Supervision and detention

If the Swedish Migration Agency believes that there is a risk that you will stay away or fail to cooperate in other ways, we may in some cases decide to impose supervision. If the Swedish Migration Agency considers that supervision is not sufficient, then you may be detained.

If you are 18 years old or over, you can be placed under supervision or detained if this is necessary, for example, to investigate your identity or your right to remain in Sweden. You can also be placed under supervision or detained if you have received, or are likely to receive, a decision on refusal of entry or expulsion and the Swedish Migration Agency considers that there is a risk you will commit a crime in Sweden, abscond, stay away or otherwise prevent or hinder the enforcement of the refusal of entry or expulsion.

Supervision

Supervision is a way for the Swedish Migration Agency to ensure you are accessible to the authority. If you receive a decision on supervision, this means you are obliged to report to either the Police or the Swedish Migration Agency at the place and times specified. The decision states where and when you must attend. You may also be forced to surrender your passport or other identity documents.

Time limit

A decision on supervision is valid for six months but can be extended. You will normally be invited to attend an oral investigation before the Swedish Migration Agency extends the decision on supervision.

Appealing against the decision on supervision

A decision on supervision can be appealed to the Migration Court at any time. You are not entitled to a public counsel solely on the grounds that you have received a decision on supervision.

Detention

The Swedish Migration Agency may detain you if we believe supervision is not sufficient to ensure you remain in contact. This may happen, for example, if you receive a decision on supervision but do not report to the authorities when you should, or if you otherwise fail to cooperate with the Swedish Migration Agency.

Detention means you will live in secure accommodation, which you are not allowed to leave. It is the Swedish Migration Agency that is responsible for this accommodation. A person who is detained has the right to receive visitors if this does present a hindrance. In some cases, the Swedish Migration Agency may decide to supervise such visits.

You may apply for a daily allowance while you are in detention, if you do not have any money of your own.

Read more about the daily allowance and special grant

Confidentiality and security

For reasons of confidentiality, the Swedish Migration Agency’s staff may not disclose who is being held in detention or where they are staying. The Swedish Migration Agency cannot therefore tell your family and friends where you are, but you will have the opportunity to contact them yourself from the detention centre.

People staying at the detention centre have access to a phone and the Internet. To protect the privacy of the residents, phones with cameras are not allowed at the detention centre. You may borrow a mobile phone without a camera, if you need one. There are also other items that are prohibited for reasons of security when you are held in detention. If the Swedish Migration Agency suspects you have an item you should not have, the staff have the right to carry out a physical search.

Men, women and also children live at the Swedish Migration Agency’s detention centres. There are, however, certain parts of the centre that are out of bounds in some cases. If it is necessary for the sake of order and security, the Swedish Migration Agency may decide that you should be held separate from others staying at the detention centre.

Time limit

The decision on detention can be valid for different periods, depending on the reason why you have been detained. The decision on detention can be renewed up to a maximum of twelve months, depending on the grounds on which the decision was made. Persons who have been ordered to be deported on the grounds of a criminal offence may be kept in detention for longer than twelve months.

Appealing against the decision on detention

A decision on detention can be appealed to a Migration Court at any time. Decisions made by Swedish Migration Agency staff within the detention centre can also normally be appealed to a Migration Court within three weeks of the date you were notified of the decision. If you have been placed in a detention centre, you may be entitled to a public counsel.

Children

If you are under the age of 18, the Swedish Migration Agency may decide to place you under supervision if you have received a decision on refusal of entry or expulsion. If you do not comply with your supervision when it is time for you to prepare to travel out of the country, the Swedish Migration Agency may decide to place you in detention instead.

The Swedish Migration Agency may also decide to place you under supervision if you have received, or it is likely you will receive, a decision on refusal of entry which must be enforced immediately, and it is clear that you will not cooperate to leave Sweden directly. If the Swedish Migration Agency believes supervision is not sufficient to prevent you from staying away, we may place you in detention instead.

Children must never be separated from both their custodians. A child may be kept in detention for a maximum of 72 hours. If there are exceptional grounds, this time can be extended by a further 72 hours, but never longer than this.

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

When you are placed in detention, the Swedish Migration Agency may decide that, instead of living at the Swedish Migration Agency’s detention centre, you should be placed in one of the Police’s detention centres or in one of the remand centres of the Swedish Prison and Probation Service. This only applies to persons over the age of 18.

The Swedish Migration Agency may make this kind of decision if

  • you are ordered to be deported on the grounds of criminal offence and it is not appropriate for you to be held in the detention centre
  • you are held separate from other detainees and you pose a risk to the security of the detention centre
  • it is necessary for reasons of transportation, but for three days maximum, or
  • there are exceptional grounds, for example, just before impending enforced travel.

The Swedish Migration Agency may also place persons who have received a decision on detention in a detention centre of the Police or the Swedish Prison and Probation Service for a short period, while transport is arranged to one of the Swedish Migration Agency’s detention centres.

Appealing against a decision on placement in another location

If you have been placed in an institution of the Prison and Probation Service, a remand centre or a Police detention centre, you may appeal against this to a Migration Court. You must submit your appeal to the Swedish Migration Agency within three weeks from the date you were notified of the decision at the latest.

Last updated: 6 September 2019

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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.