Justice Minister Wants to Facilitate Granting of Humanitarian Visas

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Swiss Justice Minister Elisabeth Baume-Schneider wants to make the conditions for granting humanitarian visas more flexible. The need to have a link with Switzerland is undoubtedly too great an obstacle, she said.

However, Baume-Schneider said she would first have to discuss the issue with the government and explore in general terms what is legally and politically feasible. “Perhaps we can move the boundaries of what is possible a little,” she told Swiss public radio, SRF, on Saturday.

Humanitarian visas allow people under threat to enter Switzerland legally to seek asylum. According to the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), the conditions are that the applicant’s life or physical integrity is under direct, serious and concrete threat. The person concerned must also have a close and current link with Switzerland and have prospects of integration.

Humanitarian visas aside, Baume-Schneider expected an increase in asylum applications towards the autumn, particularly from Afghanistan. To deal with this, she hopes to be able to reach a compromise to create 1,500 reception places, following the Senate’s rejection of a financing credit to create 3,000 places in containers.

The justice minister added, however, that efforts in terms of integration and training would need to be stepped up in order to prevent problems. A concept to this end is due to be drawn up next year.

Source : SwissInfo