Access to the territory and push backs


Country Report: Access to the territory and push backs Last updated: 10/07/24


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 2024.[1] The decision to re-introduce border controls is based on the government’s assessment that there is a serious threat to public order and internal security in Sweden According to the government given the current situation, the reintroduction of internal border control is the only available measure that enables the identification of people entering Sweden who pose a security threat or a serious threat to public order and internal security.

While Sweden has not introduced any measures directly affecting the right to seek asylum, there is currently a proposal to introduce a new law which will give the government the authority to, under certain conditions, announce a ban on transporting people by bus, train or passenger ship to Sweden if these persons lack valid identity documents. The government will, according to this proposal, also be given the authority to issue regulations on penalty fees for those who violate such a prohibition. The parliament is set to vote on this new law on the 15th of February 2024.[2]


Border monitoring

There is no border monitoring system in place in Sweden.


Legal access to the territory

Sweden does not have any provisions for granting a visa for the purpose of applying for international protection upon arrival.

The Swedish Migration Agency resettled 297 refugees in 2023 in comparison to 3,744 refugees in 2022 6,411 refugees in 2021, and 3,599 refugees in 2020.The annual quota was lowered from 5000 to 900 for the year of 2023.[3] However, in practice much less were resettled. The focus of the selections is determined by the Swedish Government but the Swedish Migration Agency, in collaboration with UNHCR, determines which refugee groups will be considered for resettlement from different countries.[4] In 2023, in addition to lowering the number of quota refugees, the government introduced new integration criteria that should be taken into account in the assessment. Among other things, entrepreneurial spirit, skills, education and work experience and values important for integration into Swedish society may be taken into account.[5]

Sweden does not have any relocation operations in place.




[1] Government Offices of Sweden, ‘Reintroduced temporary internal border controls’, 15 November 2023, available at:

[2] More information about the proposal and about it’s current status may be found here (in Swedish):

[3] Government of Sweden, ‘Regeringens första 100 dagar: Migration’, 24 January 2023, available in Swedish at:

[4] More information about the Swedish resettlement programme may be found in English here:

[5] Information available in Swedish here:

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