Number of staff and nature of the first instance authority


Country Report: Number of staff and nature of the first instance authority Last updated: 30/11/20


Swiss Refugee Council Visit Website


Name in English

Number of staff

Ministry responsible

Is there any political interference possible by the responsible Minister with the decision making in individual cases by the determining authority?

State Secretariat for Migration

(Asylum Department)


Federal Department of Justice and Police


Source: SEM, 12 February 2020.


The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) is responsible for examining applications for international protection and competent to take decisions at first instance. It falls under the responsibility of the Federal Department of Justice and Police. The guidelines and circulars of the SEM relating to the asylum procedure are publicly accessible and can be consulted online.[1]

Besides asylum, the SEM covers also other areas in the field of migration such as immigration or integration. This means that the 622 officials working for the SEM as of February 2020 are not all caseworkers examining applications for international protection, as they may be responsible for a variety of other tasks. However, the authority dealing with asylum is a specialised section within the SEM.


[1] SEM, Guidelines and circulars, available in French at:


Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection