Accelerated procedure

Sweden

Country Report: Accelerated procedure Last updated: 21/04/21

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General (scope, grounds for accelerated procedures, time limits)

The law makes no express reference to “accelerated procedures”. However, the Migration Agency has established a dedicated track for two categories of cases:

  • Manifestly unfounded claims (“Track 4A”) and
  • Claims from nationalities with a recognition rate below 20% (“Track 4B”). The countries currently listed are: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Egypt, El Salvador Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Morocco, Moldavia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Serbia, Tunisia, Ukraine and Vietnam.

In 2020, 59 persons had their applications rejected as manifestly unfounded, down from 149 in 2019. These applications were processed under Track 4A. However, in 2020, 3,385 persons received a rejection decision under Track 4B, compared to 5,349 in 2019.

Under the Aliens Act, there is a basis for handling manifestly unfounded claims in an accelerated procedure. The Migration Agency may issue an immediately enforceable return order “if it is obvious that there are no grounds for asylum and that a residence permit is not to be granted on any other grounds.”[1]

The Migration Court of Appeal has ruled that the requirement of “manifestly unfounded” involves the ability to make a clear assessment regarding the right to a permit without any further examination.[2] The assessment should not be summary, by being solely based on the circumstance that the applicant has a certain nationality to which normally asylum is not being granted, for instance. The assessment of “manifestly” must always be based on the circumstances of the individual case.

A 2018 legal instruction by the Legal Unit of the Migration Agency,[3] established that an expulsion with immediate effect should be considered in the following cases:

  • The application is unrelated to the right of asylum;
  • The application presents manifestly insufficient grounds for asylum;
  • EU citizens applying for asylum;
  • The applicant has provided false information in all essential elements;
  • If only health reasons are claimed.

Since the CJEU ruling in A v Migrationsverket,[4] published on 25 July 2018, Sweden can no longer use the procedure for immediately expelling persons with manifestly unfounded claims on the basis that the applicant comes from a Safe Country of Origin, since Swedish national legislation does not include a list of safe countries of origin established in accordance with Annex I to the recast Asylum Procedures Directive duly notified to the Commission and the enactment of additional implementation rules and modalities.

In the A ruling, which concerns the interpretation of Articles 31(8)(b) and 32(2) of the recast Asylum Procedures Directive, the CJEU held that a Member State cannot rely on the rebuttable presumption under Articles 36 and 37 of the recast Asylum Procedures Directive in respect of the safe country of origin concept and subsequently find the application to be manifestly unfounded in accordance with Article 31(8)(b) without having fully implemented and complied with the procedures under the Directive relating to the designation of countries as safe countries of origin.

Extenuating circumstances leading to access to the full procedure could be health reasons or cumulative grounds. The Migration Agency has updated its position on expulsion in such cases with immediate effect in its legal guidance, including in light of the abovementioned CJEU ruling in A v Migrationsverket as well as Gnandi.[5] The Migration Agency states in its guidance that the deadline for voluntary departure does not begin to run as long as the person has the right to remain and the person must also not be detained for removal purposes. Regarding A v Migrationsverket, the Agency states that if the applicant is not entitled to protection because it is assessed there is a sufficient protection by the authorities in the home country, or the asylum grounds are otherwise deemed insufficient, a decision cannot be taken on rejection with immediate enforcement pursuant to Chapter 8, Section 19 of the Aliens Act, but a rejection without an order for immediate enforcement is possible.[6]

The time limit for a decision under the accelerated procedure is three months in all cases. If the time limit has not been respected the case will be dealt with in the regular procedure.

 Personal interview

A personal interview is mandatory, as per a guideline decision of the Migration Court of Appeal.[7] There are no differences in the way the interview is carried out compared with the Regular Procedure: Personal Interview, apart from the absence of a legal representative.

 Appeal

There is no difference in time limits for lodging appeals under the accelerated procedure compared to the regular procedure (see Regular Procedure: Appeal). The same time limit of 3 weeks after the decision is notified applies.[8]

Previously, appeals against decisions taken in the accelerated procedure had no suspensive effect. In the meantime, the applicant could be removed by the police, in which case the appeal, if ever made, was abandoned. In fact, many applicants refrained from appealing and leave voluntarily in order to avoid forced removal and being issued with a re-entry ban. However, the law provides that an appeal has automatic suspensive effect until the Migration Court has made a decision on whether the removal should be suspended pending the outcome of the appeal.[9]

The 2018 guidance of the Migration Agency clarifies that when appealing against decisions with immediate enforcement, a Migration Court must examine the issue of suspending enforcement. Enforcement cannot take place from the decision during the appeal deadline and up to the migration court’s examination of the issue of suspension. Nor can enforcement measures be taken.[10]

Legal assistance

The Aliens Act states that there is no automatic obligation to provide legal counsel in manifestly unfounded cases, although this is possible in cases of vulnerability.[11] However, if the court is of the opinion that the case is not manifestly unfounded, then the court orders suspension of the expulsion order and legal counsel will be appointed. Such a case is referred back to the first instance if there is not sufficient information regarding material grounds for a permit to be granted. The difficulties with regard to access to legal assistance in the regular procedure are also applicable here (see Regular Procedure: Legal Assistance).

 

 

[1] Ch. 8, Section 19 Aliens Act. See also Ch. 12, Section 7 Aliens Act.

[2] Migration Court of Appeal, MIG 2006:7, UM 230-06, 31 October 2006; MIG 2010:22, UM 2244-10, 22 December 2010.

[3] Migration Agency, Rättsligt ställningstagande angående avvisning med omedelbar verkställighet till hemlandet enligt 8 kap19 § utlänningslagen, SR 43/2018, 12 December 2018, available in Swedish at: http://bit.ly/2MwVawu.

[4]CJEU, Case C-404/17, A v. Migrationsverket, Judgment of 25 July 2018, EDAL, available at: http://bit.ly/2Ubxvn6.

[5] CJEU, Case C-181/16 Gnandi v Etat belge, Judgment of 19 June 2018, EDAL, available at: https://bit.ly/2ITsDwX.

[6] Migrationsverket, Rättsligt ställningstagande angående avvisning med omedelbar verkställighet till hemlandet enligt 8 kap. 19 § utlänningslagen, SR 43/2018, 6 December 2018, available in Swedish at: http://bit.ly/2CBz6sx.

[7] Migration Court of Appeal, MIG 2007:4, UM 607-06, 22 January 2007.

[8] Section 44, The Administrative Procedure Act (2017:900).

[9] Ch. 12, Section 8a Aliens Act.

[10] Migrationsverket, Rättsligt ställningstagande angående avvisning med omedelbar verkställighet till hemlandet enligt 8 kap. 19 § utlänningslagen, SR 43/2018, 6 December 2018, available in Swedish at: http://bit.ly/2CBz6sx.

[11] Ch. 18, Section 1 Aliens Act.

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