Rights during the asylum application period
Last updated: 10/5-2023
While you wait for an asylum decision you are entitled to medical care, accommodation, and financial support if you need it. In this section you can read more about what rights you have.
You are entitled to emergency medical and dental care, and other medical care that can't wait during the period you are an asylum seeker. You are also entitled to care in connection with childbirth, in connection with abortion, and counselling on contraceptives, maternity care, and care under the Communicable Diseases Act (smittskyddslagen).
Children and young people under the age of 18 seeking asylum are entitled to the same medical and dental care as other children living in Sweden. Medical care for children is usually free of charge.
The Migration Agency will provide temporary accommodation for you while you wait for a decision. The Migration Agency will pay for your accommodation if you have no money.
You are entitled to accommodation that is adapted to your needs if you are in a particularly vulnerable situation. This applies, for example, if you:
- Are homosexual, bisexual, a transgender person, or queer
- Are old and have special needs
- Are pregnant
- Are a single parent with children under the age of 18
- Are under 18 years of age and arrived in Sweden without your parents
- Are seriously ill
- Have a functional impairment
- Have mental problems
- Need specially adapted accommodation because of what you've experienced, for example if you have been subjected to human trafficking, torture, rape, female genital mutilation, or other forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence.
Speak to staff at the Migration Agency's reception unit as soon as possible if you need specially adapted accommodation.
Supporting yourself is your own responsibility first of all. If you don't have any money, or aren't earning any money, you can apply for financial support from the Migration Agency.
In order to be entitled to work during your time as an asylum seeker, you must have been issued an exemption from the obligation to have a work permit while you await a decision on your asylum application. This exemption document is called an AT-UND. The Migration Agency issues AT-UNDs.
If you have an impaired functional ability that affects you physically or mentally, this is known as having a functional impairment. If you have a functional impairment you have special rights during your time as an asylum seeker:
- You are entitled to help in talking to the Migration Agency's case officer when you apply for asylum.
- You are entitled to specially adapted accommodation.
- You are entitled to support to facilitate your entry into Swedish society, if you are granted a residence permit.
Myndigheten för delaktighet (the Swedish Agency for Participation, abbreviated MFD in Swedish) has published a brochure with information for people who are new to Sweden and have a functional impairment. The brochure is available in several languages.
You are allowed to drive a car in Sweden if you are over 18 and have a driving licence from another country. You are allowed to drive a car in Sweden throughout your time as an asylum seeker. If you are granted a residence permit you have to change your driving licence for a Swedish driving licence within a year of becoming registered in the Population Register. In some cases you may have to study traffic rules and pass tests in order to receive a Swedish driving licence.
Children's rights during the asylum process differ from adults' rights.
In Sweden everyone under the age of 18 is considered a child. Most asylum seeking children arrive in Sweden together with one or both of their parents, but there are also many children who arrive in Sweden without any parent or other guardian. They need special support.
Children are entitled to attend preschool and school
All asylum seeking children and young people are entitled to attend preschool, school or upper secondary school.
Children are entitled to medical care
Asylum seeking children are entitled to medical and dental care on the same conditions as other children who live in Sweden. Dental care is free for everyone under the age of 18. Medical care is often free for those under the age of 18.
You have the right to appeal the Migration Agency's decision if your asylum application is refused.