The asylum process

Here you can find useful information about the asylum process,  interpreters and legal assistance.

The asylum process consists of several meetings with case officers at the Swedish Migration Agency. For example a few, you will be called to do a reception unit enquiry interview and an asylum investigation. Follow this link to watch films on the different steps in an asylum process.

You have the possibility to ask for a specific gender of the interpreter, case manager and the public counsellor, in order for you to feel safe during the process.

If you are above 18 years of age, you have the right to meet with your public counsellor and your case manager without your co- applicants.

If you are under 18 years of age and have your legal guardians in Sweden, Swedish Migration Agency must ask for their permission in order to talk to you without their presence during an asylum examination. Read more about the asylum process for young people under 18 years.

As an asylum applicant you are entitled to free medical examination and emergency or urgent medical care. In some cities there are clinics targeting certain groups on for example sexual health or counselling. Specific groups could be women, youth and the lgbtq community. Ask your case manager for more information.

During the asylum process you may always contact non-governmental organizations for help and support. The more information you have on your rights and options, the better you are prepared for the different steps within the asylum process. RFSL is a non-profit organizations which works for the right of LGBTQ persons. RFSL-Newcomers is a network for asylum seeking and newly arrived LGBTQ people.

Read more at link, opens in new window 

When you meet with your asylum case officer

The asylum case officer will examine why you are seeking protection in Sweden. During the asylum investigation you will be asked several questions. If you feel that the case officer that does the investigation does not understand what it is you are explaining, or if you have information that the case manager does not ask you about but that you think might be relevant for your case, take initiative to say such things. Do not wait until you have gotten the decision.
A part of the task for the asylum case officer is to investigate who you are and how your identity is connected to what has happened to you. Therefore the case officer might have to ask questions on your sexual orientation, gender or gender identity. Limits of what is considered to be personal and private are different for everyone. If you think that the questions are too personal and private, explain in your own words how your life looks like or how you wish it could look like in your country of origin. See pages on treatment.

Communicating through interpreters

If you do not speak Swedish, we will use an interpreter during your visits. All interpreters are obligated to translate everything that is said in the room, without private opinion, political or religious views. When you apply for asylum, you will be asked if you wish for an interpreter or case officer of a specific gender. If you do not understand the interpreter or if you are under the impression that the interpreter is not translating objectively, you need to let us know. You should also let us know if you are friends or acquainted with the interpreter. If you have other questions or thoughts on the interpreter before you meeting, let us know.

The case manager often does not speak your language. Therefore, we cannot do anything to help the situation if you do not let us know if something is wrong. The interpreter is obligated to translate everything said in the room.

The interpreter might not be familiar with specific words used within a specific movement or social group. It might be a good idea to explain such words to the interpreter.

Explain why you need protection

The assessment of your asylum application is focused on future risk for persecution. Perhaps you would like to be able to live and express yourself in a way you have not been able to, due to the specific situation in your country of origin. Elaborate why the situation in your country of origin affects your fear and limits the ways in which you would like to be able to express yourself.

If you are under the impression that a specific incident in your past is a part of a bigger picture, and will affect your situation if you return to your country of origin, elaborate as detailed as you can so that the case officer can do a proactive assessment of your right to protection.

Give us your documents

Give us documents that prove your identity as soon as possible when you have applied for asylum. In the asylum process it is your responsibility to show us who you are through providing legitimate ID-documentation.

If possible, you should submit documents that support your fears. It could be a certificate from your country of origin, threat letters, photographs, doctors certificates or something else that supports your story.

You are entitled to copies of all documents from the Migration Agency and your legal counsel. Make sure you understand what is written about you and the situation in your country.

Support from a legal counsellor

During the asylum process you may be assisted by a legal counsellor to explain the reasons of your application.

You may suggest whom you want to help you. If you can, bring the name and contact information for your suggested counsellor when you first apply for asylum. If you do not know of a specific counsellor, you may suggest that your assigned counsellor has knowledge within a field related to your case.   
If a counsellor is assigned your case and has started to work together with you, it will take specific reasons for why a new counsellor should be assigned.

After the asylum investigation, you and you legal counsellor will receive a summary of the investigation that together with country of origin information, will form the basis of the decision in your case. If the asylum case officer has misunderstood something or if you have more information, you or your legal counsellor should inform us as soon as possible.

Last updated: 2018-08-23

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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.