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When you turn 18 years

Under Swedish law you become an adult when you turn 18 years. This mean that you do not have the same right to support and assistance as unaccompanied minors have and your application will be examined under the same rules as for adult asylum seekers.

Just before you turn 18, or when the Swedish Migration Agency decides that your age will be changed to over 18, you will be summoned to a meeting where you will be given information about how your rights and obligations change when you turn 18.

Guar­dian

One important difference between being an unaccompanied minor and an adult asylum seeker is that, in general, you do not have the right to a guardian when you have turned 18. You guardian’s assignment ends since you are of legal age and no longer need a custodian. You have to handle all the contacts with the authorities and sign all documents by yourself.

Accom­mo­da­tion

The Swedish Migration Agency is responsible for arranging temporary accommodation for all adult asylum seekers who need it. The municipality where you live can demand that the Swedish Migration Agency takes over responsibility for arranging temporary accommodation for you as soon as the municipality receives information that you have turned 18 or the Swedish Migration Agency has changed your age to over 18. This can happen even if you appeal the Swedish Migration Agency’s decision to change your age.

If you need the help of the Swedish Migration Agency to arrange temporary accommodation, you cannot choose where you will live. You must move to a place where the Swedish Migration Agency has vacant accommodation. The Swedish Migration Agency tries to arrange accommodation for you near the area where you used to live, but there is no guarantee that it will turn out like that.

You can also choose to arrange accommodation on your own by, for example, living with relatives or friends. If so, you have to pay for the accommodation yourself.

Talk to your reception unit if you need help arranging accommodation.

Read more about temporary accommodation for adult asylum seekers

Finances

When you have turned 18, you are responsible for your own finances.

Read more about what type of financial support you can get from the Swedish Migration Agency

Healt­h­care and dental care

Child asylum seekers have the right to free dental care and healthcare. But an adult asylum seeker only has the right to acute healthcare and dental care and care that cannot be deferred. It is the staff at the hospital, health centre or dental clinic who assess whether you will be given care.

Adult asylum seekers must pay for doctor’s consultations and medicines. Present your LMA card and you will be able to pay a lower price.

Read more about healthcare for adult asylum seekers

School

If you are studying at upper secondary school, you have the right to continue attending school while you wait for decision on your application for asylum. Your right to continue your upper secondary level studies applies even if you must move to temporary accommodation provided by the Swedish Migration Agency in another municipality.

If you are not attending compulsory school or studying at upper secondary school but still want to study while waiting for a decision, you can ask your reception unit about “early action for asylum seekers” (so-called TIA).

Read more activities while you are waiting for a decision

If your asylum application is refused

If you have turned 18 it is no longer necessary that a relative or a public authority can receive you when you return.

If you have received a decision to return, you have to leave Sweden within the period stated in the decision, or immediately if no period is stated and the decision can no longer be appealed. If you do not leave Sweden within that period, there is a risk that you will be given a ‘re-entry ban’, i.e. you will not be allowed to enter Sweden again for 1–5 years.

You have the right to accommodation and financial support from the Swedish Migration Agency until your period for voluntary return expires, or when the decision can no longer be appealed if you were not given such a period. If you have children of your own who have also applied for asylum in Sweden, you have the right to extended support from the Swedish Migration Agency.

The Swedish Migration Agency will help you to prepare your journey as long as you cooperate.

Read more about what happens when an adult asylum seeker has their application refused

Last updated: 2020-04-27

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