Types of accommodation


Country Report: Types of accommodation Last updated: 21/04/21


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Housing offered by the Migration Agency is either in an apartment, in a normal housing area or at a centre. Asylum seekers can choose to live at a centre but in that case they will need to move to a town where the Migration Agency can offer them a place. Asylum seekers may also choose to opt for private accommodation with friends or relatives. However, the Migration Agency can only influence matters concerning the accommodation they themselves provide since they hold the contracts for the flats and can make demands on the owners regarding material conditions.

The total number of asylum seekers registered in the reception system at the end of 2020 was 30,634 (down from 40,312 in 2019), of which 12,080 were living in Migration Agency accommodation, 17,727 in private accommodation and 827 in other forms of accommodation.[4]

The preferred forms of accommodation for housing asylum seekers are individual flats which are rented in most municipalities working with the Migration Agency in Sweden.

The continuing drop of asylum seekers in the reception system has led to reductions in the number of places in Migration Agency accommodation. This number has been steadily reduced over the past years: from 37,292 in 2018, to 24,844 in 2019 and to 20,575 in 2020.[5] In 2020, several stakeholders such as Save the Children and the Swedish Church reports warned, however, that the shutting down of reception capacity fails to take into consideration the best interests of children. As a result, children are forced to move and enter new schools which adds obstacles to their education.[6]

The Migration Agency also operates “departure centres” for persons who have agreed to voluntary departure to the home country or Dublin cases. In 2020, the return process was adjusted so that rejected asylum seekers could move to a departure centre at an earlier point. However, the Covid-19 situation made it difficult to apply this.[7]


[1] Average numbers for 2020, Migration Agency, Annual Report 2020, available in Swedish at: https://bit.ly/2Ngcrum, 51.

[2] Both permanent and for first arrivals. This refers to the number of municipalities where the Migration Agency rents flats or other accommodation.

[3] This includes privately placed unaccompanied minors, youth in care arrangements, persons in criminal detention and others.

[4] Migration Agency, Monthly Statistical Report, December 2020.

[5] Migration Agency, Annual Report 2020, p. 52, available in Swedish at: https://bit.ly/2Ngcrum.

[6] FRA. Migration: Key Fundamental Rights Concerns. Quarterly Bulletin, November 2020, available at: https://bit.ly/36BeJug, 30

[7]  Migration Agency, Annual Report 2020, available in Swedish at: https://bit.ly/2Ngcrum, 48.

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