This article offers a short description of the rights you have as an asylum seeker in Sweden. Some of the rights are the right to health care, the right to education and the right to accommodation, the right to counsel, daily allowance, trustee or interpreter.
As an LGBTQI 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 covered by this law, as is discrimination on the basis of your religion or where you come from. If you have been the victim of discrimination, you have the right to report it 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 urgent health care. The urgent care or the care that cannot wait includes maternity care, abortion care, maternal health care, treatments under the Infectious Diseases Act, and contraception advice. Health care costs are reduced and are 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 prescription glasses, you can get financial assistance from the Migration Agency for this. A certified optician must provide an opinion that includes three parts for the Migration Agency to agree to provide financial assistance:
– Results of a sight test
– Assessment of the need for prescription glasses
– Cost proposal (it must be the cheapest option)
Your municipality is responsible to ensure 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. In the case you have faced problems in school, you should talk to the responsible person at the school. It is the responsibility of the head-teacher to ensure that your schooling is as good as possible based on your needs. Your right to education also applies even if you have received a decision of refusal of entry or expulsion until the day you leave the country.
After receiving a residence permit, you have the right to Swedish for Immigrants (SFI) from your municipality, free of charge. There is no upper age limit to take an SFI course, but you must be at least 16 years old.
Suppose you are single and younger than 18. In that case, 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 LGBTQI 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 are no accommodations specifically for LGBTQI adults or youth.
You can also organize your own accommodation, and this is called your 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 that the Migration Agency can contact you. If you plan to move, make sure that you inform the Migration Agency of your new address.
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:
– 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 during 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 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 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 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 certain gender. If you are not happy with your interpreter, you have the right to say so.
Whether you live in Migration Agency accommodation or in your own housing, your daily allowance amount will differ. For single adults, the allowance is SEK 24/day if you live in the Migration Agency’s accommodation, including 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. The municipality supports single children.
In Sweden, both same-sex and opposite-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 about it. You can read more about getting married in Sweden here.
You are protected from hate crime by law. A hate crime means that someone attacks you based on how they perceive 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 a victim of a hate crime, you should report it to the police. RFSL has a support service for LGBTQI victims of hate crimes. You can contact RFSL’s support service for victims of crime on [email protected] or call 020-341 316.