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Swiss Authorities Oblige Migrants Awaiting Refugee Status to Finance Their Stay in Country

If migrant leaves the territory of Switzerland voluntarily within seven months, he will get the money back.

Swiss authorities have obliged migrants awaiting refugee status to finance their stay in the country. Refugees who win the right to work in Switzerland have to pay to the state budget until they repay money that the country spent for them. The government of Denmark announced in December 2015 a plan to introduce similar rules. Refugees arriving in Switzerland have to turn over to the state any assets worth more than 1,000 Swiss francs ($994.53) to help pay for their upkeep, broadcaster SRF reported. It is expected that these funds should cover the cost of processing applications of visitors and social assistance.

If migrant leaves the territory of Switzerland voluntarily within seven months, he will get the money back. Otherwise, the money covers costs they generate. In addition, refugees who win the right to stay and work in Switzerland have to surrender 10 percent of their pay for up to 10 years until they repay 15,000 francs in costs.

Earlier, Denmark has proposed a bill according to which migrants must have assets worth no more than 10,000 kroner. Gold and other valuables of migrants would be seized, according to the previous version of the documents. Then, the Danish authorities have decided not to seize wedding rings, watches and other items representing domestic or sentimental value. However, following criticism from UN Refugee Agency, Denmark raised the amount of money that refugees can leave in their possession.

The migration policy of the authorities of Switzerland and Denmark caused a sharply negative reaction of human rights activists and associations of migrants from the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa. A number of organizations, including the UN Refugee Agency condemned the government of these countries, because toughen rules against migrants complicates the procedure of obtaining refugee status and thus, delays a moment of family reunion.

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