Questions and answers regar­ding the situ­a­tion in Afgha­nistan

Här hittar du frågor och svar med anledning av situationen i Afghanistan.

In connection with the Swedish Migration Agency’s decision to adopt a new judicial position on Afghanistan, the enforcement halt and the decision halt have been removed. This means that the Swedish Migration Agency will continue to work as usual to process asylum cases for Afghan citizens. However, the deteriorating security situation will mean that more people, including those who have previously received deportation decisions, can receive protection in Sweden and the opportunity to stay in the country.

If you have received a valid refusal of entry or deportation decision and there are new individual reasons why you cannot return to Afghanistan and you want these reasons to be examined, you have the opportunity to apply for a re-examination of your protection reasons.

If you have received a valid refusal of entry or deportation decision and there are new individual reasons why you cannot return to Afghanistan and you want these reasons to be examined, you have the opportunity to apply for a re-examination of your protection reasons.

The examination takes place in two steps. The Swedish Migration Agency will first review whether you can be granted a re-examination of your right to protection in Sweden. The agency then investigates your right to protection. This may mean that you might need to undergo a new oral investigation. Only after your case has been investigated can you receive a decision granting you a residence permit.

The right to have your grounds for asylum re-examined applies to people who have received a deportation decision and who are currently in Sweden.

Read more about how to apply for a re-examination of your case

The Swedish Migration Agency examines the protection reasons the person says she/he has that cause her/him to need protection. We also examine the case based on current country information, which is the knowledge the Swedish Migration Agency has regarding the situation in the person’s country of origin. The Swedish Migration Agency keeps up to date on how the situation in a country evolves and changes.

The Swedish Migration Agency is also responsible for ensuring that asylum seekers have a place to live while their case is being examined and may grant financial support if the person has no money of her/his own.

Once the person leaves the country, she/he is no longer the responsibility of the Swedish Migration Agency. Unfortunately, the Swedish Migration Agency cannot help someone who is in Afghanistan.

The responsibility of the Swedish Migration Agency ceases as soon as the person has left Sweden. The Swedish Migration Agency may become responsible again if the person returns to Sweden and is potentially granted a re-examination of their protection reasons.

Read more about how to apply for a re-examination

Yes, you can apply for asylum again if your case has been statute-barred, i.e., if four years have passed since your refusal of entry or deportation decision began to apply. In such an instance, your reasons for asylum will be examined and you have the right to apply for aid under the Act on Reception of Asylum Seekers.

If your decision is not statute-barred, i.e., if less than four years have passed, your refusal of entry or deportation decision still applies. If you have new reasons for asylum, you can report an impediment to enforcement. The Swedish Migration Agency will then examine whether there are obstacles to enforcing your refusal of entry or expulsion decision or whether you should be granted a re-examination of your new reasons for asylum.

Please note that you must be in Sweden in order to apply for asylum as well as to apply for individual impediments to enforcement (i.e., a re-examination of your right to protection).

Once you have gotten to Sweden and submitted an application for asylum, the Swedish Migration Agency examines your reasons for asylum. However, we cannot be responsible for how you get here. The Swedish Migration Agency is not responsible for helping someone who is in Afghanistan.

It is not possible to apply for asylum at a Swedish mission abroad. Any application must be submitted directly to the Swedish Migration Agency or to the Swedish police in connection with entering Sweden. Unfortunately, the Swedish Migration Agency cannot help someone who is in Afghanistan.

The mission of the Swedish Migration Agency is to examine applications from people who wish to settle in Sweden, to visit the country, to seek for protection from persecution, or to become Swedish citizens. Unfortunately, the Swedish Migration Agency cannot help someone who is in Afghanistan. Only within the framework of the Swedish refugee quota has the Swedish Migration Agency worked on an adapted plan for resettlement to Sweden for people who have worked for the Swedish Armed Forces in Afghanistan and their close relatives.

The Swedish Migration Agency does not decide which people to evacuate from Afghanistan.

As for the work of proposing individuals for resettlement in Sweden, i.e., quota refugees, the Swedish Migration Agency itself has no mandate to identify or present candidates for resettlement. Instead, it is the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), or in some cases a Swedish embassy, that presents cases to the Swedish Migration Agency. The Swedish Migration Agency is then responsible for taking decisions about residence permits for these individuals.

If there are still people in Afghanistan who have worked for Swedish interests, they should contact the nearest representative of the UNHCR. People with a residence permit or citizenship in Sweden should register themselves on the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ “Swedish list”.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ “Swedish list” on swedenabroad.se (in Swedish) External link, opens in new window.

UNHCR’s website External link, opens in new window.

No, it is not possible to apply for a residence permit as a quota refugee. Only the UNHCR or a Swedish mission abroad can propose people for resettlement. Above all, it is vulnerable minorities, women and children who are presented for resettlement. The Swedish Migration Agency conducts an individual examination of the application in accordance with the Aliens Act.

Although the emergency evacuation operation carried out at the end of August 2021 is complete, the Swedish Migration Agency continues its work to investigate and take decisions in cases presented to us within the context of the Swedish refugee quota. This mission includes transferring these persons to Sweden. At present, the Swedish Migration Agency cannot say when these quota refugee selections will occur.

The Swedish Migration Agency and other Swedish authorities that have been on the ground in Afghanistan have mainly been able to help people with a connection to Sweden or those who have worked for Sweden in some way. The role of the Swedish Migration Agency has been to examine applications for residence permits for those who have been selected to come here within the context of the Swedish quota system. On the other hand, the Swedish Migration Agency cannot select which people will be subject to evacuation and resettlement in Sweden. This decision is made by the UNHCR, or in some instances by a Swedish mission abroad.

As regards family members of persons who are in Sweden, the Swedish Migration Agency has no mandate or mission to make any specific efforts for those persons. The rules of the Aliens Act have not changed, and the handling of cases is the same as before. From a legal perspective, people who apply for a residence permit on the grounds of close family ties do not have protection reasons. This means that these persons may apply for a residence permit on the grounds of their close family ties to someone in Sweden in accordance with the same rules as before.

People who have worked for Sweden or have another connection here and want protection can turn to their nearest UNHCR representative for help.

A temporary residence permit due to close family ties usually applies for the same period as the residence permit granted to the close relative in Sweden, or for two years. However, if the person has a passport with a short period of validity, the length of the residence permit may be affected. In such cases, the permit period may be limited to the period for which the passport applies. Thus, a temporary residence permit expires on a specific date. The permit period may vary but should generally be no longer than two years. If a temporary residence permit granted on the grounds of close family ties has expired, this means that the person in Sweden needs to have her/his residence permit extended – only then can a new application be filed for her/his relatives in Afghanistan. The Swedish Migration Agency understands that it will be very difficult for the individual to resolve this, but the authority needs to comply with the current regulations.

Family members who have a residence permit or citizenship in Sweden can sign up on the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ “Swedish list”.

If you live in Sweden and your family member has no residence permit or citizenship in Sweden, in some cases she/he may have the right to apply for a residence permit on the grounds of close family ties to you. There are no specific rules for people from Afghanistan; the same rules apply to anyone applying on the grounds of close family ties.

Read more about the requirements for family reunification

The Swedish Migration Agency cannot help family members who have no connection to Sweden; we can only offer references to the aid organisations that are on the ground or in neighbouring countries.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ “Swedish list” on swedenabroad.se (in Swedish) External link, opens in new window.

UNHCRs’ website External link, opens in new window.

Swedish Red Cross website External link, opens in new window.

Swedish committee for Afghanistan External link, opens in new window.

The Aliens Act still applies. This means that each individual case is always examined. On the other hand, the law provides very little opportunity for people outside the nuclear family (spouses, cohabiting partners, registered partners, children under 18 years of age) to be granted a residence permit in Sweden.

In exceptional cases, other family members outside the nuclear family may be granted residence permits to move to someone in Sweden. In such an instance, you must be able to demonstrate that you lived together immediately before you moved to Sweden, that you were already socially and emotionally dependent on each other while in your country of origin, and that it is therefore difficult for you to live apart.

The application must be submitted as soon as possible after you moved to Sweden. As a rule, it is not possible to obtain a residence permit if the application is made a long time after you moved here or if your interdependence arose after you moved to Sweden.

A person applying for a residence permit to move to Sweden needs to have a passport for two reasons:

If you are applying for a residence permit, you must prove your identity. You normally do this with a valid passport document. If you cannot prove your identity with a valid passport, you can sometimes do so with other documents. If you do not have a passport or other identity documents, in some cases you can be granted a residence permit by proving your biological family relationship with the person in Sweden. This only applies to families with children who lived together outside Sweden. It is therefore only possible to prove the family relationship between parents and underage children, not between spouses. No changes concerning this have been made to the Aliens Act.

The second reason you need a passport is that you must have a valid travel document in order to get a residence permit and travel to Sweden. Ideally, it should be a national passport, i.e., a passport issued by the authorities of the country of which you are a citizen. If you cannot obtain a national passport, you can apply for an alien’s passport when you submit your application for a residence permit at a Swedish embassy or consulate in a country other than the one of which you are a citizen.

An application for asylum must be submitted by the person to whom the application applies. This means you cannot apply on behalf of your family. It is not possible to apply for asylum at a Swedish mission abroad. An asylum application must be submitted directly to the Swedish Migration Agency or to the Swedish police in connection with entering Sweden.

Just like under normal circumstances, in order to be granted an entry visa you must fulfil the requirements set out in the EU Visa Code. Among other things, this means that you must be able to show that you intend to leave Sweden and the Schengen Area after the entry visa’s period of validity expires. Thus, no exceptions are made for citizens of Afghanistan. A visa application must be submitted to a Swedish embassy or consulate-general.

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