Access to the territory and push backs

Sweden

Country Report: Access to the territory and push backs Last updated: 10/06/22

Author

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 2022[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 and 2021 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] The temporary entry ban to the EU via Sweden due to Covid-19 was extended several times. As of the end of 2021 Sweden still applied an entry ban for people travelling to Sweden from certain countries outside the EU/EEA and an extended ban on entry to Sweden from countries within the EU/EEA, but with several exemptions.[4] The latest amendments to the entry ban entered into force on 21 January 2022. Travellers are no longer required to present a negative Covid-19 test on arrival, but all travellers must present a valid vaccination certificate, a negative test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival, or a medical certificate proving that he or she has recovered from a Covid-19 infection within the past six months. Children are exempt from these requirements.[5] The Swedish Police Authority is tasked to interpret the rules and make decisions in individual cases upon arrival at the border control point. It is not possible to apply for an exemption in advance.[6]

 

 

 

[1] European Commission, Temporary Reintroduction of Border Control, available at: https://bit.ly/36UAZQ3.

[2] Government, Department of Justice, Beslut om återinförande av gränskontroll vid inre gräns”, available in Swedish at: https://bit.ly/3q1T85U.

[3] Government, Extension of temporary entry ban to the EU via Sweden due to COVID-19, available at: https://bit.ly/3aceDvp.

[4] Amendments to the entry ban for people travelling to Sweden from certain countries outside the EU/EEA and extended ban on entry to Sweden from countries within the EU/EEA – Government.se – https://bit.ly/38tkj6p.  

[5] Amendments to the entry ban for people who travel to Sweden – Government.se – https://bit.ly/3LoRkOj.

[6] Travel to and from Sweden | The Swedish Police Authority (polisen.se).

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