Detention and supervision

If the Migration Agency determines that it is necessary to know where you are and to facilitate getting hold of you, in some cases you may be subjected to a decision concerning supervision. If the Migration Agency decides that supervision is not sufficient you may be detained.

If you are 18 years or older you may be put under supervision or detained, for example if it is necessary in investigating your identity or your right to a permit. You can also be put under supervision or detained if you have received, or it is probable that you will receive, a decision to refuse entry or an expulsion order and the Migration Agency determines that there is a risk of you staying hidden, or obstructing or making the refusal of entry or expulsion more difficult in other ways. 

Children as well as adults can be detained if the Migration Agency decides that you are to travel to another EU member state in accordance with the Dublin Regulation, and determines that there is a risk of you staying hidden or obstructing the transfer in other ways.

Read more about the Dublin Regulation

Supervision

In some cases, the Migration Agency may decide to place you under supervision. Supervision is a way for the Migration Agency to make sure that you keep in touch with us. If you receive a decision concerning supervision you are obliged to sign in at set times, either at the Police or the Migration Agency at a certain location. The decision states when and where you have to sign in. You may also have to hand over your passport or other identification documents.

Limitation period

A decision concerning supervision lasts for six months, but can be extended. Usually you are called to a verbal investigation before the Migration Agency extends the decision concerning supervision.

Appeal against a decision concerning supervision

You may lodge an appeal against a decision concerning supervision at any time. You cannot obtain public counsel merely because you have received a decision about supervision.

Detention

The Migration Agency can detain if we determine that supervision is not sufficient to make you keep in touch. This may be the case, for example, if you have a decision concerning supervision and do not sign in when you are supposed to, or do not cooperate with the Migration Agency in other ways.

Detention means that you live in a locked facility (a detention centre) which you cannot leave. The Migration Agency is responsible for these facilities. People who are detained have the right to receive visitors if it does not obstruct the facility operation. In some cases, the Migration Agency may decide that such visits are to be supervised.

When you are detained you have the right to medical care which cannot be postponed, and you can also apply for daily allowance and a special grant if you lack financial means of your own.

Read more about daily allowances and special grants

Secrecy and security

Due to secrecy, the staff of the Migration Agency cannot reveal who is being detained and where they are being held. Thus the Migration Agency cannot tell your family and your friends where you are, but you can contact them yourself from the detention centre.

People in detention have access to telephones and Internet. To protect the integrity of the persons being kept in detention, cameras or phones with cameras are not allowed. You can borrow a mobile phone without a camera if you need to. There are other objects as well that you are not allowed to have while in detention. If the Migration Agency suspects that you have an object you are not allowed to have, the staff can perform a body search.

Men, women, and children all stay in Migration Agency detention centres, although in some cases there are special parts of the detention centre where men are not allowed. If it is necessary in order to achieve order and security, the Migration Agency may decide to keep you separated from the others who are being kept at the detention centre.

Limitation period

The decision to keep you in detention can be in effect for between 48 hours and two months, depending on the reasons to keep you in detention. The decision concerning detention can be renewed and in some cases you may be kept in detention for twelve months or longer.

Appeal against a decision concerning detention

You may appeal against a decision concerning detention at any time. An appeal against a decision by the Migration Agency staff in the detention centre may usually be made to a Migration Court within three weeks from the decision. If you are kept in detention you may have right to public counsel.

Children

If you are under 18 years of age the Migration Agency may decide to put you under supervision if you have received a decision concerning refusal of entry or expulsion. If you neglect your supervision when it is time for you to leave the country, the Migration Agency may decide to keep you in detention instead.

The Migration Agency may also decide to put you under supervision if you have received, or if it is probable that you will receive, a refusal of entry with immediate effect, and it is obvious that you will not cooperate in leaving Sweden immediately. If the Migration Agency determines that supervision is not sufficient to keep you from staying away, we may keep you in detention instead.

Read more about decision on refusal of entry with immediate effect

Decisions to keep children in detention are almost never made, and children must not be separated from both their guardians. A child may be detained for 72 hours at the most. If there are particular grounds to do so, the time may be extended for another 72 hours, but never for longer than six days.

Placement in other locations than the Migration Agency’s detention centres

When you are kept in detention the Migration Agency may decide that instead of staying in the Migration Agency’s detention centre, you will be placed in one of the Police detention facilities or in one of the Swedish Prison and Probation Service’s detention or prison facilities. This only concerns those who are 18 years of age or older.

The Migration Agency may make such a decision if:

  • you are sentenced to deportation because of a criminal offence and it is not appropriate to keep you in  a Migration agency detention centre;
  • you are being kept isolated from others in the detention unit and have been determined to be a security risk in the detention unit; or
  • there are exceptional circumstances against your staying in the facility.

If there is a decision to keep you in detention the Migration Agency may also place you with the Police or the Swedish Prison and Probation Service for a short period of time while transport to one of the Migration Agency’s detention centres is arranged.

Appeal against decision concerning placement in other location

If you are placed in a police detention facility or institution, you can appeal against the decision to a Migration Court. You have to submit your appeal at the latest within three weeks of receiving the decision.

Last updated: 16 April 2018

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If you wish to ask the Migration Agency a question you can find our contact details under the heading Contact us.