Dear friends, we have been receiving many messages about the decision of the Council of States regarding the protection status for Ukrainians. Here are the key points you should know.


On June 12, the Council of States (the upper house of parliament) voted to make changes to the S status for Ukrainian refugees. However, this is NOT a final decision. It will ONLY take effect if approved by the National Council (the lower house of parliament).


What are the proposed changes?


1️⃣ Member of the Council of States, Esther Friedli, suggests granting S status to Ukrainians who lived in areas of "more or less intense hostilities" or in regions occupied by Russia. She also proposes removing the protection status from individuals whose last place of residence was not in these areas, and from refugees from Ukraine who are not Ukrainian citizens.


2️⃣ Shortly before the meeting, the Council of States adopted an amendment by Benedikt Würth. This amendment states that Ukrainian refugees with S status, who left Switzerland and received assistance upon returning to Ukraine or obtained protection status improperly, will not be eligible to re-apply for protection in Switzerland. Würth believes that short-term stays in Ukraine for family reasons should be considered legitimate and included in the law.


Currently, the Federal Council, the highest executive body, opposes both proposals. While it shares the concerns, it believes that the current legislation does not require changes.


We are awaiting the final decision of the National Council and remind you that the S status has been extended until March 2025.


We will keep you updated on any new developments.

June 25, 2024