Sweden

Sweden’s accession record to relevant human rights treaties is generally good except that it has not acceded to the Council of Europe Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness in relation to State succession nor the Convention on the Rights of all Migrant Workers and their Families. Some data about the stateless population is collected in the census and by government agencies, but there are overlapping categories.
Sweden lacks a definition of a stateless person as well as a statelessness determination procedure in domestic law, although there are some procedures through which statelessness can be identified. None of these procedures lead to legal residence status nor rights solely on grounds of statelessness, and there are gaps in procedural safeguards and protection. There are also gaps in the legal framework to prevent the arbitrary detention of stateless people, including a lack of consideration of statelessness in the decision to detain, and limited procedural safeguards to prevent re-detention.
On the prevention and reduction of statelessness, Swedish law incudes relatively good safeguards. However, the provisions to protect the right to a nationality of children born stateless in Sweden are not in line with the 1961 Convention and the Convention on the Rights of the Child and stateless people may face delays to qualify for naturalisation due to stringent requirements. There is no specific procedure in Swedish law to determine the nationality of children at birth. Deprivation of nationality on national security grounds is not possible in Sweden and when deprivation of nationality is applied there are safeguards to prevent statelessness including in cases of derivative loss of nationality.

Last updated: 
Apr 2022
Next scheduled update: 
Jan 2022

Additional resources

ASSESSMENT KEY

++POSITIVE
+ SOMEWHAT POSITIVE
+-POSITIVE and NEGATIVE
- SOMEWHAT NEGATIVE
--NEGATIVE

ADDITIONAL INFO

-NORMS & GOOD PRACTICE

 

International and Regional Instruments

Assesses whether countries are State Party to the relevant international and regional instruments, including whether reservations have an impact on statelessness, and whether instruments are incorporated into domestic law. The four core statelessness treaties (1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons; 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness; European Convention on Nationality; Council of Europe Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness in Relation to State Succession) carry more weight than other relevant human rights instruments in the assessment.

Sweden is State Party to the 1954 and 1961 statelessness conventions but retains reservations to both and has not transposed them fully into Swedish law. Sweden is party to most other relevant legal instruments, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which it has fully transposed into domestic law. It is not State Party to the Council of Europe Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness in relation to State succession nor the Convention on the Rights of all Migrant Workers and their Families.

  • Sweden is State Party to the 1954 Convention, but it retains some reservations. Its reservations to Articles 8 and 24(1)(b) were withdrawn in 2019.
  • Conventions do not have direct effect in Sweden and the 1954 Convention has not been fully transposed into Swedish law.
  • Sweden is State Party to the 1961 Convention with no relevant reservations.
  • Conventions do not have direct effect in Sweden. Some provisions of the 1961 Convention have been transposed into Swedish law, but not all.
  • Sweden is State Party to the European Convention on Nationality but not to the Council of Europe Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness in relation to State Succession.
  • Sweden is party to the European Convention on Human Rights with no relevant reservations.
  • Sweden is bound by the EU Return Directive.
  • Sweden is State Party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and has incorporated this convention into Swedish law.
  • Sweden is State Party to all other relevant international treaties with no reservations that significantly impact on stateless people, except for the Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families to which it is not party.

Statelessness Population Data

Examines the availability and sources of disaggregated population data on statelessness. Provides recent figures and assesses reliability of measures countries have in place to count stateless persons, including in the census, population registries, and migration databases. Notes whether statelessness has been mapped in the country and whether there are sufficient measures in place to count stateless persons in detention.

There are several sources of disaggregated data on the stateless population in Sweden, for example, the population and housing censuses include the categories ‘stateless, ‘under investigation’, and ‘nationality unknown’, and data is collected on stateless people granted asylum or nationality in Sweden. UNHCR conducted a mapping study of statelessness in Sweden in 2016. Some data is collected on stateless people in immigration detention, but this is only shared upon request with some NGOs. Without a statelessness determination procedure nor a definition of a stateless person in domestic law, it is very likely that statelessness in Sweden is underreported.

  • Some data collection systems in Sweden have a ‘stateless’ category, including the population and housing censuses. Data is disaggregated by age, sex, and country of nationality, including ‘stateless persons’, ‘under investigation’, and ‘nationality unknown’.
  • The total number of stateless people recorded in 2020 was 14,435 (6,577 women and 7,858 men). The total number of people recorded as 'nationality unknown' in 2020 was 13,069 (5,890 women and 7,179 men).
  • Data categories that may overlap with stateless people include ‘unknown nationality’ and ‘under investigation’
  • In its most recent Global Trends report, UNHCR reports a total of 27,504 people under is statelessness mandate in Sweden at the end of 2020. UNHCR published a mapping study of statelessness in Sweden in 2016.
  • Data is also available for the number of stateless people granted Swedish nationality (3,227 in 2020); the number of new asylum applications recorded as lodged by stateless persons (347 in 2021); the asylum outcome of persons registered as stateless (57% grant rate in 2021); the number of unaccompanied minor stateless asylum seekers (13 in 2021); the number and type of permits renewed for stateless people; data on returns of stateless people; and data on family reunification requests by stateless people.
  • Despite the scope of available data, the lack of a statelessness determination procedure or definition of a stateless person in Swedish law means that the numbers are unreliable as some stateless people may not be registered as such by the competent authorities. It is therefore likely that statelessness is underreported in Sweden.
  • The Swedish Migration Agency records and reports monthly data on people held in immigration detention to the Ministry of Justice. This is not published, but it is made available to certain NGOs and can be acquired on request.
  • In 2021, out of a total of 2,265 people placed in detention, 91 were recorded as stateless. Other nationality categories reported in 2021 included ‘Palestine’ (41) and ‘Unknown’ (35). The most common ground for issuing a detention order to people recorded as stateless was due to impending removal.

Statelessness Determination and Status

Identifies whether countries have a definition of a stateless person in national law that aligns with the 1954 Convention, and whether they have a dedicated statelessness determination procedure (SDP) leading to a dedicated statelessness status. If an SDP is not place, it assesses whether there are other procedures in which statelessness can be identified or other routes through which stateless people could regularise their stay or access their rights. Countries are subdivided in three groups to enable comparison between those with an SDP leading to protection, those with other procedures, and those with a statelessness status but no clear mechanism to access protection. The existing procedures and rights granted to stateless persons are examined and assessed against international norms and good practice.

There is no definition of a stateless person in Swedish law. Statelessness can be identified when applying for asylum, an immigration permit, naturalisation, or when registering children born in Sweden, but there is no dedicated statelessness determination procedure leading to a dedicated statelessness status. There is no obligation on the authorities to consider statelessness in any procedure and the burden of proof varies between available procedures in law and practice. Procedural safeguards such as legal aid and interpretation are available in the asylum procedure. Most rights granted to stateless people in Sweden are not based on their statelessness but on the immigration or residence status granted through other procedures.

  • There is no definition of a stateless person in Swedish law, although the term 'stateless' is mentioned in the law several times.
  • No information is available on any training for public authorities, judges, or lawyers in Sweden on statelessness. UNHCR recommended that specialised training on statelessness be provided to competent authorities in Sweden in its mapping study of 2016.
  • There is no dedicated SDP leading to a dedicated statelessness status in Sweden, but there are other procedures in which statelessness can be identified.
  • A person can be identified as stateless in Sweden when applying for asylum, an immigration permit, naturalisation, or when registering children born in Sweden.
  • It is possible for an asylum applicant’s statelessness to be identified during the asylum procedure, but the process is ad hoc and often depends on the knowledge of the individual case officer.
  • Statelessness can also be identified during registration in the Swedish Population Register by the Tax Agency (e.g., when a person receives an immigration residence permit, or when a new-born baby is registered in the Population Register).
  • When an application for naturalisation is made, the Citizenship Unit of the Swedish Migration Agency can also make an assessment of statelessness.
  • Statelessness determination is not the explicit objective of any of these procedures.
  • There are no obligations in law on the Swedish authorities to consider a claim of statelessness within a relevant procedure.
  • There is little information on what statelessness is and how to claim one’s rights as a stateless person in Sweden under the 1954 Convention.
  • There is some cooperation between competent authorities but there are differences of approach. For example, if the Swedish Migration Agency knows someone is stateless, they may inform the Tax Agency. However, there is no standard protocol as to how and when this is to be done. The assessment of nationality carried out by the Migration Agency is different from that carried out by the Tax Agency, which can lead to differing decisions about the same individual.
  • The burden of proof applied when identifying statelessness varies in law and practice. In the asylum procedure, by law, the burden of proof is shared between the applicant and the authorities when determining an applicant’s identity. In applications for naturalisation, the burden of proof is mainly on the applicant and the competent authority is not bound by previous assessments of nationality undertaken by other agencies. The Tax Agency and Migration Agency do not have common guidelines on how to assess nationality. However, in practice the burden to prove statelessness often falls on the applicant. If the applicant fails to provide documentation to prove their statelessness, they are often registered as ‘nationality unknown’.
  • The standard of proof applied depends on the procedure and agency. There is no common guidance on the standard of proof that should be applied when evidencing statelessness. For the Tax Agency, a passport and civil status documents are needed, which often cannot be provided by a stateless person. So, although the Tax Agency has a webpage referencing stateless persons, in practice, it is often impossible to be registered as a stateless person by the Agency. For the Migration Agency, an ID document or other evidence stating that the person has no nationality is usually required. Stateless persons can be registered as stateless with one agency and as having a nationality with another.
  • There are no procedural guidelines for decision-makers on how to identify or determine statelessness.
  • Free legal assistance is provided to asylum seekers throughout the regular procedure and at all appeal levels, and is funded by the state budget. Legal counsel can be denied if the case is so clear that protection can be granted based on the interview. It can also be denied in cases of manifestly unfounded claims and in Dublin claims with a right on appeal to request free legal aid. There are some barriers to accessing specialist legal assistance in practice.
  • Free interpretation is available in the asylum procedure. However, there are cases in practice where the interpreter provided is not a professional, the language asked for has not been available, or statelessness-related terminology has been incorrectly interpreted. Generally, at court level, interpretation is of a higher standard mainly using authorised interpreters.
  • In the asylum procedure, interviews are conducted by the authority responsible for taking the decision, and applicants can request that the interviewer and interpreter be of a specific gender. Decisions are handed down in writing, there is a time-limit (usually within three weeks) for submitting an appeal and there is an internal quality control process.
  • Most rights granted to stateless people in Sweden are not based on their statelessness but on the immigration or residence permit granted through other procedures.
  • Statelessness is not a ground for residence in Sweden. Significant numbers of stateless people are unable to obtain any residence permit and are subject to return procedures. Stateless persons who cannot be returned may acquire a 12-month (temporary barrier to removal) or 13-month (recognised practical barriers to removal) temporary residence permit if removal does not take place, but the process is lengthy, and residence permits are rarely granted in practice.
  • Since July 2021, stateless refugees face a longer path to Swedish nationality with first permits granted to refugees through the asylum procedure now temporary rather than permanent, and additional housing, employment, and other requirements.
  • Stateless people have the right to a travel document if they are granted a residence permit in Sweden.  However, if a person is recorded as having ‘unknown nationality’, they may be denied a travel document even if they have been granted a residence permit.
  • There are no specific provisions for stateless people with regard to the right to work. Asylum seekers are permitted to work in Sweden, but there are practical barriers. To be able to work, asylum seekers must be able to prove their identity or show they have done all they can to do so but have been unsuccessful.
  • Access to emergency healthcare is guaranteed for asylum seekers until the person is granted residence or leaves Sweden, but there are practical barriers and less urgent health issues are not covered for adults. Children have access to full healthcare on the same terms as children residing in Sweden. During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, stateless people were able to get vaccinated by calling to book an appointment (this would normally be done through an app where you use your e-ID to identify yourself). However, those who did receive their vaccine were often unable to access public spaces as they did not have access to an e-ID vaccination pass.
  • Asylum seekers have access to housing and a small monthly allowance for food. This allowance has not been increased since 1994 and large families are discriminated as the allowance is reduced from the third child onwards.
  • All children under 18 have the right to education. However, there is no right to free higher (university) education for any asylum seekers.
  • People with international protection or a humanitarian residence permit in Sweden have the right to apply for family reunification, but there are practical barriers.
  • Only Swedish nationals have the right to vote in general elections to the Swedish Riksdag (Parliament).
  • People who have resided and been registered in a Swedish municipality with a residence permit for three years prior to a regional or municipal election may vote in these elections.

Detention

Analyses law, policy and practice relating to immigration detention generally, but focusing on protections in place to prevent the arbitrary detention of stateless people during removal and deportation procedures. Subthemes examine areas such as the identification of statelessness and assessment of whether there is a reasonable prospect of removal, procedural safeguards such as time limits, judicial oversight, and effective remedies, as well as the rights granted to stateless people upon release from detention and protection against re-detention.

There are some gaps in protection to prevent the arbitrary detention of stateless people in Swedish law and practice, leading to a risk of stateless people being detained. Statelessness is not juridically relevant in the decision to detain and although vulnerability assessments should be carried out prior to detention, statelessness is not considered a factor increasing vulnerability and assessments are not always thorough. Procedural safeguards in detention are relatively good although no information is provided concerning how to make an application for determination of statelessness. There is limited protection on release and a person may be released into destitution if they are not asylum seekers and did not hold a residence permit prior to detention.

  • Immigration detention in Sweden is regulated by law and decisions to detain may be taken by the Migration Agency, Migration Courts, or the Police.
  • An adult may be detained if their identity is unclear or to determine their right to stay if it is likely they will be refused entry or expelled and there is a risk of criminal activity or absconding.
  • 2,528 people were detained in Sweden in 2020.
  • Alternatives to detention exist in law and are used in practice.
  • An expulsion decision must indicate the country to which the person is to be returned. However, in some cases, more than one country is indicated, and the Police may arrange 'negotiation trips' to facilitate removal in some cases.
  • There is a clear obligation on authorities to release a person when there is no reasonable prospect of removal, but, in practice, there are cases of people remaining in detention when it was clear that return could not be implemented, and of stateless people being considered not to be cooperating due to their inability to prove their identity.
  • Statelessness is not juridically relevant in decisions to detain in Sweden. If there is a country willing to accept the stateless person, this can be indicated on the expulsion order without taking statelessness into account. The applicant can then be detained if there is a risk they would not leave voluntarily.
  • Vulnerability is not explicitly defined in the law, but case law, policy, and guidance provide for vulnerability screening in the asylum procedure and special procedural guarantees for certain groups. Statelessness is not considered a vulnerability factor. 
  • In practice, thorough individual vulnerability assessments are not consistently carried out. Detention screening is usually carried out based on a tick-box form with limited space for explanation, and people are rarely released on vulnerability grounds.
  • Stateless people are detained in practice.
  • There is a maximum time limit on detention in Sweden of 12 consecutive months. People issued with an expulsion or refusal of entry order may be detained for up to two months, with the possibility of an extension if there are exceptional grounds. Even if there are exceptional circumstances, the person is not usually detained longer than three months or 12 months if it is likely that removal will take longer because of a lack of cooperation, or it takes time to acquire the necessary documents. These time limits do not apply in the case of people detained following a criminal conviction. The average period of detention was 55 days in 2020.
  • There are automatic periodic reviews of the lawfulness of detention (within two weeks on grounds of unclear identity, for a removal decision within two months, and supervision within six months). Each review must be preceded by an oral hearing.
  • There is a right to free legal assistance on detention matters only after three days in detention. However, there are reports that information is inadequate, provided in a quick video meeting between the individual, lawyer and the Police, and discrepancies in the quality of advice provided.
  • There is a possibility to appeal the detention decision before the Migration Court and the Migration Court of Appeal (in certain circumstances), but the rate of overturned decisions is very low.
  • Decisions are given in writing, but often through a standardised tick-box form with limited reasoning.
  • Detainees are provided with information on their rights and contact details of legal advice providers. However, no information or guidance is provided on how to make a claim of statelessness. NGOs visit detention centres regularly and are permitted to have information available about their services. Detainees have free access to the internet and can contact organisations directly.
  • The Migration Agency and the Police have sections specialising on facilitating removals. Handbooks exist but are generally not publicly available. They include information on re-documentation and other aspects, but the focus is on whether for a stateless person the country of removal can be proven to be their country of habitual residence rather than establishing entitlement to nationality.
  • Asylum-seekers are issued with a document by the Migration Agency with information about their identity and status as asylum seekers, but this is not considered official ID. If released from detention, an individual will only have access to this document if it is valid or possibly a copy if it has expired.
  • If a person is released from detention, they go back to the same residence status and rights that they had previously (which could be a limbo situation, awaiting a new decision from the Migration Agency, or awaiting removal from Sweden).
  • Stateless people who have exhausted their right to remain legally in Sweden can be left in a situation of destitution on being released from detention.
  • Re-detention is possible if there are grounds for further detention, usually refusal to cooperate, suspected risk of absconding, or if there are concrete removal directions in place.
  • Sweden has bilateral agreements with 19 countries and is party to all EU readmission agreements. In the EU agreements, stateless people may be returned to countries willing to accept them and where they have previously had their habitual residence. Statelessness is not specifically considered.
  • Cases have been reported of Palestinians being returned to Jordan, for example, as Jordan was willing to accept them.

Prevention and Reduction

Assesses the adequacy of safeguards in nationality laws to prevent and reduce statelessness, including facilitated routes to naturalisation for stateless people, and protections for otherwise stateless children born on the territory or to nationals abroad, foundlings and adopted children. Examines law, policy, and practice on birth registration, including access to late birth registration, and reduction measures taken by States to prevent and reduce in situ statelessness. Analyses provisions on deprivation of nationality and whether there are safeguards related to renunciation and deprivation of nationality to prevent statelessness from occurring.

There are several gaps in Swedish law, policy and practice for the prevention and reduction of statelessness. Stateless people may face longer periods before they are allowed to apply for naturalisation if they lack documentation to prove their identity. Children born stateless in Sweden must meet requirements that go beyond the 1961 Convention (such as permanent and habitual residence) to acquire Swedish nationality. Safeguards for foundlings and those born to Swedish parents are good, while for adopted children they are relatively good. Births in Sweden must be registered with the Tax Agency promptly and the Migration Agency is notified if parents are not Swedish. Birth certificates are not universally issued, and no procedure exists to determine the nationality of a new-born child. If a nationality or statelessness cannot be proven, children may be registered as having ‘unknown nationality’. Deprivation of nationality is not permitted on national security grounds and when deprivation is applied, there are safeguards to prevent statelessness including in cases of derivative loss of nationality.

  • Stateless people may apply to naturalise if they have permanent residence and four years of habitual residence (in line with refugees and reduced from the standard five years) if they can meet other criteria, including to prove their identity.
  • If a stateless person is unable to prove their identity, they must have been a habitual resident for eight years and be able to prove that their stated identity is ‘probable'.
  • Stateless children (under 18) may register through notification if they have permanent residence and two years of habitual residence (reduced from three years). Stateless young people aged 18-20 may apply through notification if they are permanent residents and have been habitually resident since the age of 15.
  • It should be noted that since July 2021, it is more difficult to acquire permanent residence in Sweden. A person must have held temporary residence for at least three years, each family member must meet the criteria, and, if over 18, they must be able to provide for themselves, lead 'an honourable life', and have no criminal record if over 15.
  • As well as the requirement to have and be expected to lead ‘an honourable life’, additional changes were proposed in 2021 that would make it a requirement for an applicant for naturalisation not to be suspected of a serious crime, perceived to be a threat to national security or be active in or have influence over a terrorist organisation.
  • There are no exemptions for stateless people from the general eligibility requirements for naturalisation. However, stateless people who have been granted refugee status or refugee travel documents are exempt from paying the fee for naturalisation. The fee to apply for naturalisation for adults is 1500 SEK (145 EUR). Children under 18 covered by an adult’s application do not pay a fee. The fee is non-refundable if a mistake is made during the application.
  • There is a safeguard in Swedish nationality law for children born in the country who would otherwise be stateless. However, the child must have permanent and habitual residence (‘hemvist’) in Sweden, or at least five, or a total of ten cumulative, years of habitual residence, and have been granted temporary residence under specific chapters of the ‘Aliens' Act. A person who has reached 18 but not yet 21 years-old, who meets the above criteria but does not have permanent residence, may register for Swedish nationality if they have been habitually resident since they were 15 years-old.
  • Since July 2021, it has become more difficult to acquire permanent residence in Sweden, which creates barriers to stateless children acquiring Swedish nationality as soon as possible after birth.
  • The safeguard is non-automatic through notification after fulfilling certain requirements set out in law.
  • It is not a requirement that parents are also stateless for otherwise stateless children to acquire Swedish nationality, but, in practice, if one parent has a nationality, the child will generally be recorded by the authorities as holding that nationality.
  • For a child born stateless in Sweden to acquire nationality through notification, the Citizenship Unit of the Migration Agency assesses the child’s statelessness independently from any previous assessments undertaken by other authorities. The standard of proof is high as it must be clear that the child is stateless, otherwise the nationality of the child will be considered ‘unknown’ and the child will not be able to acquire Swedish nationality. The burden of proof is on the child especially in cases where they are registered by the Migration Agency as having a nationality or ‘nationality unknown’ or where one of the child’s parents holds a nationality.
  • Some information is provided about nationality and children born in Sweden on the Tax Agency website in English, Arabic, Tigrinya, and Swedish.
  • There are no specific safeguards to protect the right to a nationality of children born to refugees in Sweden.
  • Foundlings are granted Swedish nationality automatically by law.
  • There is no specific age-limit in the law, and the provision refers to a 'child'.
  • Nationality can only be withdrawn from foundlings if it is found that they hold another nationality.
  • It is possible that a child national adopted by foreign parents could be exposed to a temporary risk of statelessness during a procedure to renounce Swedish nationality if they do not already hold another nationality, as the condition for renunciation is that the person acquires another nationality within a certain period.
  • A child under 12 adopted by a Swedish national becomes Swedish at the time of adoption if adopted in a Nordic country or pursuant to a Hague Convention decision. If the child is over the age of 12, they must consent to acquiring Swedish nationality. If the child does not agree to becoming a Swedish national and they no longer hold another nationality, this could lead to a risk of statelessness.
  • All children born to Swedish nationals acquire Swedish nationality at birth and there are no discriminatory conditions in law or practice.
  • All births in Sweden must be reported to the Tax Agency as soon as possible by the midwife where the baby was born, or within a month by the child’s guardian if no midwife was present at a home birth. If no application is submitted in time, the Tax Agency may order the child's guardian to submit a notification of birth with the required information. If the guardian does not comply, the injunction can be combined with a fine.
  • A child's birth is registered in the Population Register if the mother is registered or if the father is registered and he is the legal guardian of the child. If the parents are not registered, the birth is still notified to the Tax Agency, but the child will only be registered in the Tax Agency Register if parents complete a supplementary form.
  • Information about a child born in Sweden who does not have Swedish nationality is usually sent to the Migration Agency, then the parents must apply for a residence permit and present a valid passport or travel document. There are legal exceptions to the protection of personal data, which include obligations to disclose information about a foreigner’s personal circumstances to specific authorities for the purposes of deciding on a residence permit or enforcing removal. The fear of being deported could potentially hinder undocumented families from registering a baby.
  • Sweden does not issue international birth certificates. Instead, a ‘personbevis’ (population registration certificate) may be issued on request, which is an extract from the Population Register and contains information on the individual held in the Register managed by the Tax Agency.
  • New parents must complete a Tax Agency form with information about the new-born child, which includes a field to indicate the nationality of the baby. The Migration Agency will investigate the parents’ nationality and may then register the child as having the nationality of a parent. The authorities use country information, caselaw and legal reports to inform their determination of nationality. The Tax Agency sometimes does its own determination of a child’s nationality. It can happen that the Tax and Migration Agencies register a baby as having different nationalities, as their systems are not linked.
  • If it can neither be established that the person has a nationality nor that the person is stateless, the Tax Agency must register that the person as ‘nationality unknown’. However, there is no common framework for the competent authorities to guide the assessment of whether a child is ‘stateless’, has ‘unknown nationality’, or ‘under investigation’, and the burden and standard of proof to apply.
  • There are credible reports to suggest that some children, such as the children of undocumented or unregistered parents, are prevented from registering the births of their children.
  • Information about birth registration is available on the Tax Agency website in English, Swedish, Arabic and Tigrinya. If the baby is born in hospital, staff usually inform parents or provide the form to facilitate registration.
  • Sweden pledged in 2019 to conduct a government-led inquiry on nationality, and to continue to address statelessness in line with the challenges noted in the UNHCR mapping study in 2016. This includes initiating a dialogue with the responsible national agencies to discuss registration of statelessness, nationality and ‘unknown nationality’, and limit inconsistencies in registration. Some of these measures have been introduced by the Government, others are in progress.
  • Forthcoming amendments to the Swedish nationality law create uncertainty and may exacerbate statelessness rather than reduce it.
  • There is a safeguard in Swedish nationality law that prohibits deprivation of nationality where it would lead to statelessness.
  • The Migration Agency is the competent authority for deprivation of nationality. Swedish nationality may only be lost by a national who turns 22 and is not residing in Sweden and does not have ties to Sweden. The person can apply to the Migration Agency to keep their nationality, should they fulfil the requirements.
  • A person who wishes to renounce their Swedish nationality may do so only if they do not have habitual residence in Sweden (except in exceptional circumstances). If the applicant is not already a national of another country, renunciation is conditional on the person acquiring the nationality of another country within a certain period of time.
  • There are currently no provisions for deprivation of Swedish nationality on national security grounds, but a proposal has been made in Parliament to introduce the possibility to deprive a person of their Swedish nationality if they are found guilty of terrorism.
  • There are no discriminatory provisions on deprivation of Swedish nationality.
  • Derivative loss of Swedish nationality does occur, but not if it would render the person stateless.

Resources

Library of resources, legal instruments, publications and training materials on statelessness, specifically relevant to this country. More regional and international materials, as well as resources from other countries, are available on the Resources library. Domestic case law can be consulted in the Statelessness Case Law Database (with summaries available in English).

Please note that we are in the process of adding new resources, so check back soon.

Project funded by:Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung