Who to contact with questions about your family joining you in Switzerland, who can help you to search for missing family members, where to get support and advice if you are being forced into marriage – answers to these and many other questions can be found on this site.
I have questions about my family joining me. Who should I contact?
The laws concerning the right to have your family join you if you are a refugee living in Switzerland are complicated. Basically, different requirements and rules apply if you have a recognised refugee status (B permit), provisionally accepted refugee status (F permit) or provisionally accepted person status (F permit).
The Bündner Beratungsstelle für Asylsuchende (Advice Centre for Asylum Seekers) offers support and advice on questions relating to your family joining you. The Centre may charge a fee depending on your status under asylum law.
On the Schweizerischen Flüchtlingshilfe (Swiss Refugee Council) website you will find an overview of permits under asylum law and the most important status rights, such as immigration of family members, change of canton, work, social assistance or travelling abroad.
In the “Family reunification in Switzerland” explanatory video by the Schweizerischen Roten Kreuzes (Swiss Red Cross) you will find out who is entitled to have their family join them, or whether there is a waiting period, and how long. The video is available in Arabic, Dari/Farsi, English, Tamil, Tigrinya and Turkish.
I can’t find a close relative or friend. Which organisation can help me to find them?
Anyone living in Switzerland who has a family member or close relative who goes missing can contact the Schweizerischen Roten Kreuzes (Swiss Red Cross) tracing service. You will receive personal advice and regular information on how investigations are progressing. The tracing service can be contacted on 058 400 43 80 or by e-mail at email@example.com
Missing persons can also be traced online using the Internationalen Komitees vom Roten Kreuz (International Committee of the Red Cross - ICRC) familylinks.icrc.org website. You can search for your family members during a serious disaster, check lists of names of missing people, see photos of people in Europe who are looking for your relatives or publish your photo if you are looking for someone in Europe. The website is available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish.
Can my family or someone else force me to marry?
In Switzerland you have the right to choose your partner freely. Accordingly, families and other people do not have the right to force women or men to marry against their will. You can contact the following organisations for advice and help:
Fachstelle Zwangsheirat (Advice centre for forced marriage)
0800 800 007 (Free helpline)
Opferhilfe Graubünden (Grisons Centre for Victim Advice)
081 257 31 50
Your details will be treated in strict confidence. The advice is free.