The law makes no express reference to “accelerated procedures”. However, under the Aliens Act, there is a basis for handling manifestly unfounded claims in an accelerated procedure. The Migration Agency may issue an enforceable return order, which is not suspended pending appeal, “if it is obvious that there are no grounds for asylum and that a residence permit is not to be granted on any other grounds.”1
It is the Migration Agency that deals with applications under this procedure, while appeals are dealt with by the courts but only if the applicant is still present in the country.
A 2016 legal instruction, valid for the Swedish Migration Agency and issued by that authority’s Head of Legal Unit,2 established that an expulsion with immediate effect should be considered in the following cases:
The applicant has provided false information in all essential elements;
The application is unrelated to the right of asylum;
The application presents manifestly insufficient grounds for asylum;
The application concerns newly born children in some cases, if the parent(s) have already been issued with a transfer decision;
Extenuating circumstances leading to access to the full procedure could be health reasons or cumulative grounds
The Migration Court of Appeal has ruled that the requirement of “manifestly unfounded” involves the ability to make a clear assessment regarding the right to a permit without any further examination.3 The assessment should not be summary, by being solely based on the circumstance that the applicant has a certain nationality to which normally asylum is not being granted, for instance. The assessment of “manifestly” must always be based on the circumstances of the individual case.
The tracks policy introduced by the Migration Agency also foresees specific procedural channels for such caseloads: Track 4A for manifestly unfounded cases and Track 4B for applicants from countries with high recognition rates (see Regular Procedure: General). As a rule, all asylum applications from Western Balkan states are currently treated as manifestly unfounded.
The time limit for a decision under the accelerated procedure is three months. If the time limit has not been respected the case will be dealt with by regular procedure.
A personal interview is mandatory, as per a guideline decision of the Migration Court of Appeal.4 There are no differences in the way the interview is carried out compared with the Regular Procedure: Personal Interview, apart from the absence of a legal representative present. Occasionally, some NGOs or friends can assist with appeals but they are rarely present at the oral interview.
There is no difference in time limits in for lodging appeals under the accelerated procedure compared to the regular procedure (see Regular Procedure: Appeal). The same time limit of 3 weeks after the decision is notified applies.
Previously, appeals against decisions taken in the accelerated procedure had no suspensive effect. In the meantime, the applicant could be removed by the police, in which case the appeal, if ever made, is abandoned. In fact, many applicants refrained from appealing and leave voluntarily in order to avoid forced removal and being issued with a re-entry ban. However, the amendment to the Aliens Act entering into force on 1 January 2017 to transpose the recast Asylum Procedures Directive has introduced the possibility to request suspensive effect for such appeals.5
The Aliens Act states that there is no automatic obligation to provide legal counsel in manifestly unfounded cases.6 However, if the court is of the opinion that the case is not manifestly unfounded, then the court orders suspension of the expulsion order and legal counsel will be appointed. Such a case is referred back to the first instance if there is not sufficient information regarding material grounds for a permit to be granted.7 The difficulties with regard to access to legal assistance in the regular procedure are also applicable here (see Regular Procedure: Legal Assistance).
- 1. Ch. 8, Section 6 Aliens Act. See also Ch. 12, Section 7 Aliens Act.
- 2. Migration Agency, Rättsligt ställningstagande angående avvisning med omedelbar verkställighet 8 kap19 § utlänningslagen, SR 21/2016, 1 July 2016, available in Swedish at: http://bit.ly/2jxTDl8.
- 3. Migration Court of Appeal, MIG 2006:7, UM 230-06, 31 October 2006; UM 2244-10, 22 December 2010.
- 4. Migration Court of Appeal, MIG 2007:4, UM 607-06, 22 January 2007.
- 5. Ch. 12, Section 8a Aliens Act.
- 6. Ch. 18, Section 1 Aliens Act.
- 7. Wikrén & Sandessjö, Utlänningslagen med kommentarer (Commentary on the Aliens Act) 9th edition (Norstedts Juridik 2010), 555.