Asylum application – what happens then?

At the Swedish Migration Agency there are different units. You could say that a unit is an office. The first unit that you and your family arrive at is the Application Unit. This is where you will apply for asylum.

On this page you can read about what happens when you submit your asylum application.

The Application Unit is responsible for receiving applications from people who are applying for asylum. When your application has been registered you have the right to be in Sweden while you are waiting for a decision on your application.

Conver­sa­tion with the Migra­tion Agency staff

At the Application Unit you will meet the Migration Agency's staff. They will ask you many questions, for example

  • how you are feeling
  • what your names are
  • when you were born
  • where you are from
  • which languages you speak
  • how you have travelled to Sweden
  • why you have left your home country and what you think will happen if you go back.

If you are scared of somebody or something it is important that you tell us about it.

The staff will ask these questions so they can enter you into the Migration Agency's computer database. Then they will continue to work on your application. When you come to Sweden you will get similar questions from both the Migration Agency and the municipality where you live. This is because the Migration Agency and the municipality have different computer systems, not because you have given the wrong answers.
It is important for the Migration Agency to know the reasons why you and your family cannot stay in your home country and how you are feeling now. The staff wants to talk to you and hear your own story.

If you can't or don't want to say anything to the staff when they ask you, you can always contact the Migration Agency later. You can also do so if there is anything bothering you or if you have any questions.

So that you and the staff at the Migration Agency will be able to understand each other, an interpreter will translate what you say. The interpreter can speak both Swedish and the language that you speak. The interpreter will either sit in the same room as you or take part via telephone or video. Through the interpreter the Migration Agency's staff and you can speak to each other. The interpreter will only translate what is said. The interpreter is sworn to secrecy.

It is important that you and the interpreter understand each other and that you dare tell everything when the interpreter is present. If you don't understand the interpreter or if you, for example, are related to the interpreter, you must tell us.

Obligation of secrecy means that the Migration Agency cannot reveal anything about you to someone who isn't legally entitled to know. Everyone who works at the Migration Agency is sworn to secrecy. Interpreters and public counsels are also sworn to secrecy.

A public counsel is a person who knows Swedish laws. He or she will help you and your family with your asylum application. A public counsel is a lawyer or solicitor.

Is everyone entitled to a public counsel?

If the Migration Agency assesses that you need help with your asylum application, you will receive help from a public counsel. You will not have to pay for the public counsel.

Identity is about who you are, what your name is, when you were born, where you are from and who your parents are.

Show who you are

The Migration Agency wants to know who you are and where you are from in order to be able to make the right decision. It is you parents' responsibility to show what your names are and where you are from. The best way to show your identity is by showing your passports or ID cards, for example.

If your parents cannot show who you are it will be hard for the Migration Agency to assess whether you have the right to asylum or not. The Migration Agency can make decisions more quickly if your parents show who you are.

When you apply for asylum, the Migration Agency will photograph you. All of your family will be photographed. The Migration Agency uses the photographs in its computer system and for Asylum Seeker cards.

What is an Asylum Seeker card (LMA-kort)? 

LMA means the Act on Reception of Asylum Seekers. An Asylum Seeker card is a plastic card with a photo of you on it. You will receive the card after you have applied for asylum in Sweden. It is proof that you are an asylum seeker and that you can stay in Sweden while you are waiting for a decision.

If you are 16 years old or older and have assisted in showing who you are, you may have the right to work in Sweden while you are an asylum seeker. If so, it will be stated on your Asylum Seeker card.

The Migration Agency takes fingerprints to check if you have applied for asylum in Sweden or another European country before. The same day that you are at the Application Unit the staff will take your parents' fingerprints. If you are 6 or older they will take your fingerprints too. If you are under 14 your fingerprints will not be used for any controls.

Fingerprints are taken when you press your fingers against a machine that reads your fingerprints.

What does the Swedish Migra­tion Agency do with the fing­er­prints?

The fingerprints are sent to several databases. One of these is in Sweden. In one database the Migration Agency can see if you have applied for asylum in Sweden before.

The European Union has another database called Eurodac. All of the EU countries, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland can see this database. If you have applied for asylum in one of these countries it will show up in the database. These countries are called the Dublin countries.

The European Union has another database called VIS. If you have applied for a permit at an embassy of any of the EU member states to travel to any of the EU countries, for example as a tourist or to visit relatives or friends, it will show in this database.

What does the EU mean?

The European Union is called the EU. Sweden has been a member of the EU since 1995. 28 countries are members of the EU.

In the EU countries and Norway, Iceland and Switzerland there are rules about which country is responsible for an asylum application. The rules say that only one country considers the application. These rules are called the Dublin Regulation and apply as a law.

If you have been in another Dublin country before you came to Sweden, you may have to go back there. This can apply in the following cases:

  • You have already applied for asylum in another Dublin country and had your application considered there.
  • Your have been granted permission from another country to travel into the EU.
  • You have travelled without permission into a country that has signed the Dublin Regulation.

If another Dublin country is going to consider your asylum application your parents will be called to a meeting at the Migration Agency. This meeting is called a communication.

What is a commu­ni­ca­tion?

A communication is a conversation between your parents and the staff at the Migration Agency. At this conversation you will receive information about the Dublin Regulation and that another country can become or has become responsible for considering your asylum application. Your parents will also have the opportunity to say if they have any reason to not go to the other Dublin country. They can say why you want your application to be considered in Sweden instead.

Appe­aling a Dublin deci­sion

If your parents are not happy with the Migration Agency's decision they are entitled to appeal the decision to a Migration Court.

The Migration Court will not consider why you have applied for asylum. It will only decide which country should consider your grounds for asylum.

If your parents have appealed your Dublin decision, you don't have the right to stay in Sweden while the Migration Court considers your case. Your journey to the other Dublin country will only be suspended if the Migration Agency or the court says that the journey should be suspended.

If your case is a Dublin case you are not entitled to a public counsel. Your parents can get help themselves from a lawyer or a solicitor. A public counsel is a person who knows Swedish laws. In this case your parents must pay for the lawyer or solicitor.

If the Migration Court decides that you must travel to another Dublin country your parents will be called to a meeting at the Migration Agency. If you and your parents want you to be at this meeting you are allowed to be there. At the meeting you will be informed that you will travel to the country that is written in your decision. The decision is called a transfer decision. You will also find out your travel arrangements. Staff from the Migration Agency will accompany you to the plane. Staff from the authorities in the country you arrive at will meet you.

Appe­aling the Migra­tion Court's Dublin deci­sion

If your parents are not happy with the decision they can appeal to the Migration Court of Appeal. If the Migration Court of Appeal wants to consider your appeal it is this court that decides if your application will be considered in Sweden or in another Dublin country.

If the Migration Court changes the Migration Agency's Dublin decision the Migration Agency can appeal the decision to the Migration Court of Appeal. If the Migration Agency appeals the Migration Court's decision it is the Migration Court of Appeal that decides whether it will consider the appeal. If the court wants to consider the appeal it is this court that decides whether your appeal will be considered in Sweden or in another Dublin country.

If the Migration Agency does not appeal the Migration Court's decision, the asylum process will continue in Sweden. The Migration Agency's staff will then summon you to an asylum investigation.

If you wish to know more

The Dublin Regulation applies in the following EU countries:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

The Dublin Regulation also applies in Norway, Iceland and Switzerland even though they are not EU members.

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