Advice and legal representation for asylum seekers in the FACs
The revised Asylum Act took effect on 1 March 2019 and introduced the accelerated, decentralized asylum procedure. The asylum procedure is now to take place considerably more quickly while still fully complying with the law. To this end, six regions were established, where most of asylum procedures at federal asylum centres (FACs) will in future be conducted and concluded within 140 days. As before, persons whose asylum application requires further investigation will be distributed among the cantons (extended procedure).
HEKS/EPER has been mandated by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) to provide advice and legal representation as well as interpreting services for the procedures taking place in the regions of Eastern Switzerland and North-western Switzerland. The introduction of the new asylum procedure accords asylum seekers an entitlement to legal protection. Specifically, this guarantees independent advice on rights and duties under the asylum procedure, and legal representation as from the start of the preparatory phase and throughout subsequent stages of the procedure. Interpreters are provided to ensure that conversations with asylum seekers can take place without problems of comprehension.