Special procedure

Multiple applications and applying for a re-examination

Under Article 111b of the Asylum Act, a repeat application can be made within five years of the original asylum decision becoming legally binding if there is a material change in the grounds for claiming refugee status. An appeal can be made to overturn an existing decision. An asylum seeker can apply for their asylum decision to be reexamined under Article 111b of the Asylum Act.

Change of canton

SEM assigns asylum seekers to a canton for the duration of the asylum procedure (assignment canton). The assignment of residence in a particular canton remains in force even after the temporary admission order. While the asylum procedure is pending or during the period of temporary admission, the foreign national concerned may submit an application to SEM for a change of canton at any time, i.e. an application to amend the original allocation decision. A subsequent amendment of the original allocation decision is made in the case of a claim for family unity, in the case of a serious threat to the asylum seeker or other persons, and - outside these two constellations giving rise to a claim - with the consent of the two cantons concerned. Serious forms of domestic violence are considered to be a serious threat. Provisionally admitted refugees are entitled to a change of canton subject to Article 63 FNA. After a legally binding rejection of the asylum application without an order for temporary admission, however, a change of canton is generally no longer ordered. Applications must be sent to the following address: State Secretariat for Migration, Asylum Division, Quellenweg 6, 3003 Bern-Wabern.

Family asylum and family reunification

Close family members (partner and children under 18) of foreign nationals in Switzerland who have been granted asylum under the Asylum Act or who have been temporarily admitted to the country under the Foreign Nationals and Integration Act (FNIA) may under certain circumstances be reunified with the person granted asylum or be given the same legal status.

The provisions of the Asylum Act apply to family members of recognised refugees with asylum status. The central idea of family asylum is to reunite families, unless special circumstances prevent this.

Family members of recognised refugees or other foreign nationals who have been provisionally admitted to Switzerland are subject to the special provisions in the FNIA. In particular the family’s living situation is considered and whether they are dependent on social security.

Applications for family reunification or the provisional admission of other family members can be made in writing to the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM). The cantonal migration authorities are responsible for dealing with applications from foreign nationals who have been neither provisionally admitted nor have asylum status.

Termination of asylum

The SEM withdraws asylum status if a refugee violates or threatens the internal or external security of Switzerland or commits a particularly reprehensible offence.

Refugee status is withdrawn if the foreign national has obtained asylum or refugee status by fraudulently misrepresenting or concealing essential facts or for reasons given in article 1(C) 1–6 of the UN Refugee Convention. These clauses in the Refugee Convention relate either to the behaviour of the refugee or the changes that may occur in the country of persecution. In either case it is assumed that the refugee no longer requires protection.

In addition, the law provides for a number of circumstances in which asylum can be terminated, for example if the refugee has spent more than one year abroad or has been granted asylum or permanent residence in another country.

Last modification 22.06.2023

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