As an LGBTQ person, you are protected under the Discrimination Act against discrimination at the workplace, in school, and in hospitals, among other situations. Harassment including sexual harassment is also forbidden in the Discrimination Act. The Discrimination Act also prohibits people from treating you differently for other reasons, for example on the basis of your religion or where you come from.
If you have been the victim of discrimination, you can make an application to the Discrimination Ombudsman.
As a child/young person under 18 seeking asylum in Sweden, you have the same right to health care as any child in Sweden. Health care is free of charge and includes dental treatment. However, there is a cost for medicine, but this is reduced if you have an LMA card. This also applies if you are in Sweden without municipal support and are under 18.
If you are older than 18, you have the right to health care that cannot wait. This includes maternity care, abortion care, maternal health care, treatment under the Infections Diseases Act, and contraception advice. Health care is reduced and costs about SEK 50 for both doctors and dentists. If you are in Sweden without municipal support and are older than 18, you also have a right to health care that cannot wait.
If you need spectacles, you can get financial assistance from the Migration Agency for this. A certified optician must provide an opinion which includes three parts for the Migration Agency to agree to provide financial assistance:
– the results of a sight test
– an assessment of the need for spectacles
– a cost proposal (it must be the cheapest option)
Your municipality is responsible for ensuring that you go to school on the same terms as other children in the municipality. This applies to preschool, primary school, and secondary school. In order to study at secondary school, you must start before your 18th birthday.
If you have problems at school, you should contact the person responsible at the school and talk to them. It is the responsibility of the headteacher to ensure that your schooling is good as possible based on your needs/what you need. Your right to education also applies if you have received a decision of refusal of entry or expulsion until the day you leave the country.
You have the right to Swedish for Immigrants (SFI) from your municipality when you have received a residence permit. There is no upper age limit to take an SFI course, but you must be at least 16 years old. SFI courses are free of charge.
If you are younger than 18 and come to Sweden without a guardian or parent, you have the right to a trustee. A trustee is appointed by your municipality and is responsible for your personal, financial, and legal issues. But, the trustee does not make sure that you have food, clothes, and accommodation, this is the responsibility of the municipality and the Migration Agency. Your trustee can, for example, support you during the investigation at the Migration Agency and in connection with information about a decision from the Migration Agency.
If you are single and younger than 18, you will receive accommodation from the municipality, for example in a family home or in an HVB home (residential care home for children and young people). HVB stands for hem för vård och boende (home for care and accommodation).
In other cases, the Migration Agency is responsible for organizing accommodation for you.
For example, you might live in the Migration Agency’s accommodation facility (ABO) during the time you are waiting for a decision. If you do not have any money, the Migration Agency will pay for your accommodation. Depending on where there is available accommodation, you may have to move to another town, so you cannot choose where you will live. As an LGBTQ person, you can talk to your case officer at the Migration Agency as soon as possible to have assistance to find accommodation that feels safe for you. There is however no accommodations specifically for LGBTQ adults or youth.
You can also organize your own accommodation, this is called own accommodation (EBO). For example, this could be with friends or relatives. If you live in your own accommodation, you have to pay for your own accommodation expenses.
Regardless of where you live, you must be available so the Migration Agency can contact you. Make sure that you inform the Migration Agency of your new address if you move.
You may be entitled to work during the time you are waiting for a decision about your asylum application. You must have received proof from the Migration Agency that you are exempt from the obligation to have a work permit. This is called AT-UND. In order to obtain AT-UND, the following requirements apply:
– you must provide assistance in clarifying your identity, for example by submitting your ID documents
– your asylum case must be processed in Sweden
– your application must be well-founded
Most asylum seekers have the right to have a public counsel who represents the asylum seeker over the course of the case with the Migration Agency, and in any appeal that may take place at the Migration Court or Migration Court of Appeal. The Migration Agency could decide not to appoint a public counsel if it is deemed to be “obviously unnecessary”, for example in what is known as a Dublin case.
When the Migration Agency rules that you should have a public counsel, you do not need to pay for it. If you are not satisfied with a public counsel that the Migration Agency has appointed for you, you can send in a written request to change. There are no formal requirements for such a request, but it should include your name, case number, and what your request is about (changing the public counsel). It is important to state the reasons why you want to change the public counsel.
If the Migration Agency does not appoint a public counsel, you can organize one for yourself, but you have to pay for them yourself.
If you are younger than 18 and have come to Sweden without a guardian, you will always receive a public counsel
If you do not speak Swedish, there will be an interpreter when you meet the Migration Agency. The interpreter is there to enable you and the Migration Agency staff to understand each other. The interpreter’s role is just to translate what is said, and they are not permitted to introduce their values in the meeting. The interpreter has the obligation of confidentiality. You are allowed to request that your interpreter is of a specific gender. If you are not happy with your interpreter, you should say so.
Depending on whether you live in Migration Agency accommodation or in your own accommodation, your daily allowance will be different amounts. For single adults, the allowance is SEK 24/day if you live in the Migration Agency’s accommodation which includes food. If you live in your own accommodation where food is not included, the allowance is SEK 71/day. For families with children, the allowance is higher. Single children are supported by the municipality.
In Sweden, both same-sex and different-sex couples can get married if they are older than 18. There are no specific requirements that you have to live in Sweden or have Swedish nationality to get married here. But there are certain rules around it. You can read more about getting married in Sweden here.
You are also protected from hate crime. A hate crime means that someone attacks you as a result of how they perceive, for example, your sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, skin color, or religion. For example, this could be in the form of offensive graffiti, that you are called offensive names, that you are threatened, or that someone is violent towards you. If you are the victim of a hate crime, you should report it to the police. RFSL has a support service for victims of crime for LGBTQ people who have been victims of hate crime. You can contact RFSL’s support service for victims of crime on [email protected] or call 020-341 316.