Status and rights of family members

Switzerland

Country Report: Status and rights of family members Last updated: 14/05/21

Author

Swiss Refugee Council Visit Website

In the case of family asylum, the beneficiaries themselves are granted the same rights as the sponsor. However, as the refugee status originated in the grounds of the sponsor, the refugee status is of a derivative character, therefore it is not possible for persons with this kind of status to be the sponsor of further family members. The same applies to cases of temporary admission status as a refugee.

However, before the family members are included in the sponsor’s status, the SEM usually examines whether they fulfil the refugee definition on their own and can therefore be granted their own original refugee status. During the procedure, or at least at the beginning, they are accommodated in a federal asylum centre and not together with the spouse, which leads some persons to renounce to the examination of their own asylum grounds. This can be problematic in case of separation since the status of the reunited spouse will be dependent on the refugee who has applied for family reunification.

In case there are asylum exclusion grounds[1] relating to the family member, this person will only be granted a temporary admission as refugee even though the sponsor was granted asylum.[2]

Family members of a person who has been granted a temporary admission status will receive the same status, if the application for family reunification is granted. If the family members arrive independently of the sponsor, they have to make their own asylum application and will receive temporary admission if those conditions are met.

[1]        Articles 53 and 54 AsylA.

[2]        Federal Administrative Court, Decision BVGE 2015/40.

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