Seeking asylum

If you come to Sweden seeking asylum, you may apply at the border or contact the Migration Board (Migrationsverket).

If an applicant for asylum is entitled to protection, the Migration Board grants a residence permit as soon as possible.

Waiting for the decision

The Migration Board has residential centres at various locations in Sweden. Those waiting for an asylum decision get housing at the residential centres. They may also choose to live with friends or relatives, or find their own housing through a system called Eget Boende (EBO). 

Children awaiting a decision have the same right to medical and dental care as other children in Sweden. Adults must pay part of the cost themselves (egenavgift).

Children awaiting a decision are entitled to attend school, just like any other children and teenagers in Sweden.


Adults at a residential centre may study Swedish while they wait. If they get a permit, they may work while waiting for a decision.

Persons who may stay

Refugees are allowed to stay in Sweden. A refugee is a person who risks being killed or tortured, in his or her home country for political views, for example.

Persons who need protection may also stay. They may be in fear of being imprisoned, tortured or may risk other punishments in their home countries.

Every year, Sweden accepts about 1,900 quota refugees. They are given residence permits even before they reach Sweden. Most of the refugees who come to Sweden are quota refugees.

Other persons who are allowed to stay include:

  • Persons who are spouses or cohabitants of a Swedish resident may get a residence permit.
  • Persons 18 years or younger, who are not married, have a right to come to Sweden to be with their parents.
  • Persons who are authorised to work or study here during a limited period can stay in Sweden.
  • Applicants for asylum who have lived at a residential centre of the Migration Board may stay if they have been given a residence permit. The Employment Service can help them find a municipality where they can settle.

Persons who may not stay

Persons whose application has been rejected must leave Sweden. The personnel of the Migration Board will help make any necessary arrangement prior to departure.

Publicerad: 2012-06-29