Applying for asylum

Last updated: 17/10-2023

You have to tell the Migration Agency that you want to apply for asylum.

You can apply for asylum at the Migration Agency's offices in Gothenburg, Malmö, Stockholm, Boden, Norrköping, Sundsvall, Umeå, Uppsala and Örebro.

Every asylum application has to be examined individually. This means that the Migration Agency will investigate your specific reasons for applying for asylum in Sweden.

You will have to answer similar questions from the Migration Agency several times during the period that you are an asylum seeker. This is not because the Migration Agency does not believe what you are telling them; it is because the Migration Agency wants to make sure they have understood what you mean, and that you have not forgotten to tell them something earlier. Sometimes it can also become easier for you to talk about difficult things after some time has passed.

Your first meeting with the Migration Agency

The first time you meet the Migration Agency it will be for a brief meeting. You will have to answer many questions about yourself, questions such as:

  • How you are feeling.
  • What your name is.
  • When you were born.
  • About your family.
  • If you have your parents' address and telephone number.
  • Where you are from.
  • What language you speak.
  • How you have travelled to Sweden.
  • Why you have left your homeland and what you think will happen if you go back.

You will meet with the Migration Agency again, together with your guardian or your public counsel. Your asylum application will be completed at this meeting.

Adults can help you

If you have arrived in Sweden without your parents you will receive help from several different adults during the time you are applying for asylum.

One of these adults is known as a guardian. One of the guardian's responsibilities is to accompany you when you meet with the Migration Agency.

You will also meet a public counsel. This is a person who knows a lot about Swedish laws and regulations. The public counsel's job is to help you apply for asylum and to appeal the Migration Agency's decision about your asylum application if you are not happy with it.

What you have to do when you apply for asylum:

  • Fill in forms to state your name, your citizenship and to answer questions about your family, for example.
  • Hand in your passport or other identity documents to prove who you are.
  • Have your photograph taken.
  • Have your fingerprints taken. Your fingerprints are used to check whether you have applied for asylum in any other country in Europe, and whether you have a residence permit or travel restrictions for any other country in Europe.
  • Tell the Migration Agency who you are. You will be helped by an interpreter to describe, for example, why you left your home country and how you travelled to Sweden.
  • Apply for financial support if you don't have any money of your own. You will be given a bank card and information about what financial support you can apply for. If you have turned 16 you can apply for financial support yourself and receive a bankcard of your own. If you are under 16, it is your guardian who applies for financial support for you, and who looks after your money.
  • Get information about the asylum process, about what the next step is and what you have to do.

Once you've submitted your asylum application you will be given a receipt. This serves as proof that you have applied for asylum.

The Migration Agency will send you and your guardian or your public counsel a letter which tells you that you have to meet a case officer at the Migration Agency. This meeting may be in another office than the one where you handed in your asylum application. The letter will tell you when and where to meet with the case officer.

When you and the guardian meet the case officer at the Migration Agency you will be asked to tell describe who you are, where you are from, who your family and relatives are, and how you are feeling. You will talk about what is going to happen during the period that you are an asylum seeker. You will be given the opportunity to ask questions.

You can also ask for help to call your parents or other relatives to tell them where you are and how you are doing.

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 may 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.

Once it becomes your turn to go for an asylum investigation, the Migration Agency will send you and your guardian a letter that tells you when and where you have to meet the Migration Agency's case officer.

An asylum investigation is an interview in which you tell the case officer who you are and why you fled. You also have to say what you think would happen to you if you had to return to your home country.

You, your guardian and your public counsel will all be present during the asylum investigation. One or two people from the Migration Agency will ask questions and write down what you are talking about. An interpreter will also be present during the investigation to help you understand what is being said.

Tell the Migration Agency everything

You must tell the truth during the asylum investigation. It is your responsibility to describe all your reasons for seeking asylum. You are not allowed to leave out anything that could be significant for your asylum application. If you don't tell the truth, or if you change your account, this can influence the Migration Agency's assessment of your application. If you have any further documentary evidence that you would like the Migration Agency to look at, make sure you take it with you to the investigation.

Everyone present during the investigation is bound by professional secrecy. This applies to the Migration Agency's case officers, your public counsel and the interpreter. Being bound by professional secrecy means that they are not allowed to tell anyone else what you said during the asylum investigation.

Once the asylum investigation has been done, the Migration Agency will make its assessment and then you will receive a yes or no to your asylum application.