Swiss to check asylum seekers’ fingerprints against Schengen entries

Immigration in Switzerland

Fingerprinting at one of Switzerland’s main reception centres for asylum seekers, in Basel (photo, copyright 2012 Massimo Viegi)

BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss Office for Migration in early December 2012 began checking asylum seekers’ fingerprints against CS-VIS, the European database of registered asylum seekers, making Switzerland one of the first country’s to use the new tool.

The purpose is to rapidly determine where an asylum seeker entered the Schengen Accord area in order to ensure that their case is handled there, thus reducing abuse from multiple applications.

Eighty-seven cases were “positive” in the 12 weeks that the system has been in  place, says the federal office, in the sense that their applictions elsewhere were uncovered and their case turned over to the country responsible for them under the Schengen agreement.