Conditions in reception facilities


Country Report: Conditions in reception facilities Last updated: 30/11/20


Swedish Refugee Law Center Visit Website

Asylum seekers are mainly accommodated in private houses and apartments rented by the Migration Agency or provided by private entities. Apartments are often located in a big apartment building and are considered as reception centres in the Swedish system but this is still on the basis of individual housing within the apartment buildings concerned.

The Migration Agency is responsible for the reception centres and for supervising the accommodation they provide in ordinary flats in regular residential areas and to assist asylum seekers. The ordinary rules for the number of persons per room do not apply to asylum seekers, so more people can live in a 3-room flat than is regularly the case when municipal authorities designate accommodation for citizens.

While there are no reports on restrictions on leisure or religious activities, there are also complaints about the lack of organised activities during the asylum procedure. In some centres, pro bono organisations offer different activities and opportunities to learn Swedish in informal ways. The government has provided considerable funding to NGOs and educational associations to provide meaningful activities for all asylum seekers and to set up venues where asylum seekers can meet other people Activities can be beginner’s courses in Swedish, information about Swedish society and the asylum process, children’s activities and outdoor activities including sports. 

Since 1 February 2017, the Migration Agency no longer has responsibility for organising meaningful activities for asylum seekers. This has been handed over to the County administration authorities (länsstyrelserna) who in cooperation with civil society will have the overriding responsibility for this. Early intervention regarding asylum seekers involves efforts and activities aimed at men and women who are seeking asylum or who have a residence permit but still live in the Migration Agency accommodation. The aim of the measures is to accelerate the establishment process while making the waiting time, which occurs when the asylum application is examined, more meaningful. Early intervention includes activities which aim to promote the target group's knowledge of Swedish, knowledge of Swedish society and the Swedish labour market and health.

The average duration of stay in reception system depends on the situation of the asylum seekers concerned:


Average duration of stay in reception system: 2019

Category of applicant

Average stay (days)

Persons returning voluntarily


Persons forcibly removed


Persons absconding


Persons granted permits


Total average



Source: Migration Agency.

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