The Dublin Procedure

When person from a third country applies for asylum in Switzerland, the first step is to determine which Dublin member state is responsible for processing the asylum application. The asylum seeker is questioned, in particular about the route they have travelled and their family circumstances. Their fingerprints are compared with the Eurodac central fingerprint database to determine whether they have already applied for protection in another Dublin member state or entered the Dublin Area illegally elsewhere. The interview is intended to help uncover other issues, such as whether close family members are already in other Dublin member states, which also helps determine which member state is responsible. If Switzerland believes that another Dublin member state is responsible, it asks this country to carry out the asylum procedure for the asylum seeker ("outgoing procedure"). If no other member state is responsible, the regular national asylum procedure is initiated.

The Dublin System is based on reciprocity, and the rules regarding responsibility naturally also apply to Switzerland: if an asylum seeker submits an asylum application in a Dublin member state and Switzerland is responsible for the asylum procedure, it must allow the asylum seeker to enter the country (‘incoming procedure’) and must process the asylum application.

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