Unaccompanied minors

This page contains information for children who come to Sweden without a legal guardian. Here you will find information about the trip to Sweden, how you will live, what support you can get and also how you can be reunited with your family.

Information for children travelling to Sweden without their parents

You have received a permanent residence permit in Sweden and will soon travel there. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) will give you information about what you need to take with you on your trip to Sweden. If you have identity documents (such as a national passport, identity card or birth certificate) or other important documents (such as school certificates, school grades, health cards, or close relatives’ death certificates), bring the original documents with you.

What will happen on the first day?

The IOM is responsible for ensuring that you arrive safely in Sweden. You will travel to Sweden by airplane, and upon arrival you may need to continue your journey to your new home by plane, train or car. A person who works at the municipality will meet you at the airport and accompany you to the place where you will be living. The Swedish authorities will pay for your travel costs and your costs during the journey. They will also cover the cost of transport, food and housing once you have arrived in Sweden.

Where will I live?

In Sweden, you will live with a family or in a group home together with other children and young people. At the group home there will be people who are responsible for you and who can help you. There will be rules to protect the happiness and well-being of everyone living there. For example, one rule may be that it should be quiet after a certain time in the evening, or that dinner is served at a set time every day.

If you come to Sweden together with adults who are not your parents, or if you have close relatives in Sweden with whom you wish to live, the authorities will conduct an investigation to see if you can live with them or near them.

What support can I get?

Special guar­dians

If your parents are not in Sweden, you will be assigned a “special guardian”, a person who will ensure that you receive care and security. For example, your special guardian can help you when you need to contact the authorities, take care of your finances, and make sure you go to school. Most often, this person’s assignment ends when you turn 18 and become an adult according to Swedish law.

Social services

Sweden has 290 municipalities, and each municipality is a geographically delimited part of Sweden. Each municipality has an organisation that governs matters within the municipality and is responsible for services such as the school system, elderly care and support for families.

These social services are part of the municipality and are responsible for helping and supporting everyone who lives there. The social services will appoint a person who will work with you to draw up a plan for your housing, schooling, care and other things that play an important role in ensuring you have a good life in Sweden. Your own contact person is also responsible for ensuring that you get the support and help you need from Swedish society.

A female teacher helps pupils in a classroom.

Photo: Maskot/Folio/imagebank.sweden.se


In Sweden, all children have the right to education and it is free of charge. In Sweden, all children must undergo compulsory schooling from kindergarten through secondary school. This means that you must go to school and participate in the teaching five days a week. To become an active participant in Swedish society and to later be able to get a job, you need to learn Swedish. During school hours, you can talk to your teacher or school counsellor if you need help or are unsure about something. After school, there will be time to do your homework or devote yourself to your interests or hobbies. In Sweden, once you turn 16 years old you can also work after school hours and during the holidays.


In Sweden, children receive free healthcare. If you become ill, you can talk to a doctor or other healthcare professional about the problems you are having. They are sworn to secrecy and are therefore not allowed to tell anyone what you have said. Contact your school nurse or health centre if you want to see a doctor.

You can find your nearest healthcare provider here: https://www.1177.se/hitta-vard/ (in swedish) External link, opens in new window.

Can I be reunited with my family?

If you have been separated from your family and need help finding them, you can contact the Swedish Red Cross. They can help you search for your close relatives.

Their website is: www.rodakorset.se (in swedish) External link, opens in new window..

For advice over the phone, call: 020-415 000.

If you wish, your parents and siblings can apply to be reunited with you in Sweden. It usually takes quite a long time from when the application is made to when you receive a response, and there are many different rules for family reunification based on close family ties.

Read more about family reunification and how to apply for it

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