On 11 March 2022, Switzerland’s government decided to issue special S visas from midnight, reported RTS. These visas will allow the holder to stay in Switzerland for a year and can be extended for longer if their safety is at risk.
The S visas, something that has never been issued before, will allow employment, allow children to go to school and allow unimpeded travel throughout the Schengen area. Adjustments were made to the visas to align them with similar systems being set up in the EU.
So far around 2,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Switzerland. However, more are expected. Karin Keller-Sutter, Switzerland’s justice minister, said there is no way of knowing how many will come or when they will arrive so we need to be pragmatic and flexible so we can react to the situation.
Given the cultural similarities between Ukraine and western Europe, the key to integration will be learning a new language, according to the minister.
The federal government will help the cantons with the cost of supporting refugees.