Swedish entry visas increase by 50 percent in five years

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During the last five years, the number of Swedish entry visa applications has increased by 50 percent, according to the Swedish Migration Board. At the same time, the percentage of visa application denials is decreasing.

150,200 people applied for entry visas to Sweden in 2003. Nearly 13 percent of these applicants were denied. In 2007, the number of visa applications increased to 227,400 -- however, only 9 percent of applicants were denied.

The Swedish Migration Board attributed the statistics to improving situations in some parts of the globe. The Board mentioned the improved political stability in countries such as Turkey and the Balkan states as an example.

Sweden has also been allowing more people to enter under relaxed visa rules.

The top two countries requesting entry visas in 2007 were Russia and China, with both making up 43 percent of all applications during that year. Just over one percent of Russian applicants were denied a Swedish visa, while half of a percent of Chinese applicants were denied.