EU migration law has an impact on Switzerland

Switzerland will have to adapt its laws on asylum and foreigners to conform to a new migration law passed on Wednesday by the European Union's parliament.

This content was published on June 18, 2008 minutes

The law limits the period illegal immigrants can be detained to 18 months, six months less than is the case in Switzerland, which has signed a security and asylum accord with the EU.

According to the Schengen/Dublin agreements, Switzerland will have two years to bring its laws into line with the EU.

The Federal Migration Office says Switzerland will also have to alter its expulsion practice. Currently, appeals are only granted on demand, but they will have to be automatic in the future.

The 18-month detention limit is longer than the current maximum period in two-thirds of the 27 EU states.

Illegal migrants cannot be detained for more than 40 days in Spain and a year in Hungary, according to European Commission data.

Germany already has an 18-month detention cap, while eight EU countries, which have higher caps or none at all would need to introduce the new EU limit.

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