Country Report: Dublin Last updated: 30/04/24


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Dublin statistics: 1 January – 31 December 2023

Outgoing procedure Incoming procedure
Requests Accepted Transfers Requests Accepted Transfers
Total 1,671 1,136 Not available Total 3,597 2,451 Not available
Take charge 863 639 Not available Take charge 430 288 Not available
Italy 192 161 . Germany 94 64 .
Germany 57 51 . France 125 103 .
Greece 145 5 . Belgium 21 20 .
France 81 65 . Netherlands 22 18 .
Croatia 16 14 . Italy 8 5 .
Take back 828 497 Not available Take back 2,954 2,163 Not available
Italy 69 32 . Germany 1,338 932 .
Germany 186 142 . France 600 388 .
Greece 92 1 . Belgium 317 250 .
France 44 29 . Netherlands 163 127 .
Croatia 96 81 . Italy 109 90 .

Source: Information provided by the Migration Agency’s statistics unit. The numbers show the number of transfer decisions. Statistics on transfers actually implemented were not provided. The countries are chosen after the five countries with most requests in total (take charges and take backs). There is a discrepancy between total requests and total decisions – probably because of a backlog from 2022.

Disclaimer: There are diffe­rences in the Swedish Migra­tion Agen­cy’s and Eurostat’s statistics on asylum seekers because Eurostat reports more asylum seekers than the Swedish Migration Agency. The Swedish Migration Agency counts an application from a person who is in Sweden with a residence permit on the grounds of family ties under the temporary law, and who then applies for asylum, as an extension of the current permit. In Eurostat’s statistics, this is counted as a first-time application (if the person has never previously applied for asylum in Sweden). Otherwise, both parties use the same groupings for asylum seekers.


Outgoing Dublin requests by criterion: 2023
Dublin III Regulation criterion Requests sent Requests accepted
Take charge”: Articles 8-15: 734 565
 Article 8 (minors) 3 1
 Article 9 (family members granted protection) 1 0
 Article 10 (family members pending determination) 1 1
 Article 11 (family procedure) 5 3
 Article 12 (visas and residence permits) 617 477
 Article 13 (entry and/or remain) 107 83
 Article 14 (visa free entry)
“Take charge”: Article 16
“Take charge” humanitarian clause: Article 17(2) 3 2
“Take back”: Article 18 781 462
 Article 18 (1) (b) 534 331
 Article 18 (1) (c) 14 9
 Article 18 (1) (d) 233 121
 Article 20(5) 1 1

Source: Information provided by the Migration Agency’s statistics unit.


Incoming Dublin requests by criterion: 2023
Dublin III Regulation criterion Requests received Requests accepted
“Take charge”: Articles 8-15 316 234
 Article 8 (minors) 49 20
 Article 9 (family members granted protection) 8 2
 Article 10 (family members pending determination) 3 0
 Article 11 (family procedure) 14 1
 Article 12 (visas and residence permits) 105 209
 Article 13 (entry and/or remain) 5 2
 Article 14 (visa free entry)
“Take charge”: Article 16 2 1
“Take charge” humanitarian clause: Article 17(2) 41 11
“Take back”: Articles 18 and 20(5) 2,620 1,869
 Article 18 (1) (b) 2,144 1,496
 Article 18 (1) (c) 3 2
 Article 18 (1) (d) 470 370
 Article 20(5) 3 1

Source: Information provided by the Migration Agency’s statistics unit.


Application of the Dublin criteria

In 2023, Sweden issued 1,671 and received 3,579 requests under the Dublin Regulation. Sweden interprets the Dublin Regulation rules rather strictly and respects the hierarchy established by the Regulation. The Swedish Aliens Act refers to the Dublin Regulation rules but not in detail since the Regulation has direct effect in Swedish law.

All asylum seekers are fingerprinted if they are 14 years or older and checked both in the Eurodac and Visa Information System (VIS) databases. In 2023, the top five countries of origin were Afghanistan, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Syria and Iran.[1] Children aged 6 and above are fingerprinted, but they will not be checked against any databases. If an asylum seeker refuses to be fingerprinted it can be interpreted as refusing to participate in the investigation on whether they have the right to stay in Sweden, which is a basis for detention.[2] The law does not authorise the use of force to take fingerprints.

In 2020, the Swedish government adopted two acts relevant to fingerprinting. The first act entered into force on 1 December 2020 and foresees that the Swedish Migration Agency, the Swedish Police and Sweden’s diplomatic missions abroad are allowed to process sensitive data under the Aliens Data Act (2016:27).[3] They are also authorised to test and develop the existing system of managing third-country nationals’ personal data. The second act entered into force on 28 December 2020 and amends the Aliens Act and the Act on the Schengen Information System (2000:344).[4] It foresees that third-country nationals will have to be fingerprinted and photographed at entry and exit for checks against the Schengen Information System (SIS). It also allows several authorities such as the Swedish Migration Agency, the Swedish Police, the Swedish Customs and the Coast Guards to take individuals’ photos and fingerprints for counterchecking against data in SIS.

The dependent persons’ and discretionary clauses

Sweden made 3 requests based on the “humanitarian clause” (Article 17(2) Dublin Regulation) in 2023 and based on the “dependent persons’ clause” (Article 16 Dublin Regulation) and received 41 and 2 incoming requests on those grounds, respectively.

Statistics regarding article 17(1) are limited since there is no formal decision to refrain from sending a take charge request and to examine the application in Sweden is taken.



Track 5A deals with cases under the Dublin Regulation. These cases are not sent to the Distribution Unit but channelled immediately into this track. The Dublin Unit had 25 officials in 2023.[5] At the national level, the Alien Act refers to the Dublin Regulation rules but not in detail since the Regulation has direct effect in Swedish law. Cases where another member state is found to be responsible because the applicant has been granted a valid residence permit or any other form of permit granting the right to stay in another Member State can be rejected as inadmissible.[6]

If another member state is deemed to be responsible and a transfer decision is made, a combined notification and return interview is held with the applicant. The transfer decision is enforceable and transfer travel planning can begin immediately. In Track 5A, there are no ID issues to consider so the focus of the Migration Agency is on the applicant’s attitude to transfer and the availability for executing the transfer.

The applicant is initially informed in writing and orally that a Eurodac or a VIS hit has been registered and is given the opportunity to register, in writing, any objections to being sent to the assigned country. These objections must be handed in before the time limit set by the Migration Agency expires or else the decision can be made based on existing information. The Migration Agency can extend the time limit if requested by the applicant, but the applicant must provide a reason for the extended time limit. Common reasons are for example if one waits for identification documents to be sent to you or if one needs a medical evaluation. There are no set time limits and both the time limit and the possible extension is decided by the Migration Agency.

A decision is then made to formally transfer the person and this decision is communicated in person by the Migration Agency to the applicant. The applicant has to sign that this decision has been received. The reception officer then discusses the practicalities of the transfer to the designated country and indicates how soon this could take place. If the applicant appears willing to cooperate, a date is later fixed for the transfer. If the applicant does not cooperate, then the case will be handed over to the police for an enforced transfer. A decision is usually also made to reduce the daily allowance to the asylum seeker because of their unwillingness to cooperate.[7] The applicant is informed of the right to appeal in person and the right to write it in their own language if need be but also told that an appeal will not have a suspensive effect unless the Migration Court makes a different assessment.[8]The Migration Agency has produced information sheets in several languages outlining the mechanisms of the Dublin Regulation (see Provision of information on the procedure), although technical issues such as the effects of the VIS system are not easily comprehensible to asylum seekers. The asylum seeker receives a copy of these and later a copy of the acceptance by the other Member State. The asylum seeker is informed that a request is being made and about the evidence the request is based on.

 Individualised guarantees

The Migration Agency does not seek individualised guarantees prior to a transfer.[9]


Most Dublin transfers take place on a voluntary basis. Asylum applicants are not detained when they are being notified that another country is responsible for assessing their asylum application. However, Dublin cases are accommodated in facilities that are close to an airport or moved to such accommodation in connection with the impending transfer, instead of allowing them to settle initially anywhere in Sweden.

In 2023 Sweden received 3,579 Dublin incoming requests and issued 1,671 outgoing requests to other Dublin States. A total of 639 Dublin transfers were carried out to another Dublin country in 2023.[10]

The average processing time for all Dublin cases in 2023, i.e., until a transfer decision was issued, was 50 days, down from 64 in 2022, 46 in 2021, 49 in 2020, and 58 in 2019.[11]


Personal interview

According to a precedent-setting ruling by the Migration Court of Appeal,[12] all Dublin cases are subject to a personal interview conducted by the Migration Agency through an interpreter but without the presence of legal counsel. However, in the case of an unaccompanied child, the guardian is present and legal counsel can be appointed. The interview does not go into the asylum grounds in any detail, but a brief outline of flight reasons is made in most of the interview documentation.

Questions are asked about relatives in other EU countries, previous stays in EU countries, the health condition of the applicant, any objections to being sent to the responsible EU Member State, and attitude towards leaving voluntarily.

A transcript of the interview is made but not normally communicated to the asylum seeker since it is only in Swedish. The transcript and other documents regarding an applicant’s asylum case can be requested.

If there are close relatives in another EU country, Swedish authorities take no action to inform that country of the presence of a relative in Sweden but await a request from the other country regarding the desirability of family reunification and written consent from the family present in Sweden to be reunited.[13]



An application will be dismissed as inadmissible when the Dublin Regulation applies.[14] In Dublin cases, there is no legal counsel automatically appointed at first instance (except for unaccompanied children), so the asylum seeker must either appeal alone or seek the support of friends or NGOs. The appeals procedure is no different from the appeal system that applies in the Regular Procedure: Appeal.

All Dublin appeals are dealt with by the Migration Court in Stockholm. In line with Article 27(3)(c) of the Dublin III Regulation, if an applicant requests for their appeal to have suspensive effect, the transfer is automatically suspended until the Court decides on whether to suspend the implementation of the transfer.[15] Moreover, appeals in Dublin cases are often expedited quickly by the Migration Court and the Migration Court of Appeal.[16] The appeal body does not take into account the recognition rates in the responsible member state when reviewing the Dublin decision.[17]

The Migration Court of Appeal made a reference for a preliminary ruling to the CJEU to clarify whether an applicant is entitled to challenge a Dublin transfer solely on the basis of systemic deficiencies or also on other grounds i.e., relating to the application of the responsibility criteria. The CJEU ruled on 7 June 2016 and found that in order for a correct application of the responsibility determination procedure under the Dublin III Regulation to take place, the applicant must be able to contest a transfer decision and invoke an infringement of the rule set out in Article 19(2) of the Regulation, i.e. where the applicant provides evidence that he she has left the territory of one Member State, having made an application there, for at least three months and has made a new asylum application in another Member State.[18]

On 26 February 2020, the Migration Court of Appeal found in the case MIG 2020:4 that a decision by the Migration Agency to not take charge of an asylum seeker upon request from another member state cannot be appealed.[19] In the present case, the Migration Court of Appeal also rejected a request from the individual concerned that the Court should request a preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union, despite the fact that other national courts in Germany and the UK have found that asylum seekers have a right to appeal rejections of take charge requests.[20] The Court found that the decision not to take charge primarily concerns the States involved, not the individual, at least not directly in a way that would entail an assessment of potential violations of their freedoms or rights.


Legal assistance

The Migration Court of Appeal has in the case MIG 2014:29 expressed that the Swedish Migration Agency can appoint a public counsel in Dublin cases, but that it can also consider that there is no need for a counsel. In the same case, the Court also expressed that a public counsel can be appointed at the second instance, in case the appeal has a reasonable prospect of success. In practice, legal counsel is not made available at first instance in Dublin cases, and the Migration Courts are also very restrictive in appointing public counsels.[21]

The Migration Court can appoint legal counsel in Dublin appeals but does take into account whether the grounds for appeal raise issues that could lead to a change in the decision. The difficulties with regard to access to legal assistance in the regular procedure are also applicable here (see Regular procedure: Legal assistance).


Suspension of transfers

To Hungary

In March 2019, the Swedish Migration Agency announced it considers that there are well-founded reasons to assume that there are currently such systemic deficiencies in the asylum procedure and reception conditions in Hungary that transfers there would engage Article 3(2) of the Dublin Regulation. These deficiencies entail a risk of inhuman or degrading treatment within the meaning of Article 4 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

As far as the authors are aware, no persons have been transferred to Hungary since 2018.

In November 2022 (revised in 2023), the Swedish Migration Agency issued a new legal guidance note regarding Dublin transfers to Hungary.[22] The Swedish Migration Agency currently do not consider that such systemic deficiencies in the asylum procedure and reception conditions in Hungary exists that transfers would engage Article 3(2) of the Dublin Regulation. The Swedish Migration Agency however consider that there are serious doubts on whether an asylum seeker, after transfer to Hungary, can gain access to the asylum procedure. Therefore, the Swedish Migration Agency assesses that no transfers to Hungary can be done until further notice.

The Swedish Migration Agency continues to make the request and take transfer decision if Hungary is determined to be the responsible Member State. In 2023, 52 request were made to Hungary.[23] However, the transfer decisions may not be enforced as long as the conditions in Hungary remains. All transfer decisions to Hungary in accordance with the Dublin regulation are therefore to be suspended until further notice.

To Greece

In February 2018, the Swedish Migration Agency decided to reinstate transfers to Greece. The decision was made with reference to the recommendation from the European Commission, which was issued almost a year earlier.[24] The Swedish Migration Agency does not take any particular measures with regard to transfers to Greece, but they do take into consideration the recommendations from the Commission.[25] In 2023, 5 take charge decisions and 1 take back decision were issued to Greece.[26]


The situation of Dublin returnees

Dublin returnees with a final negative decision in Sweden are normally taken into custody on arrival and measures are taken to facilitate their removal. If their case is still pending in Sweden and there is no final negative decision, then they are placed in an accommodation centre near a point of departure and continue the procedure in their ongoing case.

During 2018, the Aliens Act was amended concerning responsibility for the reception of Dublin returnees which means that the police authority takes over the responsibility from the Swedish Migration Agency regarding the reception of persons who have been accepted in accordance with the Dublin Regulation when there is a legally enforceable decision on cancellation or expulsion.[27]

Transfers to Sweden for “take back” cases with a legally enforceable removal order in Sweden are not automatically provided with accommodation by the Swedish Migration Agency or the Police on arrival if they are unwilling to return voluntarily to their home country. This applies also to families with children. Since the changes to the Law on the Reception of Asylum Seekers (LMA) in 2016 only families with minor children can be allowed to stay in this accommodation while the removal order is pending and after the period for voluntary return has passed. Families who leave this accommodation for another EU country and are returned according to the Dublin Regulation have no right to re-access accommodation from the Migration Agency.




[1] Information provided by the Swedish Migration Agency.

[2] Chapter 10 Section 1 Aliens Act.

[3] Government. Regerings proposition 2020/21:5. Behandling av känsliga personuppgifter i testverksamhet enligt utlänningsdatalagen, 10 September 2020, available at: https://bit.ly/3SGLCx9.

[4] Government. Regeringens proposition 2020/21:6. Ändrade bestämmelser om fotografier och fingeravtryck i SIS II-regelverket, available at: https://bit.ly/49cUMs4.

[5] Information provided by the Swedish Migration Agency.

[6] Chapter 5 Section 1 b Aliens Act.

[7] The Reception Act (1994:137) Section 10.

[8] Chapter 12 Section 9 a Aliens Act.

[9] Information provided by the Migration Agency, August 2017.

[10] Information provided by the Migration Agency’s statistics unit.

[11] Migration Agency, Monthly statistical report for December 2022, 15.

[12] Migration Court of Appeal, MIG 2007:4, UM 607-06, 22 January 2007, available at: http://bit.ly/2oZzsl1.

[13] Information provided by the Swedish Refugee Law Center.

[14] Ch. 5, Section 1c Aliens Act.

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

[16] Observation based on practice by the Swedish Refugee Law Center.

[17] Migration Court of Appeal, Decision MIG 2013:23, 9 December 2013, available at: http://bit.ly/3XDu0mS.

[18] CJEU, Karim v. Migrationsverket, Case C-155/15, Judgment of 7 June 2016, available at: http://bit.ly/2kKfKa9.

[19] Migration Court of Appeal, MIG 2020:4, 26 February 2020, see EDAL summary at: https://bit.ly/3bN6BZv.

[20] See e.g., UK Upper Tribunal, MS [a child by his litigation friend MAS] v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, 19 July 2018, available at: http://bit.ly/3wrBU7a.

[21] There is a right to free public counsel if a person is detained for more than 3 days as a measure related to expulsion or transfer. Also, certain vulnerable asylum seekers (deaf and mute for example) can be granted public counsel.

[22] SMA, Överföringar till Ungern i enlighet med Dublinförordningen, RS/010/2022, 11 November 2022, available in Swedish at: https://bit.ly/3LSGAuQ.

[23] Statistics provided by the Migration Agency’s statistical unit.

[24] European Commission, Commission Recommendation of 8.12.2016 addressed to the Member States on the resumption of transfers to Greece under Regulation (EU) NO. 604/2013, C(2016) 8525 final, 8 December 2016, available at: https://bit.ly/3J8EWEP.

[25] Information from the Migration Agency, Dublin Unit, July 2019.

[26] Information provided by the Migration Agency’s statistics unit.

[27] Chapter 10, Section 13 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