Criteria for determining responsibility in the Dublin System

Family and unaccompanied minors

The Dublin Regulations emphasise the importance of family unity and protecting unaccompanied minor asylum seekers. If, for instance, close relatives become separated from each other during the flight from their home country and lodge asylum applications with different member states, the regulations enable national authorities to reunify the family in one member state and to conduct one joint asylum procedure for the whole family. Moreover, if the asylum seeker has family members who have previously lodged an application with another member state or who have been allowed to reside as permanent residents or as recognised refugees in a member state, that country may be deemed responsible for the asylum application.

Visas and residence permits

When a Dublin member state issues a visa or a residence permit to an asylum seeker, that country is generally responsible for examining the asylum seeker’s application.

Unauthorised entry and unauthorised stay

When an asylum seeker enters the territory of a Dublin member state without a visa or residence document permitting them to enter the territory, that country is deemed responsible for examining any asylum application made. A member state is also deemed responsible if an asylum seeker remains in that country without permission for any length of time before lodging an application for asylum in another member state.

Multiple asylum claims

If an asylum seeker claims asylum in a Dublin member state, then leaves that country for a second member state and lodges a further asylum application, the first member state is, in general, responsible for examining the application.

Conclusion of the Dublin Procedure

If under the Dublin System Switzerland is deemed the member state responsible for processing an asylum seeker’s asylum application, the Swiss authorities examine the person’s motives for having fled their country of origin and conduct the asylum procedure. However, if it is established that another member state is responsible for examining an asylum seeker’s application, the Swiss authorities do not examine the application and the asylum seeker must leave Swiss territory. The asylum application is subsequently processed by the Dublin member state responsible.

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