Switzerland: Fast Track Decisions: 48-hour asylum procedure for Kosovo and Georgia

Mar 26, 2013 – 17:07

The Swiss Federal Office for Migration has extended fast-track decision-making to asylum seekers from Kosovo and Georgia. Cases not needing clarification will be considered within 48 hours and deportations will take effect soon afterwards.

A similar procedure was instituted in August 2012 for asylum seekers from Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. This led to a marked drop in the number of applications received from those countries.

Applications from Kosovars and Georgians are generally considered unfounded by the migration office. In 2009, the cabinet designated Kosovo a secure state, meaning that Kosovo is in the process of being reconstructed and makes an effort to integrate minorities. Citizens of Georgia are also considered not to be in need of protection from persecution.

In 2012, 28,631 applications for asylum were filed, most of them by citizens of Eritrea, Nigeria, Tunisia, Serbia, Afghanistan and Syria. The number was the highest since 1999. Of 579 requests filed by Kosovars and 726 filed by Georgians in 2012, only six were granted in total.

The high number of applications has prompted Switzerland to take measures to speed up the asylum process. One of the main features is the roughly 20 planned national centres which would house asylum seekers, authorities, experts and legal advisors. However, finding locations to host the centres has proven to be difficult.
swissinfo.ch and agencies

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