Asylum decision

The Asylum Act regulates the granting of asylum and the legal status of refugees in Switzerland, together with the temporary protection of persons in need of protection and their return (Art. 1 AsylA).

Decision after examining the substance of the case

If the conditions for processing an asylum application are met, the State Secretariat for Migration examines whether applicants are eligible for refugee status. Persons requesting asylum are granted refugee status and asylum in Switzerland if their reasons for claiming asylum are credible, and if they are in danger of persecution as defined by asylum law. If this is not the case, their application is rejected and they are ordered to leave Switzerland.

If asylum is not granted, the State Secretariat for Migration examines whether the rejected asylum seeker can indeed be expelled from Switzerland. This must be in accordance with Switzerland’s international obligations; e.g. it may not contravene the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention. Moreover, it must be possible and not unreasonable for the person to return to their home country or a third country considering the general situation in the country in question. If this is not the case, the person is granted temporary protection in Switzerland.

Asylum seekers who are not eligible for refugee status and who can be removed from Switzerland legally are set a deadline by which they must leave Switzerland.

Statutory right of appeal

Applicants have the right to appeal in the Federal Administrative Court (FAC) against a negative decision or the dismissal of a case by SEM.

When submitting an appeal, appellants must observe the following:

  • Deadlines
    An appeal against a negative decision must be submitted to the FAC within thirty days after notification of the negative decision by SEM. An appeal against the dismissal of a case must be submitted to the FAC within five working days.
  • Petition, statement of reasons, documentary evidence
    The appeal should contain a clear request or petition (for example: the appellant requests temporary protection or political asylum). Appellants should state the reasons for their re-quest and provide documentary proof if possible.
  • Language, signature, enclosures
    The appeal must be written in one of Switzerland’s official languages (German, French or Italian) and signed either by the appellant or a legal representative. The appeal must be submitted in duplicate and include any available documentary proof. A copy of the SEM decision should also be enclosed.

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