National and international legal bases and agreements apply in Switzerland to the granting of asylum or other protection.
The Swiss Asylum Act (AsylA) defines who is recognised as a refugee and who is granted asylum. The term refugee corresponds to the term refugee as used in the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (Geneva Refugee Convention (GRC)). The Swiss Asylum Act governs the features of the asylum procedure and various aspects of the stay of individuals seeking protection in Switzerland. Examples of these aspects include:
- Regulation of their presence,
- Conditions for residence status,
- Conditions for family reunification,
- Access to gainful employment
- Entitlement to payment of social benefits,
- Entitlement to health insurance, and
- Entitlement to integration measures.
If the Asylum Act contains no specific provision, individuals seeking protection in Switzerland are subject to the Foreign Nationals Act (FNA).
Binding for Switzerland
The following documents are binding for Switzerland with respect to the granting of protection and the asylum procedure: the Geneva Refugee Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the United Nations Convention against Torture, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Schengen and Dublin Association Agreements. The Dublin III Regulation in force since 1 January 2014 is especially important in this context. It regulates the responsibility of the individual Dublin States for assessing asylum applications.