Overview of the main changes since the previous report update


Country Report: Overview of the main changes since the previous report update Last updated: 30/04/24


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The report was previously updated in April 2023.


International protection

  • Key asylum statistics at first instance: In 2023, 12,491 preliminary applications for international protection were lodged in Sweden. This marks a decrease of 25% from 2022. Most first-time applications were lodged by nationals of Afghanistan (1,343), Iraq (996), Syria (953), Uzbekistan (775) and Iran (745). At first instance, the overall recognition rate was 34%, a slight decrease from 37% in 2022. The recognition rate for Afghans was 63%, a slight increase from 60% in 2022. The recognition rate for Syrian nationals was 84%, a slight decrease from 90% in 2022. The backlog of pending cases at the end of 2023 was 5,229, a decrease from 2022. The average length of proceedings increased from 166 days in 2022 to 195 days in 2023. 7,393 subsequent applications were lodged, particularly from nationals from Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Palestine.

Asylum procedure

  • The Government platform agreement – Tidö Agreement: In the agreement between the parties in the new government (formed in October 2022) and the Sweden Democrats, the Tidö Agreement,[1] the parties state different actions that they will undertake to ensure that rights of asylum seekers will be restricted to a minimum level in accordance with international obligations. During 2023, a number of amendments of law took effect and several government inquiries concerning other restrictions where appointed. A selection follows below.
  • General conditions: An inquiry chair was appointed in October 2023 with the purpose to suggest which changes can be made to ensure that rights of asylum seekers will be restricted to a minimum level in accordance with international obligations. The purpose of the inquiry is also to remove the possibility for asylum seekers to receive permanent residency permits and instead only grant temporary permits. The inquiry shall also investigate the possibility to remove already existing permanent residency permits and instead grant temporary permits. Another purpose of the inquiry is to look at criteria for legal representatives, interpreters and general restrictions that can be made concerning receptions conditions. (See Reception Conditions).
  • Humanitarian protection: An amendment of a law took effect the 1 December 2023, restricting the possibility to receive protection on humanitarian grounds. Before 1 December 2023, there was an alleviation of the requirements for children in general and for adults with a special connection to Sweden. There are still some alleviations for children in effect.
  • The situation for undocumented migrants: A directive to inquire other restrictions for undocumented migrants was made in August 2023 and was partially disclosed in February 2024. The part of the inquiry that was disclosed suggests a longer limitation period for return decisions and longer re-entry bans. The part of the inquiry that is not yet disclosed investigates an obligation for all Swedish authorities that encounter undocumented migrants to alert the Swedish Migration Agency or the police. This may include schools, hospitals, and social services. The second part of the inquiry will be disclosed in September 2024.
  • Resettled refugees: Sweden lowered the number of resettled refugees accepted from 5,000 in 2022 to 900 in 2023. During 2023, Sweden had to cancel two out of four resettlement delegations due to security risks. 540 refugees were resettled to Sweden during 2023.

Reception conditions

  • The Government platform agreement – Tidö Agreement: According to the political agreement between the Government political parties and the Sweden Democrats, the migration legislation will be subject to comprehensive changes with the aim of restricting the rights of asylum seekers to a minimum level in accordance with international obligations. This far, an interim report has been published proposing how to end the possibility for asylum seekers to choose and arrange their own accommodation. It is proposed that transit centres where asylum seekers are to spend the entire asylum process be introduced. A directive to investigate other restrictions regarding the possibly for asylum seekers to choose where they stay is to be disclosed in May 2024. In 2023, the Swedish Migration Agency received a directive to set up five detention centres, and all asylum seekers whose deportation decision have gained legal force are directed to the return centres if they require accommodation. This will mainly apply to families with children, as adults without children usually do not have the right to accommodation if their deportation decision has gained legal force. (see: Housing).

Detention of asylum seekers

  • The Government platform agreement – Tidö Agreement: A report was published in the beginning of 2024 proposing further restrictions for visitors, room inspections, increased surveillance and increased security checks. The Parliament is expected to vote on the legislation during 2024.
  • Five precedent rulings were made by the Migration Court of Appeal regarding the national rules on detention. They concerned the allowed duration of detention, the grounds for detention, the grounds for denying visitors and on which grounds a public counsel is granted funds (see Grounds for detention).

Content of international protection

  • Family reunification: An amendment of a law took effect on 1 December 2023 restricting the possibility for resettled refugees and asylum seekers granted subsidiary protections to be exempted from maintenance requirements when applying for family reunification. Resettled refugees now have three months when they can apply for family reunification and be exempted from the requirements, but the months are now counted from the day they are granted the status and not from the day they arrive in Sweden. Asylum seekers granted subsidiary protection no longer have an initial period during which they can apply and be exempted from the requirement. The amendment also changed the age limit for family reunification for spouses and partners, removing the grant presumption between the ages of 18 and 21 (see Family Reunification).
  • Swedish citizenship: A directive for an inquiry that will propose additional conditions to qualify for Swedish citizenship was made in September 2023. The inquiry is tasked with giving suggestions regarding longer habitual residence, stricter requirements regarding an honest lifestyle, additional knowledge test, a requirement of a declaration of loyalty with Sweden and sufficient resources to maintain oneself.
  • Work permit: An amendment of a law took effect the 1 November 2023 and effectively changed the required income for a granted work permit from 13 000 SEK/month to a yearly changing requirement consisting of 80 % of the median salary in Sweden. In 2023, that meant that the requirement was 27 360 SEK/month. This means that the required salary was more than doubled and that some of the current work permit holders will not be able to extend their permits.


Temporary protection

The information given hereafter constitute a short summary of the 2023 Report on Temporary Protection, for further information, see Annex on Temporary Protection.

  • Key temporary protection statistics: In 2023, the Swedish Migration Agency registered 11,401 first time applications for temporary protection. In comparison, the Swedish Migration Agency registered 50,357 applications in 2022. Of those applications, 11,302 were Ukrainian nationals. The remaining applications came from third country nationals from more than 20 different countries, the second largest nationality being Russian with 18 applicants. The Swedish Migration Agency took decisions in 11,864 first time applications, and of those examined on the merits, 10,851 (99%) were granted a residence permit.

Temporary protection procedure

  • Asylum and expulsion enforcement: The Swedish Migration Agency have suspended the enforcement of expulsion decisions to Ukraine. The Temporary Protection Directive has been transposed into Swedish law and can be found in Ch. 21 of the Aliens Act.
  • Scope of temporary protection: In December 2023, the Government decided to extend the personal scope of temporary protection to include all persons legally staying in Sweden before 22 December 2023, if they belong to the categories of persons mentioned in article 2.1 of the Council implementing decision. Thereby, Ukrainian nationals who had applied for asylum prior to 30 October 2021 and thereafter been staying legally in Sweden are also included in the personal scope.

Content of temporary protection

  • Financial support: Temporary protection holders are only provided with financial support at the same low level as asylum-seekers, which has not been increased since 1994, and are only entitled to healthcare that cannot be postponed.




[1] ‘Tidöavtalet – Överenskommelse för Sverige’, available in swedish at: https://tinyurl.com/Tidoavtalet.

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