First country of asylum


Country Report: First country of asylum Last updated: 21/04/21


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The concept of first country of asylum is a ground for inadmissibility (see Admissibility Procedure).[1] A country can be considered to be a first country of asylum for a particular applicant for asylum if:

  • He or she has been recognised in that country as a refugee and he or she can still avail him or herself of that protection; or
  • He or she otherwise enjoys sufficient protection in that country, including benefiting from the principle of non-refoulement;

provided that he or she will be re-admitted to that country.

In a legal opinion issued in December 2018, the Migration Agency provides details on the application of the first country of asylum concept. It notes that refugee status in another country must be valid and that entry to that country is possible at the time the Agency takes a decision on the application in Sweden. More importantly, the Migration Agency considers that the requirement of protection from refoulement renders it difficult to apply the first country of asylum concept to statuses other than refugee status.[2]


[1]  Ch. 5, Section 1b(2) Aliens Act.

[2] Migration Agency, Rättsligt ställningstagande angående avvisning av ansökan om uppehållstillstånd med stöd av 5 kap. 1 b § utlänningslagen, 44/2018, 6 December 2018, available in Swedish at:, 5 et seq.

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