Cessation and review of protection status

Switzerland

Country Report: Cessation and review of protection status Last updated: 30/11/20

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Refugees with asylum[1]

The automatic cessation of the asylum status is possible if a person has lived abroad for more than one year. If a person is granted asylum in another country or he or she renounces his or her refugee status, the protection status ceases as well. The renouncement leads to the immediate cessation of the status. Refugee status and asylum expire as well if the foreign national acquires Swiss nationality.

In 2019, there was a cessation of asylum status in 1,640 cases.[2]

Temporary admission[3]

According to the law, the SEM should periodically examine whether the requirements for temporary admission are still met. In practice this does not happen in every case due to practical and capacity reasons. The SEM should revoke temporary admission and order the enforcement of removal or expulsion if the requirements are no longer met. It also expires in the event of definitive departure, an unauthorised stay abroad of more than two months, or on the granting of a residence permit.

The review is based on an individual assessment. When a conflict ends, it is possible that cessation is examined for all members of the group who were specifically concerned by this conflict. This happened, for example, at the end of the conflicts in ex-Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Recently this has not been the case, however, as most of the relevant conflicts are long-standing (Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq). However, the SEM has announced that it will examine the temporary admissions granted persons from Eritrea and the Western Balkans as one of its priorities in 2018.[4] Even if cessation is considered for a group of persons, it is examined in each case individually.

In 2018, the SEM launched a project to review the temporary admission of 3,400 Eritrean nationals. This project is set in a context of significant hardening of the practice of both the SEM and the Federal Administrative Court with regard to asylum applications submitted by Eritreans. Following an initial review of 250 cases, the SEM concluded that 9% of the provisional admissions examined, which represents 20 cases, could be withdrawn. In 2019, the SEM plans to continue the individual examination of nearly 2,800 cases in the first 6 months of the year.[5] This approach has been criticised by NGOs,[6] including the Swiss Refugee Council.[7] The SEM stated in January 2020 that it was about to finish the examination of temporary admissions of Eritreans. Until end of October 2019, SEM found the temporary admission no longer to be valid in 82 cases (2.7%).[8] Most of the appeals submitted against such decisions have been rejected by the Federal Administrative Court but some are still pending.

Apart from the review of the necessity of protection due to the situation in the country or the situation of the person, temporary admission ceases automatically if a person leaves Switzerland permanently, if he or she is abroad for more than two months without a permission to travel, or if he or she receives a residence permit.[9] A person’s departure from Switzerland is already considered permanent if the person asks for asylum in another country.[10] This can lead to unclear situations if persons are transferred back to Switzerland from other European states, and then find that their temporary admission has ceased in the meantime.

As in general any ruling can be subject to an appeal,[11] the cessation of the protection status can also be appealed. The appeal must be filed within 30 days of notification of the ruling.[12] No legal assistance is foreseen in the law for this specific case but the general legal aid scheme is applicable: If it is necessary for safeguarding the right of the person concerned, the court can appoint a lawyer to represent the applicant.[13]

In 2019, 4,105 temporary admissions were ceased, and 57 were withdrawn.[14]

 


[1] Article 64 AsylA.

[2] SEM, Asylum Statistics 2019.

[3] Article 84 FNIA.

[4] SEM, Information during an information conference for NGOs, 23 November 2017.

[5]  SEM; ‘Fin du projet pilote d’examen des admissions provisoires de ressortissants érythréens’, 3 September 2018, available (in French) at: https://bit.ly/2HWdeNG.

[6] See in particular ODAE, Rapport thématique – Durcissements à l’encontre des Érythréen·ne·s : une communauté sous pression, 29 November 2018, available (in French) at: https://bit.ly/2SCdBAW.

[7].Swiss Refugee Council, ‘La Confédération mise sur l’intimidation plutôt que sur des solutions’, 3 September 2018, available (in French) at: https://bit.ly/2TJGCbr.

[8] Département fédéral de justice et police (DFJP), Situation des requerants d’asile érythréens en Suisse: pratique en matière d’asile et de renvoi, levée des admissions provisoires, retour et principe de l’aide d’urgence, Rapport du Département fédéral de justice et de police (DFJP) en réponse à la lettre du Haut-Commissariat des droits de l’homme (HCDH) du 19 juin 2019, 30 novembre 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/38RFAS4.

[9] Article 84(4) FNIA.

[10] Article 26a(a) Ordinance on the Enforcement of the Refusal of Admission to and Deportation of Foreign Nationals (OERE).

[11] Article 44 Federal Act on Administrative Procedure.

[12] Article 50 Federal Act on Administrative Procedure.

[13] Article 65(2) Federal Act on Administrative Procedure.

[14] SEM, Asylum Statistics 2019.

 

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