Asylum regions and federal asylum centres

Asylum proceedings in Switzerland are conducted in six asylum regions. Each of these regions has a federal asylum centre with processing facilities and several others without such facilities.

Within the scope of its regular planning, SEM operates a total of 5,000 accommodation places for asylum seekers. This capacity can be increased to 10,000 places in special situations. The federal government and the cantons have agreed on this as part of their contingency asylum planning. Under the regular planning arrangements, there are centres designated as permanent sites and others that are only operated on a temporary basis.

Map of Switzerland with the current federal asylum centres in the six regions


The figures listed correspond to the accommodation capacity agreed between the respective authorities. In some cases, this may not correspond to the actual operating capacity, which may be lower. The reasons for this include fire protection measures, occupancy by armed forces personnel and necessary additions through structural measures (e.g. portable containers).

The various types of federal asylum centre

  • Federal asylum centre with processing facilities
    Asylum seekers can lodge an asylum application in these asylum centres. All applications are examined and the decision over whether to grant asylum made at the centre. The entire process takes place under one roof, thus speeding up the asylum procedure. Asylum seekers remain in these centres while their application is processed; they are no longer transferred to the cantonal authorities, unless additional information has to be obtained and an extended procedure is required. These federal asylum centres house accommodation for asylum seekers as well as offices for interviewers, interpreters, document examiners and lawyers.
A large park with old trees and in the background various buildings accommodating asylum seekers.
The federal asylum centre with processing facilities in Boudry (Canton of Neuchâtel) has been open since April 2018. (photo: SEM © Marco Frauchiger)
  • Federal asylum centre without processing facilities
    These federal asylum centres are mainly occupied by people who are due to be removed to another Dublin member state under the Dublin Regulation or whose asylum applications have been rejected. They remain in the federal centres and are no longer transferred to the cantonal asylum centres, unless they cannot be removed from Switzerland within the set period of 140 days. These centres therefore house people who usually have to leave Switzerland within a short period of time.
  • Special centres
    If an asylum seeker significantly endangers public safety and order or if their conduct massively disrupts the operation of normal federal asylum centres, they may be temporarily accommodated in a special centre. One such centre operates in Les Verrières (NE), and a second centre is planned in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.

Further information


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Last modification 01.12.2019

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