Migration matters


In-country support by the SEM

The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) also strives to protect and defend the rights of migrants and refugees in their regions of origin and transit. This is why we support countries of first arrival and transit, such as those adjacent to Syria, in the Horn of Africa, and North Africa. Our objective is to improve living conditions for migrants and refugees (through protection, registration, supplies, etc.) and to help make the local asylum and migration systems more efficient. In doing so, we hope to take the pressure off migrants to continue the irregular and often perilous journey to Europe. North Africa is a key transit region for irregular migration to Europe. Apart from migrant-protection projects, the SEM also supports projects in this region for the voluntary return of migrants and for rescue operations at sea.


Migration Report 2018

The Migration Report 2018 from the SEM is available online as a pdf or printable version. The report provides a comprehensive overview of all the SEM’s activities, areas of interest and projects.

Latest publications also include the
Foreign Population and Asylum Statistics for 2016 


Asylum Applications

Switzerland is pursuing a clear objective with its asylum policy. Individuals who are in need of protection should be granted this protection in Switzerland; individuals who have no need of protection should leave Switzerland as quickly as possible.

In order to handle the flow of incoming asylum applications efficiently, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) operates according to the following principles: clearly unjustified asylum applications are handled as a priority, hence accelerated processing is used for asylum seekers from specific countries; for failed asylum applications, applicants are consistently removed from Switzerland. Switzerland also legally enforces the Dublin Agreement. According to this agreement, asylum seekers for whom Switzerland is not the country with the authority to process the asylum application will be returned to the respective responsible European country. The objective of the SEM is to keep the number of clearly unjustified asylum applications as low as possible.

Information for schools

(Most information in German)