Asylum procedure

The State Secretariat for Migration is responsible for carrying out asylum procedures. Under the revised Asylum Act in force since 1 March 2019, most asylum procedures are now completed within 140 days. These accelerated procedures follow a strict procedure and timetable at each stage. Asylum applications for submitted before 1 March 2019 are still processed under the previous version of the Asylum Act.

The following animation entitled "Accelerated asylum procedures" explains the new asylum procedures with interactive maps and videos. 

When an application for asylum is submitted, SEM staff examine whether the grounds for asylum are plausible and – if so – whether the person in question fulfils the requirements for refugee status laid down in the Asylum Act. Recognised refugees are usually granted asylum; however, this is not the case if they have, for example, committed reprehensible acts or constitute a threat to Switzerland’s national security. As a rule, asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected have to leave Switzerland. In such cases, however, the office has to examine whether there are any obstacles to removal, in which case the State Secretariat for Migration grants the asylum seeker temporary admission to Switzerland. Otherwise, the cantonal migration offices – often in consultation with the competent federal authorities – are responsible for ensuring removal. Asylum seekers have the possibility of lodging an appeal with the Federal Administrative Court against negative decisions made by the State Secretariat for Migration.

The following pages explain the asylum procedure in Switzerland in more detail:

  • Asylum application and SEM processing strategy
  • Allocation of refugees to the asylum regions and reception in federal asylum centres with processing facilities;
  • The Dublin Procedure;
  • National procedures and special procedures;
  • Unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors and stateless people.

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