The Philippine Embassy has been informed that certain unnamed individuals/groups have approached irregular migrants who wish to regularize their stay in countries in the EU or in Switzerland offering to assist, for a certain fee, in the application for an asylum or refugee status.

In this regard, the Philippine Embassy hereby warn the public that Switzerland has strict regulations governing refugee/asylum applications. The procedure for applying for refugee and asylum in Switzerland is as follows:

1. Filing of Application either at an airport or at a reception and processing center and Initial Screening

An applicant for asylum must file his application at any of the following: (a) at a border control point at a Swiss airport; (b) upon entry at an open border crossing; or (c) at a reception and processing center inside Switzerland. Application must be submitted within the country and not from abroad.

A. Filing at the Border:

If an application is made at the border or within Switzerland, the asylum seeker is assigned to a reception and processing center where he will be subjected to an initial screening/interview,        his fingerprints and photographs taken, and details recorded.  

B. Filing at a Swiss airport:

The same requirements are submitted and taken at a Swiss airport. Swiss authorities decide within two (2) days whether to not an applicant will be allowed to enter the country. The asylum procedure may be done either at the airport or in a cantonal processing center


2. Allocation to a canton by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) based on a quota system.


3. Conduct of interview to establish whether or not a person is entitled to a refugee status. The interview is conducted either at a reception and processing center or in the canton within twenty (20) days after the applicant has been assigned to his canton.


4. Individuals whose applications for asylum are approved will receive temporary residence permits. After ten (10) years, a residence permit may be issued.

The procedure for asylum application is shown in the diagram found in the link below from the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM):

Per the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), Swiss authorities have the right to confiscate part of the assets of persons seeking asylum in Switzerland, as provided for in the Asylum Act.

Under said Act, Swiss authorities are permitted to confiscate assets in excess of CHF1,000.00 (except personal items such as jewelry) held by asylum seekers who enter Switzerland. This practice is based on a well-established principle: other people living in Switzerland must reimburse the costs that they occasion to the social assistance fund. END