Despite moving from Sweden, people have received benefits totalling several hundred million kronor.

The work of revoking residence permits has major shortcomings, according to a new audit by the Swedish National Audit Office.

When a person leaves Sweden for a longer period of time, the Swedish Migration Agency must revoke the permit.

But in 2020, 9,000 people still had their permanent residence permits, even though they had moved out of the country.

In almost half of the cases, emigration had been registered more than ten years ago.

Singling out the government

In addition, almost one in four people who were here to study completely lacked register data for studies in Sweden, and one in ten people with a work permit had no registered income from work.

But the Migration Board had not started any revocations in these cases either.

Both the government and the Swedish Migration Agency are pointed out as responsible for the shortcomings.

"The shortcomings are due, among other things, to the fact that the Government and the Swedish Migration Agency have not prioritised this sufficiently. This is not in line with the agency's statutory mandate," says Auditor General Helena Lindberg in a press release.

Between 2013-2022, the Government has not given the Swedish Migration Agency any goals, assignments or reporting requirements regarding revocation. The Swedish Migration Agency has also not developed a comprehensive process for the cases, according to the Swedish National Audit Office.

Grants disappear abroad

As a result, large sums of money have disappeared abroad as benefits have continued to be paid to people who have left Sweden. This amounts to up to SEK 430 million between 2013 and 2020, primarily financial assistance (social assistance), child benefit and parental benefit.

Secrecy between authorities contributes to the problems. For example, the Swedish Social Insurance Agency and the Swedish Pensions Agency can register a person as having moved away, but may not notify the Swedish Migration Agency.

The Swedish Migration Agency also finds it difficult to notify decisions on revocation. As a result, many decisions do not gain legal force and people can continue to enter Sweden and receive benefits to which they are not actually entitled.