Freedom of movement


Country Report: Freedom of movement Last updated: 21/04/21


Swedish Refugee Law Center Visit Website

There are no restrictions in law or practice to the freedom of movement of asylum seekers within Sweden. However, if accommodation is requested from the Migration Agency, asylum seekers are not free to choose their place of residence. The assignment to a place of residence is not made on the basis of a formal administrative decision.

A law was introduced in 2016 so that all municipalities would have to accept persons living in Migration Agency accommodation who have a residence permit.[1] All municipalities are also obliged to house unaccompanied children. This eased some of the pressure on the Migration Agency to find suitable solutions. The government provided extra funding to municipalities in relation to the number of asylum seekers and recognised claimants they had living there. The education system also received extra governmental funding to cope with the high number of children that had arrived in 2015 and early 2016 and who have a right to education.

Asylum seekers are in many cases forced to relocate to reception centres in other cities, not without protests in some cases when people are uprooted once again after settling in a community.[2]

It should be noted that in 2020, no particular restrictions were applied to asylum seekers in the context of COVID-19. They could thus move freely across Swedish territory and were subject to the same measures as Swedish citizens in this regard.


[1]  Lag (2016:38) om mottagande av vissa nyanlända invandrare för bosättning, Official Journal 2016:38.

[2] Mitti Hela Stockholm, ‘Barn demonstrerar för att få stanna i Täby’, 13 June 2017, available in Swedish 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