This week, Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) said that it expects 27,000 asylum seekers to arrive in Switzerland this year, reported RTS. The figure excludes Ukrainian refugees who enter Switzerland via a different process. They are granted protection status S in a fast-track procedure that does not involve going through the asylum procedure. Last year, around 75,000 Ukrainian refugees registered for S visas in Switzerland in addition to those applying for regular asylum.
The forecast for regular asylum applications in 2023 is 10% higher than in 2022 (24,500) and 81% more than the number applying in 2021 (14,900). The only years with more arrivals over the last decade were 2012 (28,600), 2015 (39,500) and 2016 (27,200). In addition, large numbers of people have been welcomed from Ukraine. A total of 80,600 people from Ukraine have requested S permits since the war started.
We are confronted with an exceptional situation, said Christine Schraner Burgener from SEM. With such high numbers from time to time we reach our limits. Regarding Ukrainians, the number arriving has stabilised at 500 a week, said Schraner Burgener – 500 a week is around 26,000 a year.
To cope with the large number of asylum seekers Switzerland has accelerated the process. This helps to quickly identify those who don’t qualify. In 2022, most asylum applications failed. The removal rate was 54%. We are sending a clear signal that it is not worth applying for asylum in Switzerland if you are not persecuted, said Schraner Burgener.