A total of 14,928 applications for international protection were filed in Switzerland during 2021, according to data provided by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).
These numbers show that there is an overall increase of 35.2 percent compared to the 2020 numbers.
In addition, SEM expects a total of 16,500 orders during this year, TheSchengen.com reports.
Entry bans and other restrictions imposed by governments across the European Union have reduced the number of applications for asylum in Switzerland as well. However, after countries began to relax their preventive measures imposed due to the virus, a noticeable increase in asylum applications was observed.
“In 2021, 14,928 people applied for asylum in Switzerland, an increase of 3,887 from 2020. The increase in asylum applications compared to the previous year is primarily due to less restrictive travel restrictions due to the Corona pandemic,” the statement read.
According to SAM, Afghan nationals accounted for the largest number of asylum applications filed in Switzerland last year, or a total of 3,079 applications submitted.
35 of them are for family reunification purposes, 165 are due to births, and 90 are for multiple applications, which means that a total of 2,789 new asylum applications have been received from citizens of Afghanistan.
The following countries have also received a large number of applications for asylum in Switzerland.
Turkey (1455 primary and 875 secondary) Eritrea (386 primary and 1642 secondary) Syria (467 primary and 554 secondary) Algeria (991 primary and 21 secondary)
15,464 applications were processed for the first time over the past year. A total of 5,369 people obtained international protection status in Switzerland, while the recognition rate was 37.0 percent. Meanwhile, the protection rate was 60.7 percent compared to 61.8 in 2020.
As for the pending cases, it was reduced from 425 to 124 cases. SEM numbers show that at the end of the year, there were 4,438 applications for international protection pending in the first place.
In 2021, 973 people voluntarily left Switzerland, 1,655 people were repatriated either to their homeland or to a third country, 1,127 people to a Dublin country. Overall, the number of departures increased compared to 2020 (14.3 percent increase) despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
Earlier this month, the authorities in Switzerland and Austria announced that they would strengthen cooperation to prevent the entry of people trying to reach these territories illegally. The authorities of the two countries also agreed to tighten controls on the external borders.