Differential treatment of specific nationalities in the procedure


Country Report: Differential treatment of specific nationalities in the procedure Last updated: 30/04/24


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In 2023 the number of first-time applications was 12,491, a decrease from 16,734 applications in 2022. In 2023, out of the total number of applicants, 1,343 came from Afghanistan, 996 from Iraq, 953 from Syria, and 775 from Uzbekistan.[1]

At first instance, the recognition rates in cases decided on the merits was 34 % in 2023, compared to 37% in 2022. The recognition rates for major countries of origin were as follows: 63 % for Afghans, up from 60 % in 2022, 25 % for Iraqis, up from 21 % in 2022, 84 % for Syrians, down from 90 % in 2022, 25 % for Iranians, down from 32 % in 2022.[2]

In 2020 there was a significant decrease in the recognition rate for Syrians as a result of a change in the Swedish Migration Agency’s assessment of the security situation in the country. In 2022, the Swedish Migration Agency continued to consider that the security situation in the internal armed conflict was not such that each and every one is in need of international protection in several provinces in accordance with Article 15(c) of the Qualifications Directive, and that an individual assessment of the applicant’s risk therefore must be made. However, it also considered that the improved security situation was not such that it can be considered as significant and non-temporary in nature in the context of cessation.[3] In 2021, the Swedish 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.[4] The Swedish Migration Agency maintained this position in 2023

In July 2021, the Swedish Migration Agency decided to halt all enforcement of deportations to Afghanistan and to suspend decision-making in general in asylum cases concerning Afghans, following the Taliban regime take-over. In November 2021, the Swedish 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.[5]  On 6 December 2022, the Swedish Migration Agency published an updated legal position on protection assessment regarding Afghanistan, stating that, women and girls shall be granted refugee status due to the overall discriminatory human rights violations in Afghanistan.[6] Asylum claims from men are boys are assessed individually, and the Migration Agency has no general position on granting refugee status to male family members to female refugees. In September 2023, the Migration Court of Appeal published its decision MIG 2023:12, where a woman and her daughter had been granted refugee status by the Migration Court, while the son/brother was not granted refugee status, but residence permit with subsidiary protection status. The Migration Court of Appeal found that the principle of family unity does not necessitate the granting of refugee status to other family members, the principle was sufficiently attained by granting him a subsidiary protection status and a thirteen-month residence permit. [7]

In October 2023, the Swedish Migration Agency decided to halt all deportations to Gaza, due to the armed conflict between Israel and Hamas. However, there is no general stay on decision-making regarding Gaza.[8]

On 22 December 2023, SMA published a new legal position to re-start decision-making in ordinary asylum cases relating to Ukraine.[9] The SMA halted decisions in regular asylum and protection status cases, as well as deportations to Ukraine in 2022 due to the security situation in Ukraine following the Russian invasion 24 February.

Applicants from countries with a recognition rate below 15% are presumed to have their cases treated under the accelerated procedure (“Track 4B”) even if cases are individually assessed before being placed in this procedure. The countries currently listed are: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Djibouti, Georgia, Great Britain, India, Israel,  Kosovo, North Macedonia, Mexico, Mozambique, Morocco, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Peru, Philippines, Serbia, South Africa, Thailand, USA, and Vietnam[10] (see section on Accelerated procedure – interview).




[1] SMA Monthly report December 2023

[2] SMA Monthly report December 2023.

[3] Migration Agency, Rättsligt ställningstagande – Prövningen av skyddsbehov för personer från Syrien, RS/022/2020, November 2022, available in Swedish at: http://bit.ly/3LYyC46.

[4] Migration Agency, Rättsligt ställningstagande. Prövningen av skyddsbehov för personer från Syrien, RS/022/2020 (version 3.0), available in Swedish at: http://bit.ly/3LYyC46.

[5] Migration Agency, ‘Infor­ma­tion regar­ding the situ­a­tion in Afgha­nistan’, no longer available at the Swedish Migration Agency’s website.

[6] SMA, Legal position RS/089/2021, Prövning av skyddsbehov m.m. för medborgare från Afghanistan (version 5.0) available in Swedish at: https://bit.ly/3wl2Vw8.

[7] Case MIG 2023:12 available online at:  Mål: UM 1579-23 – Migrationsöverdomstolen vid Kammarrätten i Stockholm

[8] Migration Agency, Legal Position. Deportations to Gaza RS 007/2023, 10 October 2023, available in Swedish at: https://bit.ly/48eWcBa

[9] Rättsligt ställningstagande. Prövning av skyddsbehov för medborgare från Ukraina – RS/009/2023 at Dokument – Lifos extern (migrationsverket.se)

[10] Migration Agency, VÄGLEDNING Lista över länder och lägsta idkategorisering för sortering i spår 4B Dnr:, 7 May 2021, revised 22 September 2022.

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