Reception Conditions


Country Report: Reception Conditions Last updated: 10/06/22


Swedish Refugee Law Center Visit Website

The Chapter: Reception Conditions in Sweden contains sections on:

A. Access and forms of reception conditions

    1. Criteria and restrictions to access reception conditions
    2. Forms and levels of material reception conditions
    3. Reduction or withdrawal of reception conditions
    4. Freedom of movement

B. Housing

    1. Types of accommodation
    2. Conditions in reception facilities

C. Employment and education

    1. Access to the labour market
    2. Access to education

D. Health care

E. Special reception needs of vulnerable groups

F. Information for asylum seekers and access to reception centres

    1. Provision of information on reception
    2. Access to reception centres by third parties

G. Differential treatment of specific nationalities in reception


Short overview of the reception system

In Sweden, the Swedish Migration Agency is responsible for the reception of asylum seekers. It provides temporary accommodation while awaiting the decision on the application for international protection. The SMA will cover the costs of accommodation if the applicant does not have enough resources. The applicant is in most cases free to choose and arrange its own accommodation if he or she does not wish to stay with the SMA. As regards unaccompanied minors, they will be channelled to a local municipality which is then responsible for the reception of the minor.

The right to accommodation starts as soon as an application for international protection is made. If an asylum seeker has been living in accommodation provided by the Swedish Migration Agency, then the Swedish Migration Agency can help him/her to secure housing once they have received a residence permit. The right to accommodation ends once the applicant has received a notice of rejection of the application for international protection, a deportation order, or if the deadline for voluntarily departure has expired. This applies to all adults and persons not living with underaged children. Families with children and unaccompanied children may however continue to live in the temporary accommodations by the SMA and to benefit from the right to financial support until they leave Sweden or if they have deregistered from the reception system. Also, if an applicant applies for a work permit after the rejection of his asylum claim has become effective, he or she will be deregistered form the reception system and will no longer be entitled to financial support nor accommodations This also applies to the family members who have jointly applied for a residence permit.

As for beneficiaries of international protection who are granted a protection status by the SMA and who do not secure housing for themselves, they will be referred to a municipality who will then become responsible for arranging housing. The municipality becomes responsible two months at the latest after it has been designated and the beneficiary can remain in the SMA reception centre until the responsibility has transferred to the municipality. However, if the beneficiary declines the offer of moving to the designated municipality the beneficiary must immediately arrange for his/her own housing.[1]

The SMA reception centres are mostly shared flats. Families are always given a room on their own. Single people must share a room with others of the same sex. For applicant with special needs, the SMA will try to arrange a living situation adapted to their situation.[2]

Following the decision by the SMA on 16 July 2021 to temporarily stop all deportations to Afghanistan following the Taliban take-over, many Afghans with enforceable expulsion decisions were able to apply for individual decisions to temporary stop their expulsions, and following that to regain financial support and accommodation. However, this resulted in a situation where many could not regain such support, including Afghans who had submitted subsequent applications but were not yet granted a re-examination, Afghans whose applications for extending residence permits for upper-secondary education or work rejected, Dublin returnees and others who simply lacked information on how to apply. This was widely criticized by civil society organisations.[3]




[1] Migration Agency, Bosättning i en kommun, available in Swedish at:

[2] See also: Migration Agency, Accommodation, available at:

[3] See for example Swedish Refugee Law Center, Ge afghaner tillfälligt uppehållstillstånd, available at:

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