Switzerland Marks Surge in Asylum Applications in 2023, Recording Over 30,000


30,223 foreigners applied for asylum in Switzerland last year, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) has revealed.

Such a figure represents more than a 23 per cent per cent increase compared to 2022 when the Swiss authorities received 24,511 asylum requests, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Furthermore, SEM processed 26,667 asylum applications in the first instance and granted asylum status to 5,991 people. The asylum grant rate in 2023 was nearly 26 per cent, whereas in 2022 it amounted to over 30 per cent.

According to SEM, the increased asylum applications are mainly attributed to the rising number of asylum seekers from Türkiye, Morocco, and Algeria, and also changes in asylum practices towards Afghani women.

Regarding this issue, Switzerland followed a recommendation from the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA).

Several other European countries had previously taken this step. As a result, around 1,800 Afghan nationals who had been temporarily admitted to Switzerland applied for asylum again.


Overall, the majority of asylum seekers, including primary and second applications, were from the following countries:

  • Afghanistan (7,934)
  • Türkiye (6,822)
  • Eritrea (2,109)
  • Algeria (1,810)
  • Morocco (1,606)

About 46% More Returned People Compared to 2022

According to SEM, Switzerland continued its consistent policy of return throughout 2023. More specifically, 16,721 people left the country under controlled conditions.

Of those, 13,001 returned voluntarily to their country of origin or a third country, with the majority (10,978) returning to Ukraine. On the other hand, 3,720 were forcibly returned to their home country, a third country, or a Dublin state.

Meanwhile, in 2022, the number of individuals who returned voluntarily and forcibly was 11,467 and 3,134, respectively.

Overall, the number of departures increased by 45.8 per cent compared to 2022.


Last year, SEM also received over 23,000 applications for protection status S (special procedure).

18,375 individuals were granted such a status, whereas 932 were rejected because they did not meet the criteria, according to SEM. Overall, 66,083 people had active protection status S in 2023.

At the beginning of November 2023, the Federal Council decided not to revoke the S protection status for those seeking protection from Ukraine before March 4, 2025, provided that the situation in Ukraine has not fundamentally changed by then.


Meanwhile, this year, SEM forecasts receiving around 30,000 new asylum applications.

Recently, Swiss authorities revealed that they deported 5,742 people in 2023. The majority of them were rejected asylum seekers who were denied temporary admission, marking nearly a 20 per cent increase compared to 2022.


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