How to apply for asylum in Sweden?

Sweden is one such country wherein for applying for asylum you need to be in Sweden and visiting the Migration agency to hand over the application personally as it isn’t possible before entering here.

If you meet the border police, at passport control point at the airport, ferry terminals, and trains & buses while entering you need to inform them that you are here to apply for asylum and border police will ask certain questions and refer to the migration agency to hand over the application at one of the centers at Gavle, Goteborg, Malmo, Marsta, Norrkoping, Stockholm, Boden, and Sundsvall.

In case if you are already in Sweden you can contact the migration agency yourself and can apply for the same at any of the units mentioned above.

Role of Migration Agency

While applying for asylum you need to describe why you are applying, who you are, and how you entered Sweden, and the answer to these questions will be by providing certain documents to prove your identity and purpose.

What documents should you provide?

If you hold a valid passport or any other identification documents you need to hand over them to prove the identity that includes your name, place of birth, and citizenship of the country you hold and these details are important as they will enable the migration agency to make the correct decision for your application.

In case if you fail to provide any identification documents and you need to prove in some other way who you are then you can always provide a birth certificate, marriage certificate, family, or military registration documents. Though these documents do not individually prove your identity, collectively they may do.

The migration agency registers you as an asylum seeker based on the identification documents provided. It means that the person is registered under the name and gender assigned at birth and Swedish law doesn’t allow you to register on any other first name but still, if you insist on using a different first name or personal pronoun then you need to inform the agency and they will make a note of it.

You can even go ahead and inform at this stage the special reasons for wanting an interpreter, counselor,  or investigator for a particular gender and can even inform if you do not wish to share the room with other asylum seekers of the particular gender.

Biometrics

When the application is made biometrics (photo and fingerprints) will be taken and it will be added to the migration agency’s register and used for asylum seeker card (LMA card) a proof that you are an asylum seeker. A child below the age of 6 years does not require to submit fingerprints.

Biometrics are collected to check whether you have applied for asylum in any other Schengen country apart from Sweden and whether you hold a residence permit or are prohibited in any of the Schengen countries.

If it is found that the fingerprints are registered in another country on your way to Sweden, or have applied for asylum in another country then the migration agency will check on which country should examine the asylum application. No fingerprint check is done for a child below the age of 14 years.

Interview of the applicant

Once the biometrics process is completed you will be meeting an investigator and with the help of the interpreter you describe who you are, why you choose Sweden over your home country, and how did you travel to Sweden. You may be asked about your family and health.

If you have a disability of functioning physically, mentally, or intellectually you need to inform them about the same to the migration agency as it will make it difficult for you to communicate with the agency as you are entitled to receive the help and accommodation whatever is the requirement.

While you are waiting for the decision to arrive you can try to support yourself financially but if you aren’t earning and you do not have any assets then you can always seek support from a migration agency.

Process after handing in an application

The Investigator will thoroughly check all your documents, what documents are submitted, and what does your fingerprint show based on that the officer will decide on the extent of investigation needed in your case.

The next step by the investigation officer will be to prepare your documents for continuing investigation. The officer will then obtain information from other agencies and if any additional documents are required then they will be contacting you. Every application is different so the investigation will be different based on the asylum seeker.

If there are no grounds for granting you asylum then the investigator will explain why the migration agency does not consider your reasons and that decision will be issued in few weeks and if no valid reasons are found then a refusal entry will be issued with immediate effect.

Waiting for the investigation

It may take a longer time to conclude the application wherein you will be given the chance to tell on why you need to seek asylum in Sweden, what has happened to you, and what would happen if you return to your home country. The processing time may vary from applicant to applicant.

You may be called for several meetings before deciding on the application and make sure to be there when the appointment is been booked for you by the migration agency as it is difficult to make the new appointment and it may take a longer time to come to the decision.

Notification of the address

If you change the address make sure to inform the migration agency about the new address so that they can reach you for investigation and meetings. Make sure to check the emails regularly.

Extend the Permit

IF you are a resident permit holder and wish to extend your stay in Sweden you need to apply for an extension before the visa expires, you might be granted the extension or residence permit to remain in Sweden.

How long does it take to get asylum in Sweden? 

The average process time to get asylum in Sweden varies from applicant to applicant but the normal processing time is reduced to 302 days or 10 months approximately since April 2021.

How much do asylum seekers get in Sweden? 

You must be employed and you earn money for yourself but if there are no resources then you can apply for financial support which is divided into various parts such as:

10 Swedish Krona, SEK is valued as 1 euro (EUR), or approximately 1.1 US Dollar (USD), or or Indian Rupees (INR), or 7 Chinese Yuan (CNY).

Daily allowance

SEK 24 per day for single adult

SEK 19 per day for an adult who shares household expenses

SEK 12 per day for children up to age 17

Accommodation

SEK 71 per day for single adult

SEK 61 per day for an adult who shares household expenses

SEK 37 per day for 0-3 years old

SEK 43 per day for 4-10 years old

SEK 50 per day for 11-17 years old

Special Grant

If there is a particular need that isn’t covered in daily allowance you can apply for the special grant and you need to demonstrate that you have a strong urge for that item or need or service which you cannot pay yourself.

Later the migration agency will evaluate the need and you can receive the grant only for the cheapest alternative to satisfy your needs.

Can asylum seekers in Sweden work? 

Yes, you can support yourself financially but the certificate from the Migration agency will be required mentioning you do not need a work permit to work here.


The above cover image is from somewhere in Chefchaouen, Morocco. Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash