Withdrawal of protection status


Country Report: Withdrawal of protection status Last updated: 30/11/20


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The SEM should revoke asylum or deprive a person of refugee status if the foreign national concerned has fraudulently obtained asylum or refugee status by providing false information or by concealing essential facts. The asylum will also be withdrawn if a refugee has violated or represents a threat to Switzerland's internal or external security, or has committed a particularly serious criminal offence. The revocation of asylum or the deprivation of refugee status applies in relation to all federal and cantonal authorities. As a consequence of the withdrawal of the asylum status, the residence permit will also be withdrawn as the purpose for the permit has ceased.

If only the asylum status was withdrawn and not the refugee status, the person concerned could be entitled to a temporary admission as a refugee (see the distinction in Residence Permit).

The grounds for a withdrawal are always examined individually. The revocation of asylum or the deprivation of refugee status does not extend to the spouse or the children of the person concerned. Before the asylum or temporary admission status is withdrawn, the SEM grants the right to be heard in written form.[1]

As in general any ruling can be subject to an appeal,[2] the cessation of the protection status can also appealed. The appeal must be filed within 30 days of notification of the ruling.[3] No legal assistance is foreseen in the law for this specific case, but the general rule regarding legal aid is applicable: If it is necessary in order to safeguard the right of the person concerned, the court can appoint a lawyer to represent the applicant.[4]

In 2019, the asylum status was withdrawn in 1,955 cases. This includes the withdrawal of refugee status in these cases.[5]

For temporary admission, the review described in Cessation is applicable. In 2019, 4,105 temporary admissions were ceased, and 57 were withdrawn.[6]

On 1 October 2016, changes to the Federal Act on Foreign Nationals and the Criminal Code came into force. Foreigners who commit criminal acts (not only severe criminal acts but also for example social welfare fraud) can more easily be expelled under the new rules.[7] In case of an expulsion order, the asylum status will be withdrawn. Temporary admission shall not be granted or shall expire if an order for expulsion from Switzerland becomes legally enforceable.[8] There is not sufficient information on how this is applied so far.


[1] Information provided by the SEM, 18 January 2017.

[2] Article 44 Federal Act on Administrative Procedure.

[3] Article 50 Federal Act on Administrative Procedure.

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

[5] SEM, Asylum Statistics 2019.

[6] SEM, Asylum Statistics 2019.              

[7] Federal Council, Referendum on Asylum Act of 5 June 2016.

[8]  Article 83(9) FNIA.


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