27 July 2021

Temporary halt to taking and enforcing decisions pertaining to Afghanistan

In mid-July, the Swedish Migration Agency decided to halt enforcement decisions pertaining to Afghanistan. This means that no refusal of entry or deportation decisions will be made as long as the halt applies. The Swedish Migration Agency has also introduced a temporary halt of deportation decisions for Afghan cases.

The background to the decision is that the security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated and the Taliban movement continues to increase its control over the country. In recent months, the situation has changed rapidly in a large part of the country. As a result, it is currently difficult to obtain sufficient information to assess the right to asylum for asylum seekers from Afghanistan.

The Swedish Migration Agency has therefore now also introduced a decision-making halt in cases from Afghanistan. This means that no new decisions on refusal of entry or deportation will be taken until further notice.

Frequently asked question about the enforcement and decision-making halts in cases pertaining to Afghanistan

The enforcement halt means that the Swedish Migration Agency will not implement (enforce) refusal of entry or deportation decisions pertaining to Afghanistan (send someone to Afghanistan) as long as the halt applies. However, this does not mean that your asylum decision will be reviewed by the Swedish Migration Agency.

Anyone who has received a decision on refusal of entry or deportation is subject to the decision to halt the enforcement of cases pertaining to Afghanistan. This applies regardless of whether you have applied for asylum, a work permit, or a residence permit for some other reason. The enforcement halt also applies if your case has been handed over to the police.

The halt is valid until further notice. The Swedish Migration Agency is following developments in Afghanistan very closely and will continue to analyse the events in order to see whether long-term changes need to be made to the legal governance.

The enforcement halt means that the Swedish Migration Agency is not carrying out refusals of entry and deportations to Afghanistan. This applies regardless of whether a person has applied for asylum, a work permit, or a residence permit for some other reason. The deportation or refusal of entry decision that has been taken still applies, but cannot be enforced at the moment due to the uncertain situation in the country.

The decision-making halt means that the Swedish Migration Agency will pause cases from Afghanistan and not take any decisions on refusal of entry or deportation for people who have applied for asylum in Sweden as long as the halt applies.

The idea behind both the decision-making halt and the enforcement halt is that they should end as soon as possible. The fact that the Swedish Migration Agency has imposed a temporary halt will not affect what decision you receive. However, the changing security situation in Afghanistan can of course affect the outcome of how the Swedish Migration Agency will assess certain individual cases. It all depends on how the situation in Afghanistan develops.

The decision-making halt means that the Swedish Migration Agency is not taking decisions in asylum cases in which the applicant whose habitual residence is in Afghanistan. As an asylum seeker, you have the same rights and obligations as before.

You do not need to submit an application in order to be subject to the general enforcement halt. If your situation has changed and you have new reasons that prevent you from returning to Afghanistan, you can submit an application regarding individual impediments to enforcement. This applies even if your case is handled by the police. An application regarding impediments to enforcement can affect your right to aid under the Act on Reception of Asylum Seekers. Contact your nearest Unit for Reception for more information.

If your situation has changed and you have new reasons that prevent you from returning to Afghanistan, you can submit an application regarding impediments to enforcement.

No, you can always voluntarily return to your country of origin. An enforcement halt doesn’t change that. Contact your nearest Unit for Reception for more information.

If the deportation decision has already taken effect, certain conditions must be met in order for you to be entitled to aid again. First, you must submit an application for your case to be suspended (i.e., a formal decision to halt enforcement) or document that you have been granted a re-examination of your case. If you receive an individual decision on suspension or re-examination, you can file to report your right to aid under the Act on Reception of Asylum Seekers (housing and money). You submit this notification by visiting your Unit for Reception, where you can file an application for aid, this applies also if your case has been handed over to the police. If your case is handled by the police and you receive a decision on suspension you must inform the police of your address and suspension decision. Please note that if you have been out of the country or had a residence permit in the past, a suspension decision is not enough to be able to regain the right to aid.

If you have received a decision from the Swedish Migration Agency or a court that says you should be refused entry or deported to Afghanistan and the deadline for voluntary outward journey is about to expire, you have the possibility of receiving continued aid under the Act on Reception of Asylum Seekers. In that case, you will receive a decision on this from your Unit for Reception.

Both the decision-making halt and the enforcement halt are temporary but will last as long as the Swedish Migration Agency deems that there is insufficient information to make a new legal assessment. We do not yet know how long this will take.

Exceptions from the obligation to have a work permit (AT-UND) mean that an asylum seeker may have the right to work during the period of time that the person is waiting on a decision in his or her asylum case. If you have an on-going asylum process, or have been granted a new review of your right to protection, and are thereby awaiting a decision in your case, you may have the right to an AT-UND.

If you are still registered in the reception system, you may have the right to an AT-UND even if you have a deportation or entry refusal decision.

In all cases, you must meet the requirements to be granted an AT-UND.

Read more about what is required to get an AT-UND

If you have been deregistered from the Swedish Migration Agency’s reception system and have an enforceable deportation or entry refusal decision, you do not have the right to an AT-UND.

Contact your nearest reception unit for more information if you are uncertain what applies to you.