Cessation and review of protection status


Country Report: Cessation and review of protection status Last updated: 21/04/21


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Swedish legislation on cessation and revocation of status of international protection has changed since the implementation of relevant recast EU Directives. Relevant legislation can be found in Chapter 4 of the Aliens Act. There is no up-to-date English translation of the Aliens Act, but it should be noted that Sweden adheres to relevant EU legislation and national law.

According to Chapter 4, Section 5, a person ceases to be a refugee when he or she: (1) has of his or her own free will used the protection of the country of which he or she is a citizen; (2) voluntarily applies for and regains citizenship of said country; (3) applies for and gets citizenship in another country; (4) returns and resides yet again in the country where he or she used to reside. The person also ceases to be a refugee (5) when the circumstances in connection with which he or she has been recognised as a refugee have ceased to exist, or have changed to such a degree that protection is no longer required.

Chapter 4, Section 5a provides that a person ceases being considered as in need of subsidiary protection (alternativt skyddsbehövande) if the circumstances that lead to him or her being considered in need of such protection have ceased to exist, or have changed to such a degree that protection is no longer required.

In both Chapter 4, Section 5 and 5a, it is stipulated that the status should not be considered as ceased if the refugee/beneficiary of subsidiary protection is able to invoke compelling reasons arising out of previous persecution/experiences constituting the ground for protection, respectively, for refusing to avail himself or herself of the protection of the country of nationality or, being a stateless person, of the country of former habitual residence.

With the shift from permanent to temporary residence permits through the Temporary Law introduced in 2016, the questions of cessation and withdrawal of protection status have become much more in focus. The Migration Agency, which is also responsible for cessation procedures, has therefore issued guidance on these topics.[1] When a beneficiary of international protection applies for an extension of his/her residence permit, the questions of cessation and withdrawal of protection status can be looked into if new information has appeared. In case law, the fact that the burden of proof lies with the Swedish authorities is pointed out.[2]

With the extension of the temporary law from July 2019 to July 2021, many two-year prolongation temporary permits for those granted subsidiary status will be subject to re-examination so the issue of cessation will become more prevalent in the coming years should the country of origin situation change significantly.

One issue that was brought to the attention of the Migration Court of Appeal in 2020 is the question of cessation and revocation of subsidiary protection when the beneficiary, who was granted protection because of child-specific risks, has become an adult.[3] The case concerns an Afghan citizen who was granted subsidiary protection in Sweden as a child, in line with the Migration Court of Appeal ruling in MIG 2017:6, and concerns the question of cessation since he is now an adult. The was still pending at the time of writing this report (March 2021).

If the Migration Agency considers that a situation of cessation might be at hand, e.g. following an application for extension of the residence permit by a beneficiary of international protection, a withdrawal procedure will be initiated. (see Withdrawal of protection status below).



[1]  Migration Agency, Rättsligt ställningstagande angående förutsättningarna för att återkalla en skyddsstatusförklaring, SR 19/2018, available in Swedish at: https://bit.ly/3bDD7w6.

[2]  Migration Court of Appeal, MIG 2011:13, 13 June 2011, available at: http://bit.ly/2n4FaA6.

[3]  Migration Court of Appeal case number UM 2839-20.

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