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Federal Council activates protection status S for Ukraine war refugees

  • Switzerland


    On March 11, 2022, the Federal Council decided that protection status S will be granted in Switzerland to refugees from Ukraine who had to leave their home country because of the war. This means that the refugees will swiftly receive a residence permit without having to go through a regular asylum procedure.

    Currently, Ukrainians can enter Switzerland without a visa and stay freely for a total of 90 days.

    In order to grant protection to the refugees quickly and as unbureaucratically as possible, the Federal Council has activated protection status S for the first time, as from. March 12, 2022. Under this protection status S, a specific group of people can be granted collective protection for the duration of a serious threat, especially during a war. The right of residence in Switzerland is limited to one year but can be extended. The S status also allows those in need of protection to be joined by family members. It largely corresponds to the solution adopted by the EU member states.

    In addition to Ukrainian citizens and their family members, persons from third countries who have left the country because of the war are also granted S protection status. The prerequisite is that they have a valid residence permit in Ukraine prior to their flight and cannot return safely and permanently to their home country. Persons who have already been granted protection status in another EU state cannot claim this protection status in Switzerland.

    In its ordinance, the Federal Council has made certain adjustments to the S protection status as defined in the Asylum Act. For example, the waiting period of three months for taking up gainful employment has been abolished. The Federal Council also allows self-employment. Full access to the labor market is guaranteed. The State Secretariat for Migration together with the cantons are currently examining whether measures to promote language learning are necessary. In addition, persons with protection status S are allowed to travel without a permit.

    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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