In 2021 the number of first-time asylum applications was 11,412, a decrease from 12,991 in 2020 and considerably lower than in 2019, when there were 21,958 registered applications. In 2021, out of the total number of applicants, 1,491 came from Afghanistan (a notable increase from 593 in 2020), 1,274 came from Syria, 934 came from Iraq, 523 from Ukraine, 492 from Turkey, 456 from Somalia, and 406 from Eritrea.
At first instance, the recognition rates in cases decided on the merits was 32% in 2021, compared to 25% in 2020 and 35% in 2019 : The recognition rates for major countries of origin were as follows: 62% (338) for Afghans, up from 46% in 2020, 85% (768) for Syrians, up from 76% in 2020, 82% (284) for Eritreans, up from 78 % in 2020, 57% (175) for stateless persons, up from 41%, and 40% (136) for Somalians, down from 41% in 2020. As regards second instance, the Migration Court approved 7% of appeals, which is the same rate as in 2020.
In 2020 there was a significant decrease in the recognition rate for Syrians as a result of a change in the Migration Agency’s assessment of the security situation in the country. In 2021, the Migration Agency continued to consider that the security situation in the internal armed conflict is not such that each and everyone is in need of international protection in accordance with Article 15(c) of the Qualifications Directive in several provinces, and that an individual assessment of the applicant’s risk therefore must be made. However, the Migration Agency considers that the improved security situation is not such that it can be considered as significant and non-temporary in nature in the context of cessation. In early 2021, the Migration Agency changed its position regarding refugee claims from Syria based on risks due to military service, as an adjustment to the CJEU case EZ v. Germany, meaning refugee status in general was granted to those who would be enrolled in military services.
On 16 July 2021, The Swedish Migration Agency decided to halt all enforcement of deportations to Afghanistan and on 23 July 2021 to suspend decision-making in general in asylum cases concerning Afghans, following the Taliban regime take-over and the subsequent uncertainty regarding how the situation would develop, and the lack of country of origin information. However, the Swedish Migration Agency did grant refugee status and residence permits in some clear cases after this date. On 30 November 2021, the Migration Agency decided to lift the suspension of asylum decisions and stated that in general, Afghans with a deportation order would be entitled to a new examination of their protection claims.
Applicants from countries with a recognition rate below 15% are presumed to have their cases treated under the accelerated procedure (“Track 4B”) even if case are individually assessed before being placed in this procedure. The countries currently listed are: Albania, Armenia, Algeria, Angola Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Georgia, Ghana, Honduras, India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Mexico, Morocco, Moldavia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Nepal, North Macedonia, Peru, Serbia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Thailand The Philippines, Tunisia, Ukraine, USA, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Vietnam (see section on Accelerated Procedure).