The number of people applying for asylum in Switzerland in November increased by nearly 20 per cent over the previous month.
According to the Federal Migration Office, 2,566 requests were filed by people entering the country, mostly from Tunisia, Eritrea and Serbia. Most of the Serbian citizens belong to the Rom community.
For the past three months, there has been a spike in asylum requests after a relatively quiet summer. Since the beginning of the year, more than 20,000 people have filed for asylum, 41.5 per cent more than in the same period in 2010.
The situation has forced the authorities to open new centres to house the latest arrivals as many other existing sites have already reached full capacity.
The migration office said that 357 people were returned to another state under the rules of the Dublin Regulation, which is designed to avoid asylum seekers making requests in more than one of the signatory states. Nearly 70 per cent of these deportations were to Italy.
Last year, 17.7 per cent of asylum requests in Switzerland resulted in refugee status being granted.
swissinfo.ch and agencies