Withdrawal of protection status


Country Report: Withdrawal of protection status Last updated: 19/04/23


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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, but Sweden adheres to relevant EU legislation and international law.

A refugee or subsidiary protection status shall be withdrawn if the person cannot be regarded as a refugee or in need of subsidiary protection.[1] Grounds for this can be cessation, exclusion, serious crime, danger to national security, and misrepresentation or omission of facts. Decisions on withdrawal of protection status are taken by the Migration Agency. Decisions can be appealed to the Migration Court, and Migration Court judgments can be appealed to the Migration Court of Appeal, subject to leave to appeal. There is no explicit requirement for conducting a personal interview, however the Migration Agency’s position is that a personal interview should be held in these cases given the impact the decision can have for the individual as well as the fact that the burden of proof rests with the Migration Agency. If the possibility of expulsion arises as a result of the withdrawal procedure, a legal counsel is appointed on the same grounds as in a normal asylum case.[2]

According to a political agreement in October 2022 between the new Government political parties and the Sweden Democrats party the Migration Agency shall give priority to cases regarding withdrawal of residence permit. A new governmental inquiry will examine and propose how residence permits may be withdrawn to a greater extent.[3] In 2022, 296 cases regarding residence permits and 788 cases concerning citizenship were reported to the Swedish Security Service.[4]

In 2022, Sweden withdrew international protection status for 361 individuals (251 refugee status, 110 subsidiary protection status). The three most common nationalities regarding refugee status were Afghanistan (72), Iraq (29) and Iran (29), regarding subsidiary protection status the most common nationalities were Afghanistan (58), Syria (38) and Iraq (5).[5]




[1] Chapter 4, Section 5 b, Aliens Act for refugee status and Chapter 4, Section 5 c, Aliens Act, for subsidiary protection status.

[2] Migration Agency,. Rättsligt ställningstagande. Förutsättningarna för att återkalla en skyddsstatusförklaring – RS/054/2021 (version 3.0) , available in Swedish at  https://bit.ly/3zyQytT.

[3] Tidöavtalet (The Tidö Agreement), available online at: https://bit.ly/3wuCh0t, 39.

[4] Migration Agency, Annual Report 2022, Dnr: 1.3.2-2023-2262, available in Swedish at: http://bitly.ws/AUE8, 121.

[5] Information provided by the Migration Agency’s statistical unit.

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