. No new information. At that moment, I started to ask the question of fairness, my rights and justice, as I was so upset. The Messiah could have come twice already with the time they are taking with my permit, I felt. So, I turned on my stubborn mode (ask my parents about it) and called them every morning at 8 o’clock. Then ended up calling a few different offices, talked to more than 10 officers until I got a hold on my case officer (stubbornness & perseverance rule). She told me to submit different documents (air ticket, invitation letter etc.) to apply for priority request. To be honest, I was wondering why I need permission to enjoy my life because I did everything correctly. But on the bright side at least I found a way to obtain what I want. So, I filed in all the documents requested as soon as possible. After a week, I got a letter in my mailbox with the good news ‘Hallelujah, praise the Lord.’ 

To all the students who await decisions from Migrationsverket, I understand the frustration but from my experience, waiting is the best option if you don’t have travelling plans, otherwise apply for priority request like I did. Trust me, winter is coming, you need to save your energy to cope with things that winter brings. According to the officers from Migrationsverket, they are working really hard and your permits are in queue. Once it is your turn, the case officer will go through it and make a decision. I really hope these information help ease your worries and concerns. Just hang in there, because you are not in this situation alone. Meanwhile, some prayers won’t hurt.

Written by: Daphne Hingert

Page manager Published: Thu 10 Nov 2016.