Access to the territory and push backs


Country Report: Access to the territory and push backs Last updated: 21/04/21


Swedish Refugee Law Center Visit Website

EU rules foresee that countries in the passport-free Schengen zone can only establish temporary border controls under exceptional circumstances. In December 2015, Sweden introduced internal border controls. The 2018 AIDA report provides a historical background and legal aspects on the border controls.

Despite the fact that the reintroduction of border control at the internal borders must be applied as a last resort measure, in exceptional situations, and must respect the principle of proportionality, Sweden has regularly re-introduced border controls at its internal borders in recent years. The current temporary border control is valid up until 11 May 2021.[1] The decision to re-introduce border controls is based on the government’s assessment that there is still a threat to public order and internal security in Sweden, including an important terrorist threat, and that there are shortcomings in the control of the external borders around Schengen. Checks are thus set up accordingly to address the threat.[2]

While Sweden has not introduced any measures directly affecting the right to seek asylum, the access to the asylum procedure was rendered more difficult in 2020 as a result of COVID-19, inter alia due to travel restrictions. On 19 March 2020, the Swedish government introduced a temporary ban on non-necessary travels to Sweden from countries other than EU countries, Great Britain, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.[3]

In its directives to the Police Authority for 2020, the government states that it shall prioritise and take the necessary measures to be able to carry out a fully functioning regular border control at external borders during all the months of the year. In addition, the authority shall continue to develop its preparedness and ability to conduct an appropriate border control at internal borders if necessary.[4]

[1] European Commission, Temporary Reintroduction of Border Control, available at:

[2] Government, Department of Justice, Beslut om återinförande av gränskontroll vid inre gräns”, available in Swedish at:

[3] Government, Extension of temporary entry ban to the EU via Sweden due to COVID-19, available at:

[4]  Government, Department of Justice, ‘Regleringsbrev för budgetåret 2020 avseende Polismyndigheten , available in Swedish at:

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX – I Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation