|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
|653||Federal Department of Justice and Police||No|
Source: SEM, 1 April 2022.
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.
The SEM employs 1,227 officials, who work not only on asylum but also other areas in the field of migration such as immigration or integration. Out of them, 653 officials worked in the Asylum Department as of December 2021. The number of caseworkers examining applications for international protection is 256. Every single asylum decision is double checked by the head of unit (Sektionschef) or his/her deputy. There is also a Quality Management team at the HQ, but they only check a representative selection of decisions in order to improve the processes and contents of decisions.
 SEM, Guidelines and circulars, available in French (and German and Italian) at: https://bit.ly/2lRH7nn. A Handbook on Asylum and Return for SEM employees providing useful information on Swiss law and practice is also available online in French (and German) at: https://bit.ly/2J0U22t .