In March 2019, the asylum reform came into force in Switzerland. All asylum applications submitted since 1 March 2019 are processed according to the new procedure that significantly reduced the duration of procedures. The majority of the procedures have to be concluded within 140 days (including appeal and removal procedure) while asylum seekers are accommodated in federal asylum centres located in one of the six asylum regions. If the case is a complex one requiring further clarifications and cannot be decided within 8 days after the interview on the grounds for asylum, the SEM must order that the case be assigned to the extended procedure. These procedures shall last a maximum of one year in total (including appeal procedure and enforcement of removal in case of a negative decision). After the assignment to the extended procedure, asylum seekers are attributed to a canton that is responsible for organising accommodation.
In the new procedure, asylum seekers receive free counselling and legal representation right after their asylum application.
In 2020, the SEM was able to process nearly all pending cases that were lodged before 1 March 2019 and to which the new procedure does not apply. It examined a total of 6,340 old procedures, while a total of 447 pending cases under the previous procedure were still pending by the end of 2020.
 Information provided by the SEM, 19 March 2021.