Cooperation amongst the Member States

When a third-country national applies for asylum in Switzerland, the State Secretariat for Migration inspects which Member State is responsible for examining the application. The applicant is interviewed on their itinerary and family circumstances, and their fingerprints are run through the central fingerprint database Eurodac. In general, the fingerprints of all those applying for asylum are recorded. Their data are stored in the Eurodac system. As a rule, therefore, it is possible to determine whether an asylum seeker has already lodged an application with another Member State, which is then normally responsible for the application. The interview also aims at establishing further evidence, such as whether close family members of the applicant reside in other Member States, which would also be an indication of responsibility. If Swiss authorities conclude that another Member State is responsible, this Member State is asked to take responsibility for the asylum seeker (i.e. out-procedure).

The Dublin Regulations rely on reciprocity, and the criteria for responsibility naturally also apply to Switzerland: if a third-country national lodges an asylum application in another Member State and Switzerland is responsible for the asylum procedure, Switzerland must admit this person to Swiss territory and examine the application (i.e. in-procedure).


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