Last week, Switzerland’s Federal Administrative Court (FAC) overturned a decision by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), Switzerland’s immigration department, to not issue residence permits to the children of a man who had received welfare while training, according to RTS.
SEM decided the man was not well integrated because he had received welfare.
FAC said the fact that the father of the Ukrainian-Syrian family had received welfare during his training was insufficient reason for refusing to grant his children permanent residence permits. The training he received allowed the man to find work and support his family. In addition, the judges considered the CHF 200,000 paid to the man over four years insignificant.
The man offered to repay the money, however FAC said this was not required.
Swiss rules on welfare are tighter than in some countries. Some municipalities in some Swiss cantons require welfare to be repaid once the recipient is back on their feet – more of a loan than a hand out.
In addition, welfare payments are looked at when foreign nationals apply for Swiss citizenship. Those who have received welfare within three years of applying, unless they pay back the money they received, are disqualified. An exception is made for those receiving welfare while studying for their first qualification.