How to apply for asylum

If you want to apply for asylum in Sweden you need to go to the Migration Agency to hand in your application. It is not possible to apply for asylum before you get to Sweden.

If you meet the border police when entering Sweden you have to tell them that you want to apply for asylum. There are border police for example at the passport control point in international airports, at ferry terminals and where trains and buses enter Sweden. The border police will ask you some questions and will then refer you to the Migration Agency, where you hand in your asylum application.

If you are already in Sweden, you should contact the Migration Agency yourself. You can apply for asylum at one of the Migration Agency’s application units in Gothenburg, Malmö or Stockholm.

Where to find the Migration Agency units for asylum applications

The Migration Agency will register your application

When you apply for asylum you have to describe who you are, why you want to apply for asylum and how you travelled to Sweden.

You must state who you are

If you have a passport or any other identification documents you have to hand them in to prove your identity: what your name is, when you were born and what country you are a citizen of. It is important that you show your identity in order for the Migration Agency to be able to make the correct decision.

If you are unable to hand in any identification documents you have to try to prove who you are in some other way. This you can do, for example, with your birth certificate, family or military registration documents or marriage certificate. Such documents do not individually prove your identity, but sometimes several documents together are accepted as proof of your identity.

Find out more about the reason why you must state who you are

The Migration Agency will register you as an asylum seeker using the name and other information given in your identification documents. This may mean, for example, that transgender persons are registered under the name and gender that they were designated at birth. Unfortunately, Swedish law does not allow us to register you under any other name, but if you want to use another first name or personal pronoun you need to tell us, and we will make a note of this. It’s also a good idea if you tell us at this stage if you have special reasons for wanting an interpreter, counsel or investigator of a particular gender, or if you don’t want to share a room with other asylum seekers of a particular gender.

You will be photographed and have your fingerprints taken

When you apply for asylum you will be photographed and your fingerprints will be taken. Your photograph will be added to the Migration Agency’s register and will be used on the Asylum Seeker card (LMA-card) you will receive as proof that you are an asylum seeker. Children under the age of six do not have to have their fingerprints taken.

The fingerprints are used to check whether you have applied for asylum in any other Schengen country and if you have a residence permit or prohibition in any Schengen country. If the fingerprint check shows that you have been registered in another country on your way to Sweden, or that you have already applied for asylum in another country, the Migration Agency will determine which country should examine your application for asylum. In determining this, the EU’s Dublin Regulation will be applied.

No fingerprint check is carried out for children under the age of 14.

Read more about the Dublin Regulation

Application interview

Once you have been photographed and fingerprinted you will meet with an investigator. With the help of an interpreter you will describe who you are, why you left your home country and how you travelled to Sweden. You will also be asked about your family and about your health.

If you have a functional disability, meaning that you have a reduced ability of functioning physically, mentally or intellectually, you should tell the Migration Agency. If your functional disability makes it difficult for you to communicate with the Migration Agency when you’re applying for asylum, you are entitled to receive help. You are also entitled to accommodation which is adapted to your needs.

You will be given information about the asylum process – what the next step is and what you need to do. You will also receive information about practical issues such as your right to accommodation, financial support, health care and education for your children.

You should primarily try to support yourself financially while you are waiting for the decision. If you are not earning any money and have no other assets, you can apply for financial support from the Migration Agency.

Later on you will be summoned to an asylum investigation in which you tell us more about why you fled and what you think would happen to you if you had to return.

Manifestly unfounded application

If it is obvious that there are no grounds for granting you asylum, the investigator will explain that the Migration Agency does not consider that you have any reasons for asylum, and that a decision will be issued to you within a few weeks. If you have no valid reasons at all for asylum you will receive a decision on refusal of entry with immediate effect.

Read more about what it means to receive a decision on refusal of entry with immediate effect

After you have handed in your application

An investigator will go through all your documents, what you have told the Migration Agency and what your fingerprint check has shown. The investigator will decide, on the basis of the information you have provided, the extent of investigation needed in your case. All applications are different and therefore require different amounts of investigation.

The investigator will prepare your application for the continued investigation. This can involve such things as obtaining information from other government agencies. If you need to make additions to your application, the investigator will contact you. Such additions may, for example, be needed if you didn’t provide any identification documents with your application.

Waiting for an asylum investigation

If your application is to be decided in Sweden, you may remain here while waiting for the Migration Agency to determine whether you have the right to a residence permit.

It may take a long time before you come to an asylum investigation. You will then be given the chance to tell us more about why you want to seek asylum in Sweden, what has happened to you and what you think may happen if you have to return to your country of origin. Waiting times can also vary from person to person.

You may be called to several meetings before you get a decision. Come at the times the Migration Agency has booked for you. It is difficult to make new appointments and you may have to wait longer for a decision if we have to rearrange times.

Read more about waiting for your asylum investigation

Notify your address

If you move, you must notify the Migration Agency of your new address, so that we can reach you when the time comes for your investigation or other meetings. Check your mail regularly so that you do not miss information from the Migration Agency.

Extending the permit

If you have a residence permit for a limited period and you want to remain in Sweden, you must apply for an extension before it expires. You may be granted an extended residence permit if you still need protection. You may also be granted a residence permit if you have other reasons for remaining in Sweden.

Find out more about what to do to extend your residence permit.

Last updated: 31 January 2018

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