War in Ukraine: Switzerland grants protection to people fleeing the war

War in Ukraine: Switzerland grants protection to people fleeing the war


Since the outbreak of the war, an increasing number of people from Ukraine have sought protection from the conflict in Switzerland. Switzerland has shown its solidarity by activating Protection Status S for the first time. This allows people from Ukraine to be granted protection quickly and without any complex procedures. They are granted residence rights without having to go through the standard asylum process.

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Since the outbreak of war on 24 February, several million people have fled Ukraine. On 11 March, the Federal Council decided that people seeking protection from Ukraine will be granted S status in Switzerland. This protection status, activated for the first time, gives people who have fled Ukraine a right of residence without the need to go through the standard asylum process.

S status is limited to one year, but can be extended. In addition, it allows people fleeing the war to be joined by family members. They can travel freely, and can get a job, as Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter emphasised: ‘S status is return-oriented, but people should be able to interact socially and work during their stay in Switzerland’. In order to make sure that those seeking protection quickly obtain accommodation, food and medical care, the Confederation and the cantons are coordinating matters at political and technical levels.

With the introduction of Protection Status S, the Federal Council has adopted a solution in line with the EU approach. Immediately after the outbreak of the war, Federal Councillor Keller-Sutter met with her counterparts from the Schengen states in Brussels to discuss the situation and coordinate the protection of those who have fled Ukraine.

Last modification 18.03.2022

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