Cessation and review of protection status


Country Report: Cessation and review of protection status Last updated: 30/06/23


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Refugees with asylum[1]

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 they renounce their refugee status, the protection status ceases as well. Renouncement leads to immediate cessation of the status. Refugee status and asylum expire as well if the foreign national acquires Swiss nationality. Finally, asylum expires if an expulsion order under criminal law has become legally enforceable.

In 2022, asylum expired in 2,680 cases resulting in cessation of status for one of the reasons mentioned above.[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 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 the granting of a residence permit.

The review is based on an individual assessment. When a conflict ends, it is possible that revocation 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. This has hardly ever been the case in the past years, however, as most of the relevant conflicts are long-standing (Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria), the only exception was Eritrea, the SEM reviewed the temporary admission of 3,400 Eritrean nationals between 2018 and 2020, resulting in the revoke of about 2%. Even if cessation is considered for a group of persons, it is examined in each case individually.

In 2018, the Swiss Parliament tasked the SEM with the review of the temporary admission of 3,400 Eritrean nationals. This took place in the context of significant hardening of practice by both the SEM and the Federal Administrative Court with regard to asylum applications submitted by Eritreans. In fact, since a leading decision issued by the Federal Administrative Court in 2017, the enforcement of removal is no longer considered generally unreasonable (see Eritrea). This approach has been criticised by NGOs,[4] including the Swiss Refugee Council.[5]

In October 2020, the Federal Administrative Court clarified that revocation of temporary admission due to the consideration that the obstacles to the enforcement of removal no longer exist always requires an examination of proportionality taking into account the degree of integration of the person concerned.[6]

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 they are abroad for more than two months without a permission to travel, or if they receive a residence permit.[7] A person’s departure from Switzerland is already considered permanent if the person asks for asylum in another country.[8] 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,[9] the cessation of the protection status can also be appealed. The appeal must be filed within 30 days of notification of the ruling.[10] No legal assistance is foreseen in the law for this specific case but the general legal aid scheme is applicable: If it is necessary to safeguard the right of the person concerned, the Court can appoint a lawyer to represent the applicant.[11]

In 2022, 7,053 temporary admissions were ceased, meaning for example that the person has obtained another residence status or has left Switzerland.[12] In 6,357 cases, another status was granted.[13]




[1] Article 64 AsylA.

[2] SEM, asylum statistics (7-10), available at: https://bit.ly/418U0Yk.

[3] Article 84 FNIA.

[4] 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.

[5]. Swiss Refugee Council, La Confédération mise sur l’intimidation plutôt que sur des solutions, 3 September 2018, available in French (and German) at: https://bit.ly/3O8Dtyr.  

[6] Federal Administrative Court, Decision E-3822/2919, 28 October 2020.

[7] Article 84(4) FNIA.

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

[9] Article 44 Federal Act on Administrative Procedure.

[10] Article 50 Federal Act on Administrative Procedure.

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

[12] Information provided by the SEM, 1 May 2023.

[13] Information provided by the SEM, 1 May 2023.

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