Irregular migration exceeded the set from 2016.

In 2022, 52,077 cases of irregular migrants were recorded, almost three times as many as in the previous year (2021: 18,859), surpassing the set from 2016 (48,838 cases). This significant growth was attributable to the increased number of people entering Switzerland irregularly from Austria via the eastern border. This phenomenon started in the second half of 2021. Along the southern border, the second half of last year saw a rise in irregular migration from Italy.

As regards nationalities, those detained mostly hailed from Afghanistan, Tunisia and Morocco. On the western border, they were predominantly men, usually young, travelling alone or in small groups by train. The people detained in the south and travelling alone or in small groups arrived by train or car. In 2022, 476 cases of people smuggling, mainly on the southern border, were detected and reported to the cantonal police.

Number of cases





Unlawful period of stay




Alleged people smuggling




The FOCBS works in close collaboration with the cantonal and national authorities in the area of migration. Responsibility for analysing the general situation of migration to Switzerland lies principally with the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM). The FOCBS engages in a very active exchange of information with domestic and foreign partner authorities, particularly the SEM, in order that it can react to changing situations in a timely manner.

Migrants who entered Switzerland irregularly at Buchs SG railway station.