Update: 05.05.2014

International feedback: Residence authorisation

In the following we have chosen some citations on the subject. At the end of each original citation you can find the source with a link to the complete text of the citation.

Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

«Specify the criteria that apply to the consideration of violence when extending residence permits for victims of domestic violence, to facilitate their fair, standardised and transparent application (New Zealand);»


«Ensure that victims of domestic violence have access to immediate remedies and protection, and review legislation on residence permits with a view to avoiding the effect that the application of the law might have in practice, forcing women to remain in abusive relationships (South Africa);»


«That the Federal authorities take a closer interest in ensuring that the concerns of irregular migration are handled at the cantonal levels with similar empathy, in a manner consistent with the spirit of international human rights and humanitarian law (Nigeria);»

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights CESCR

«The Committee urges the State party to consider modifying article 50 of the Federal Law on Foreign Nationals with a view to removing its effect in practice, of leaving no other option for migrant women who are victims of domestic violence, but to remain in abusive marriages for the sake of retaining residency permit.»

Committee against Torture CAT

«The State party should consider amending article 50 of the Federal Act on Foreign Nationals in order to enable migrant women who are victims of violence to seek protection without necessarily forfeiting their residence permit, taking as a reference the Federal Tribunal’s ruling of 4 November 2009 (ATF 136 II 1), which states that “either conjugal violence or serious difficulty in resettling in the country of origin may [...] be considered to constitute sufficient compelling personal reasons”.»

Human Rights Committee CCPR

«The Committee notes with concern the modification of the Civil Code of 12 June 2009, which prohibits marriage or partnership with a person with no regular residence status in Switzerland. This new provision goes beyond mere regulation of the right to marry and found a family consecrated in 23 of the Covenant (arts. 2, 17, 23, 26)
The State party should urgently review its applicable legislation so as to make it consistent with the Covenant.»

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women CEDAW

«The Committee recommends that revocation of the temporary residence permits of foreign married women who experience domestic violence, and anylegislative changes with regard to residency requirements that may be underconsideration, be undertaken only after a full assessment of the impact of such measures on those women.»

European Commission against Racism and Intolerance ECRI

«In its third report ECRI invited the Swiss authorities to refrain from reacting to signs of hostility within segments of the population by adopting increasingly restrictive rules and legislation with regard to foreigners. It recommended that the authorities reconsider the impact of the binary system of admissions on the treatment of different groups of non-citizens once in the country, particularly in fields such as family reunification. It recommended that the authorities take steps to ensure that the withdrawal of residence permits is strictly regulated and subject to judicial control. Lastly, it encouraged the authorities to take steps to improve the position of persons residing in the country without the requisite permits.»


«ECRI reiterates its recommendation that the authorities take steps to ensure that the witdrawal of residence permits is strictly regulated and subject to judicial control. In particular, it considers that the withdrawal of residence permits on the grounds that persons have been dependent on State benefits for prolonged periods,or the withdrawal of residence permits as an additional penalty for persons convicted of crimes should be as limited as possible and closely regulated.»

European Human Rights Commissioner

«Deportation of illegal immigrants resident in Switzerland for a long time: in decisions giving reasons and open to appeal before a court, determine the situation of long-term illegal residents, taking due account, among other things, of their individual and family situations, and of any efforts they have made to find work and integrate.»

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