Registration of the asylum application


Country Report: Registration of the asylum application Last updated: 30/04/24


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There is no difference made in law between making an application, registering it and lodging it.

The Swedish Migration Agency is the only authority responsible for registering an asylum application. Asylum applications can be made at designated offices of the Swedish Migration Agency in Stockholm (Sundbyberg), Gothenburg and Malmö. Unaccompanied minors may apply for asylum in Boden, Gothenburg, Malmö, Stockholm (Sundbyberg), Sundsvall, Umeå and Örebro. If a person seeks asylum at an airport or port, they are referred to the Migration Agency.

In 2023, 12,498 applications for international protection were lodged in Sweden. This marks an decrease of 25% compared to 2022, when 16,738 applications were lodged.[1]

In 2023, the majority of the 12,498 applications lodged were in Stockholm (6,961), in Gothenburg (2,438) and in Malmö (2,090).[2]

Applications lodged by location: 2023
Locations[3] Number of applicants
Arlanda 735
Boden 48
Flen 12
Gävle 2
Gothenburg 2,438
Halmstad 7
Kristianstad 15
Malmö 2,090
Märsta 3
Norrköping 32
Skellefteå 4
Stockholm 6,961
Sundsvall 17
Umeå 3
Uppsala 23
Vänersborg 18
Västerås 6
Växjö 16
Örebro 12
Other 56
Total 12,498

Source: Swedish Migration Agency, Applications for asylum received 2023, available at:


The Swedish Migration Agency is also in charge of running the detention centres. The authors are not aware of difficulties with regard to persons in detention wishing to apply for asylum.

There are no specific time limits laid down in law within which a claim must be made. In reality, however, if a late claim is made, the applicant must put forward reasons for the delay during the asylum interview, and risks having their credibility called into question for not having sought protection earlier.[4]

There have been no problems reported for asylum seekers regarding the registration of their claim in practice in 2023.

Upon registration of their claim, asylum seekers receive a receipt that they have applied for asylum. After a couple of weeks, the receipt may be exchanged for a card that shows that they are asylum seekers in Sweden. This card is called an LMA card. It is not an ID document as such, but a certificate that asylum seekers can use to show that they are asylum seekers and that they may be in Sweden when their applications are being processed. The card also shows if the person has the right to work.[5]

Unaccompanied minors may apply for asylum on their own behalf; however, the application needs to be validated by their public counsel or their legally appointed guardian. The applications of accompanied minors will be validated by their parents.[6] The children’s grounds for protection should however be assessed individually.




[1] SMA, Applications for asylum received 2023, and Applications for asylum received 2022, available in Swedish at:

[2] SMA, Applications for asylum received 2023, available in Swedish at:

[3] Based on the information provided by the Migration Agency in March 2023, it appears that the discrepancies between the number of designated offices and the locations mentioned here are due to the possibility for parents/guardian to register their new-born children at these other locations, without having to present themselves at official designated office.

[4] See for an example the reasoning from the Migration Agency in the case labelled Migrationsverket 2020-05-07, beslut 3, in a 2023 report from The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Rights: Avslagsmotiveringar i HBTQI-asylärenden 2023, available in Swedish via , 50.

[5] The Migration Agency, ‘LMA card for asylum seekers’, available at:

[6] There is no exception in the Aliens Act from the main rule in Swedish law, that a child (under the age of 18) lacks legal authority. A child must therefore be represented by a legally authorized representative. For more information about this system and the problems connected to it, see for example the recent report by the committee appointed by the government to investigate the opportunities for children in Sweden to claim their rights according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Available in Swedish here:, pp 435-437.

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