Assessment of your age
Last updated: 1/3-2023
In order for the Migration Agency to be able to consider your asylum application in the correct way, they have to know how old you are.
In Sweden everyone under the age of 18 is regarded as a child. If you are under 18 years old your rights as an asylum seeker are different than those of an adult, who is 18 years old or more.
It is not enough that you tell the Migration Agency how old you are. As an asylum seeker you have to prove that what you are saying is true.
If you have identity documents
If you brought any identity documents with you, they will say how old you are. A passport or an ID card are identity documents, for example. They are a way of proving how old you are.
If you have no identity documents
If you did not bring any identity documents with you there are other ways of showing the Migration Agency how old you are. On the basis of what you show them, the Migration Agency will make an age assessment. This means that the Migration Agency will assess whether what you have told them about your age is likely to be true, based in what you have shown them.
Your case officer at the Migration Agency will tell you what you can do to prove your age. This might be showing your grades from school, or some other certificate which says how old you are, if you have any documents like that. Show the Migration Agency all the proof you have of your age.
You can also have what is known as a medical age assessment.
Medical age assessment
The Migration Agency can offer to carry out a medical age assessment if they have concluded that it is unlikely that you are under 18 years of age.
It is the National Board of Forensic Medicine (Rättsmedicinalverket) that makes the medical age assessment. The National Board of Forensic Medicine is a Swedish government agency that specialises in various types of medical analysis, for example.
If you are going to have a medical age assessment done, the National Board of Forensic Medicine will send you and your guardian a letter telling you how to make an appointment for a medical age assessment. There is no charge for making a medical age assessment.
A medical age assessment involves a dentist examining your teeth and a doctor examining one of your knees.
These examinations are sent to the National Board of Forensic Medicine, which makes an assessment of your approximate age based on what the examinations show. The National Board of Forensic Medicine then sends the assessment to the Migration Agency.
The Migration Agency in turn sends the assessment to your public counsel, and s/he helps you understand what it means. Your public counsel will also tell you what to do, depending on what the age assessment shows.
The National Board of Forensic Medicine has made a film about medical age assessments that you can watch here. The film is available in Swedish, Arabic, Dari, Somali and Tigrinya.
The Migration Agency assesses your age
The Migration Agency makes an assessment of how old you are on the basis of the information they have. Everything you have shown the Migration Agency can be significant for the assessment.
If the Migration Agency's assessment is that you are younger or older than what you have told them, they will change your age on your asylum application.
If the Migration Agency's assessment is that you are over 18 years old, your asylum application will be treated in the same way as adult asylum seekers' applications.
If you do not agree with the Migration Agency's assessment
For asylum applications made before 1 February 2017
If you applied for asylum before 1 February 2017, the Migration Agency will decide about your age at the same time as they decide whether to grant you a residence permit or not.
If you don't agree with the Migration Agency's assessment of your age, you can say so if choose to appeal the decision about your asylum application.
For asylum applications made after 1 February 2017
If you applied for asylum on or after 1 February 2017 you may receive a temporary decision on your age, before you get a decision about your asylum application. This means that the Migration Agency may decide that you are to be registered as older or younger than 18 before you get a decision about your asylum application.
If you don't agree with the Migration Agency's assessment of your age you can appeal that decision.