Residence permit

Switzerland

Author

Swiss Refugee Council

Refugees with asylum

Recognised refugees with asylum receive a residence permit called B-permit.1 This permit is issued for a year and then prolonged by the responsible canton. Recognised refugees with asylum have a right to have this permit issued and prolonged. If there are reasons to withdraw the refugee status, the right to have the permit issued and prolonged is withdrawn. In 2016, asylum status and B-permits were granted to 5,985 persons, including family asylum. On 31 December 2016, there were a total 25,140 recognised refugees with a B-permit in Switzerland.2

 

Temporary admission

Persons granted temporary admission receive an F-permit.3 Technically this is not considered a real permit of stay, but rather the confirmation that a deportation order cannot be carried out and that the person is allowed to stay in Switzerland as long as this is the case. The concept of temporary admission is legally designed as a replacement measure for a deportation order that cannot be carried out because of international law obligations, humanitarian reasons or practical obstacles. This means that there is a negative decision, but the execution of this decision is stayed for the duration of the legal or humanitarian obstacles. Consequently, the F-permit has a number of relevant limitations: for example, persons with an F-permit are only allowed to travel outside Switzerland in exceptional cases, under restrictive and limited circumstances. Also, family reunification is only possible after a waiting period of 3 years, and under the condition that the person is financially independent and has a large enough apartment. The F-permit is issued for one year and then prolonged by the responsible canton, unless there are reasons to end the temporary admission.

In 2016, 5,634 persons were granted a temporary admission as a foreigner. On 31 December 2016, there were a total of 27,390 persons with a temporary admission as a foreigner living in Switzerland. Out of these, 9,602 persons have had this status for more than seven years.4

There are also persons who have refugee status but receive only temporary admission instead of asylum (in case of exclusion grounds from asylum, as Switzerland makes this distinction between refugee status and asylum). They receive the same F-permit as other foreigners with temporary admission, but in addition they have the right to a refugee travel document, and all the other rights granted by the Refugee Convention. In 2016, 1,735 persons were granted a temporary admission as a refugee. On 31 December 2016, there were a total of 9,487 persons with a temporary admission as a refugee living in Switzerland. Out of these, 2,014 persons have had this status for more than seven years.5

OSAR has no knowledge of systematic difficulties in the issuance or renewal of those residence permits.

  • 1. Article 60(1) Asylum Act.
  • 2. SEM, Asylum Statistics 2016.
  • 3. Article 41(2) and Article 85(1) FNA.
  • 4. SEM, Asylum Statistics 2016.
  • 5. SEM, Asylum Statistics 2016.

About AIDA

The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detenti