Being an asylum seeker

Last updated: 21 3 2018

There may be many people seeking asylum, and you may have to wait a long time before being called to your asylum investigation at the Migration Agency. Waiting times can vary from person to person. Every asylum application is different and therefore there is no general rule for how long it takes to investigate an application.

Do things while you wait

You may find the uncertainty of the outcome of your application difficult to deal with. Many people suffer during the long waiting period. But there are things you can do while you wait that will help you if you do get to stay in Sweden.

Group information

The Migration Agency will send you a letter telling you to come for a group information session.

At the session you will receive information about how things work for asylum seekers. For example, you will be given information about:

  • Swedish government agencies
  • Swedish laws
  • associations that can help you during the period you are an asylum seeker
  • accommodation
  • finances
  • medical care

Asylum seeker card (LMA-kort) 

LMA is short for "lagen om mottagande av asylsökande", or the Act on Reception of Asylum Seekers.

When you apply for asylum in Sweden your photograph will be taken. Later you will receive an asylum seeker card (LMA-kort). You have to collect your asylum seeker card at the Migration Agency's reception unit.

The asylum seeker card is a plastic card with a photo of you, and shows that you are an asylum seeker. It is not an identity (ID) card, but proof that you are an asylum seeker who is allowed to remain in Sweden while you wait for a decision on your application.

The asylum seeker card replaces the receipt you were given when you handed in your asylum application. You must always carry your asylum seeker card. This is especially important when you visit medical care services, for example, or buy medication prescribed to you, as you will pay a lower price if you show your asylum seeker card.

Medical examination

All asylum seekers are offered a free medical examination. The medical care centre in the area you are staying will send you a letter telling you that you are welcome for a medical examination.

During the medical examination you will meet a nurse and a doctor. The nurse will ask you questions about your health and take samples to see if you have any illness that needs to be treated. The nurse will also tell you about how Swedish medical care works. You will also meet a doctor who may make a physical examination if this is necessary.

If there is anything you are wondering about regarding your health, ask the nurse or doctor. Tell them how you feel mentally. You can get help if you feel depressed, sad, or worried, or if you have severe anxiety, nightmares, or difficulties sleeping. You can also speak to the staff at the medical care centre if you need contraceptives or antenatal care.

The staff at the medical care centre do not work for the Migration Agency and have a confidentiality obligation. This means that they are not permitted to tell anyone about your visit or what you told them.

The medical examination will not affect your asylum application. Its purpose is to find out if you need medical care, and if so, to begin providing it.