Photo: Bernd Konrad/Swiss Refugee Council

Temporary Admission of Foreigners

Temporarily admitted foreigners receive the F-Permit.

Temporarily admitted foreigners receive the F-Permit.

This document is not a residence permit but rather the confirmation that a deportation cannot be carried out for legal reasons. A foreign national is temporarily admitted to Switzerland because he or she cannot be or is not allowed to be deported for legal reasons. The requirement is that removal is

  • not permitted,
  • not reasonable, or
  • not possible.

Temporary admission is a substitute measure taken instead of deportation.

Right to stay in Switzerland

The F-Permit is issued for a period of one year in each case. This permit can be renewed. The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) regularly reviews whether the requirements for temporary admission are still met. If the SEM deems the removal order to no longer be not permitted, not reasonable or not possible, it revokes the order for temporary admission and issues a definitive removal order (Art. 83 and 84 FNA). The same holds true if there are grounds arguing against the granting of temporary admission. This is the case if the person concerned:

  • has been given a long custodial sentence or has been made subject to a criminal measure,
  • is dangerous to public security and order, or
  • has contributed to making his or her removal impossible due to his or her own conduct (Art. 83 para. 7 FNA).

Request for recognition as a hardship case

Temporarily admitted persons can file a request for recognition as a hardship case with the canton to which they were assigned. The person must have resided in Switzerland for more than five years and meet further requirements related to being well-integrated, to family circumstances and to the reasonableness of return to the country of origin (Art. 84 para. 5 FNA). If the request is granted by the cantonal authorities and the SEM, the person obtains a residence permit (B-Permit).

Place of residence

Temporarily admitted persons remain in the canton to which they were already assigned as asylum seekers (Art. 85 para. 2 FNA; Art. 27 AsylA). They are free to choose their place of residence within the canton unless they receive social assistance benefits. The cantonal authorities assign a place of residence and accommodation to temporarily admitted persons dependent on social assistance (Art. 85 para. 5 FNA).

Contesting the cantonal assignment

As a rule, temporarily admitted persons can contest the assignment to a certain canton only if it puts family unity at risk.
 Changing cantons is possible only on request. The SEM makes a decision on the request after hearing the cantons concerned (Art. 85 paras. 3 and 4 FNA).

The rules for recognised refugees granted temporary admission are less strict because these individuals are theoretically free to move throughout Swiss territory under international law.

Gainful employment

The cantonal authorities may grant temporarily admitted persons a work permit irrespective of the labour market and economic situation. However, these persons are not entitled to access to the labour market (Art. 85 para. 6 FNA). 

Requirements

The requirements below apply (Art. 18 FNA; Art. 53 Ordinance on Admission, Stay and Gainful Employment (OASGE) (in French)). The employer must

  • submit a request, and
  • comply with the usual local wage and working conditions of the given industry.

Under these same conditions, temporarily admitted persons can also change jobs (Art. 64 para. 2 OASGE).

Under certain conditions, temporarily admitted persons are also permitted to engage in self-employment (Art. 19 lit. b FNA; Art. 53 para. 3 OASGE).

Also refer to the following: Information on access to the Swiss labour market by temporarily admitted persons (holders of the F-Permit) (in French), published by State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO and Federal Office for Migration (FOM), 2012. In German and French only (Information über den Zugang der vorläufig Aufgenommenen (Ausweis F) zum schweizerischen Arbeitsmarkt / Information concernant l’accès des personnes admises à titre provisoire (livret F) au marché du travail suisse)

Special charge

Since 01.01.2018 the special charge amounting to 10 per cent of earned income of temporarily admitted foreigners in addition to regular taxes is abolished.

Temporarily admitted persons are still subject to the obligation to pay the special charge on property assets (Art. 88 FNA).

Welfare and health insurance

Temporarily admitted persons unable to maintain themselves from their own resources are entitled to social benefits.  This provision does not apply if third parties are required to support them. The same provisions apply as for asylum seekers (Art. 86 para. 1 FNA; Art. 3 para. 2 AsylO 2).

Limited choice of health insurance funds, physicians and hospitals

Temporarily admitted persons must be insured against illness (Art. 3 Health Insurance Act (HIA)). However, the cantons may limit their choice of insurers and of physicians and hospitals (Art. 86 para. 2 FNA). 

Premium reductions

Temporarily admitted persons have a right to premium reductions seven years after their entry (Art. 82a para. 7 AsylA; Art. 5b AsylO 2).

Family reunification

For spouses and unmarried children under the age of 18 of temporarily admitted persons family reunion, at the earliest, after the order for temporary admission of said persons is possible. The requirements are that they all live in the same household, the family has suitable housing, and the family does not depend on social assistance (Art. 85 para. 7 FNA). The application must be filed with the competent cantonal migration authority, which passes it on to the SEM. Certain deadlines apply to the application  (Art. 74 paras. 2 and 3 Ordinance on Admission, Stay and Gainful Employment (OASGE)).

Integration measures

Temporarily admitted persons have a right to benefit from integration measures. The cantons are responsible for implementing these measures funded by the Confederation (Art. 18 Ordinance on the Integration of Foreign Nationals (OIFN), Art. 55 para. 2 FNA).

Click for further information on the integration programmes of the individual cantons (in French and German only).

Travel abroad

Basically speaking, temporarily admitted persons are not allowed to travel to their native country or country of origin. If they do, they risk losing their temporary admission status. However a trip of this kind can be allowed in exceptional cases for humanitarian reasons (Art. 9 para. 6 Ordinance on the Issuing of Travel Documents for Foreign Nationals (OITDFN), in French).

Exceptional cases

In exceptional cases, these persons can receive a travel document or a return visa for a trip lasting at most 30 days a year. Art. 7 para. 1 and 2 and Art. 9 para. 4 (OITDFN) allow this travel:

  • for humanitarian reasons, and
  • for other reasons (at the earliest three years after the granting of temporary admission).

A serious illness or the death of a close family member is deemed a humanitarian reason. Other reasons may include, for example, obligatory, cross-border school trips of the children or active participation in sport or cultural events abroad  (Art. 9 para. 1 OITDFN). The application must be filed with the cantonal authorities (Art. 14 OITDFN

Click for further information on travel documents for other foreign persons (in French and German only).