Protection status

Sweden has signed the UN Refugee Convention. Under the convention, refugees have the right to receive an officially recognised status as refugees.

The Swedish Aliens Act also follows the EU Qualification Directive, which gives everyone who receives a residence permit on the grounds that they need protection the right to an official status as well.

If you are considered to be a refugee you will receive a refugee status declaration – an internationally recognised status based on rules in the Geneva Convention as well as in the EU Qualification Directive.

If you are considered to be a person in need of subsidiary protection you will receive a subsidiary protection status declaration – an internationally recognised status based on the regulations in the EU Qualification Directive.

There is a third type of protection status, as a person otherwise in need of protection. This status only applies in Sweden and is not being used, as a general rule, after 20 July 2016. As a result of a law that came into force on 20 July 2016, this protection status can only be given to children and families with children who applied for asylum on or before 24 November 2015, provided that the child in question is still under 18 years old when the decision is made.

Permanent or temporary residence permit

Anyone who has been granted a residence permit as a refugee, as a person in need of subsidiary protection or as a person otherwise in need of protection before 20 July 2016 received a permanent residence permit.

Anyone who is considered to be a refugee and receives a decision after 20 July 2016 will be granted a temporary residence permit valid for three years.

Anyone who is considered to be a person in need of subsidiary protection and receives a decision after 20 July 2016 will be granted a temporary residence permit valid for 13 months.  

Read more about permanent residence permits

Read more about temporary residence permits valid for three years

Read more about temporary residence permits valid for 13 months

Applying for a specific status after receiving a residence permit

If you have been granted a residence permit in Sweden, but no official status declaration, you can apply for one afterwards. This also applies if you have been granted status declaration as a person otherwise in need of protection, but would like to change your status to a person in need of subsidiary protection or to refugee status, as well as if you have been granted status as a person in need of subsidiary protection but would like to change it to refugee status.

You apply for a status declaration after receiving a residence permit by filling in form number 158011, Application for protection status.

Application for protection status, form number 158011 (only in Swedish)PDF

Appealing a status declaration

A status declaration can be appealed separately from the decision about a residence permit. This means that even a person who has received a residence permit can appeal a decision not to give him/her any official protection status.

Read more about how to appeal

Your status can be withdrawn

Your protection status can be withdrawn, for example if you are no longer in need of protection. However, this requires that the circumstances that led to your being granted a specific protection status no longer apply, or have changed substantially and permanently.

Your refugee status can also be withdrawn if you show that you intend to make use of protection provided by your home country, for example by applying for a new national passport or requesting that the Migration Agency return your old national passport to you.

Having your status withdrawn need not mean that your residence permit is affected. However, if you have a travel document you will have to return it if your status is withdrawn.  

Read more about the Refugee Conventionexternal link, opens in new window

Read the Aliens Actexternal link, opens in new window

Read the Qualification Directiveexternal link, opens in new window

Last updated: 9 October 2017

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