Activities during the asylum application period

Last updated: 12/4-2023

In Sweden, it is common for people to get involved with different types of associations, on a volunteer basis. These associations often organise activities and events. Taking part in an activity can be a way to get to know new people. Associations can thus be a good route into Swedish society.

There are different activities you can participate in while you wait for a decision on your asylum application. Some associations, organisations and municipalities have special activities only for asylum seekers. These are known as early support efforts for asylum seekers. The activities are intended for people waiting for an asylum decision as well as for people who have been granted a residence permit but are still living in an accommodation centre.

Activities include learning Swedish, getting information about Swedish society and about how the Swedish labour market works, and learning about looking after one’s own and one’s family’s health. Participation is free of charge.

Contact your municipality or go to the municipality's website to find out what activities are available in your municipality.

Swedish courses

Educational associations and folk high schools offer special courses for asylum seekers, free of charge. These courses are called Svenska från dag 1 (Swedish from day 1) and Vardagssvenska (Everyday Swedish). They provide an opportunity for you to learn Swedish. Educational associations also have courses on which you can learn more about Swedish society.

Travel allowance

In some cases, the Migration Agency can pay for you to travel to an activity. This is known as a travel allowance. You can only receive a travel allowance if you participate in an educational associations’ activities that have been approved by the county administrative board. If your asylum application has been rejected, you are not eligible for a travel allowance.

In order to get a travel allowance, you need to ask for a travel allowance certificate from the organiser of the activity. Take the certificate to the Migration Agency to request a travel allowance.

Preparing for a job in Sweden

​​There are many different ways you can prepare for getting work in Sweden. These include finding out what is required in order for you to be allowed to practise your profession in Sweden. You can also have your education diplomas translated or your qualification from another country assessed.