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Immigration Dozens of asylum seekers posed a threat, says intelligence service

An employee takes a folder from a shelf in the archives of the registration and migration office.

The State Secretariat for Migration has the final say on which applications are accepted.

(Keystone)

Switzerland’s Federal Intelligence Service (FIS) flagged 38 asylum seekers as potential security threats last year – and recommended that their applications be rejected.

The FIS external linkexamined 6,466 asylum applications in 2017, and found that 38 cases were “relevant security concerns”, noted the Federal Council in its annual report on Wednesday.

In comparison, the FIS studied 5,202 asylum applications in 2016, and recommended that 14 be rejected.

The State Secretariat for Migrationexternal link has the final say on which applications are accepted. The secretariat “generally follows the FIS recommendations”, but its spokesman cited “security reasons” when declining to tell the Swiss News Agency whether the flagged applicants would indeed be rejected.

+Learn about the thousands of asylum seekers who were sent back to Switzerland 

Visa applications

The FIS also checked 5,782 visa applications last year, in light of potential threats to internal security. These primarily involved the accreditation of diplomats as well as international officials.

In two cases, the FIS recommended that the accreditation be rejected. In six cases, it advised against issuing a visa and in two cases against granting permanent residence.

Naturalisation

The FIS also examined 49,622 applications for naturalisation. In seven cases, it raised security concerns and advised against naturalisation.

 It also checked 841,586 records pertaining to the Schengen visa consultation procedure, out of which it recommended that two applications be rejected.

SDA-ATS/ln

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