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  #21  
Old 07.10.2020, 08:50
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

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In BL, a family on 60K, with only one working partner and two children, pay 120CHF a year tax.
Wow, is that true? One year I made only 60k and I paid like 3-4k in tax Is it because I was a single person family? Still I find it unfair and not proportional!
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  #22  
Old 15.10.2020, 11:43
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

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Wondering if anyone has any experience volunteering or knowing refugees living in Switzerland? From my understanding, they are taken care of in terms of housing and health care and then monthly support for give or take about 1100-1200 CHF per month for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children) depending on the canton they are assigned to for groceries.
How do they receive things like winter clothing, extra food, toiletries, etc? Toys for kids?
I am a refugee, as well as my family and friends. I do work now, but typically a refugee will receive chf 1060.- per month in the Vaud Canton.
This is the money used to pay food, electricity and any other personal expenses you have, such as: clothing, haircut, transport, tv, phone or internet bills.

Your health insurance and rent is payed by the social service (CSIR for Vaud)

The above is for refugees who posses the B or F permit, which means the refugees claim to asylum is accepted (B) or temporarily accepted (F)

For those, whose asylum claim is being processed, are given the N Permit, and they generally live in one of the refugees camps and all their expenses are paid by the social service (EVAM) and they get around chf 400.- for food.

In both cases, if the refugee is enrolled into an apprenticeship, then daily lunch and travel costs are covered by the respective social service.

Holders of B & F permit are transferred from the social service to the RAV once they have lived in Switzerland for more than 5 years and are unemployed.

There are some goodwill organizations like Caritas that will sell you foods, clothes and household equipment for discounted prices, as well as other (mostly Churches) where you can find additional help.


Also, for a family of 4, the monthly allowance is far beyond than what you mentioned at least here in Vaud. In addition to the monthly allowance, each child can receive at least chf 350.- each month.

In terms of rent, a single person below the age of 25 is allowed to find a place costing around 700.- and for adults, you can find upto 1200 (with charges).

If you are a family of 4, then you have the right upto 1800.



From my experience, financially, the help you get is very generous. You don't have to worry about it, unless the refugee's case for asylum has been rejected, in which case a mother of two will receive only 400.- per month for all expenses except rent and insurance. Even if you get a job, you are not allowed to work in this scenario. So, for those people, life is tough.
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  #23  
Old 15.10.2020, 17:13
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

I will guess that part of those 50fr/p goes to salaries of people who operate those centers?

While it is expensive it seems like most of the money stays in Switzerland...
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Old 15.10.2020, 18:28
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

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I am a refugee, as well as my family and friends. I do work now, but typically a refugee will receive chf 1060.- per month in the Vaud Canton.
This is the money used to pay food, electricity and any other personal expenses you have, such as: clothing, haircut, transport, tv, phone or internet bills.

Your health insurance and rent is payed by the social service (CSIR for Vaud)

The above is for refugees who posses the B or F permit, which means the refugees claim to asylum is accepted (B) or temporarily accepted (F)

For those, whose asylum claim is being processed, are given the N Permit, and they generally live in one of the refugees camps and all their expenses are paid by the social service (EVAM) and they get around chf 400.- for food.

In both cases, if the refugee is enrolled into an apprenticeship, then daily lunch and travel costs are covered by the respective social service.

Holders of B & F permit are transferred from the social service to the RAV once they have lived in Switzerland for more than 5 years and are unemployed.

There are some goodwill organizations like Caritas that will sell you foods, clothes and household equipment for discounted prices, as well as other (mostly Churches) where you can find additional help.


Also, for a family of 4, the monthly allowance is far beyond than what you mentioned at least here in Vaud. In addition to the monthly allowance, each child can receive at least chf 350.- each month.

In terms of rent, a single person below the age of 25 is allowed to find a place costing around 700.- and for adults, you can find upto 1200 (with charges).

If you are a family of 4, then you have the right upto 1800.



From my experience, financially, the help you get is very generous. You don't have to worry about it, unless the refugee's case for asylum has been rejected, in which case a mother of two will receive only 400.- per month for all expenses except rent and insurance. Even if you get a job, you are not allowed to work in this scenario. So, for those people, life is tough.
So a family of four can get their rent covered up to 1800, health insurance covered, and receive up to CHF 1700 per month? That sounds ridiculously generous.
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Old 15.10.2020, 18:51
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

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So a family of four can get their rent covered up to 1800, health insurance covered, and receive up to CHF 1700 per month? That sounds ridiculously generous.
I would say it is just generous.


I have a 1.5 studio myself and I pay 1100.- in Lausanne, food is 400.-, so you have 1500.- before any other expenses for just 1 person.

A house for 3 people doesn't come cheap in Vaud, neither is raising these sweet and cuddly children.
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Old 15.10.2020, 18:51
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

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I am a refugee, as well as my family and friends. I do work now, but typically a refugee will receive chf 1060.- per month in the Vaud Canton.
This is the money used to pay food, electricity and any other personal expenses you have, such as: clothing, haircut, transport, tv, phone or internet bills.

Your health insurance and rent is payed by the social service (CSIR for Vaud)

The above is for refugees who posses the B or F permit, which means the refugees claim to asylum is accepted (B) or temporarily accepted (F)

For those, whose asylum claim is being processed, are given the N Permit, and they generally live in one of the refugees camps and all their expenses are paid by the social service (EVAM) and they get around chf 400.- for food.

In both cases, if the refugee is enrolled into an apprenticeship, then daily lunch and travel costs are covered by the respective social service.


Holders of B & F permit are transferred from the social service to the RAV once they have lived in Switzerland for more than 5 years and are unemployed.

There are some goodwill organizations like Caritas that will sell you foods, clothes and household equipment for discounted prices, as well as other (mostly Churches) where you can find additional help.


Also, for a family of 4, the monthly allowance is far beyond than what you mentioned at least here in Vaud. In addition to the monthly allowance, each child can receive at least chf 350.- each month.

In terms of rent, a single person below the age of 25 is allowed to find a place costing around 700.- and for adults, you can find upto 1200 (with charges).

If you are a family of 4, then you have the right upto 1800.



From my experience, financially, the help you get is very generous. You don't have to worry about it, unless the refugee's case for asylum has been rejected, in which case a mother of two will receive only 400.- per month for all expenses except rent and insurance. Even if you get a job, you are not allowed to work in this scenario. So, for those people, life is tough.
I'm wanting to help the refugees who are specifically on the N Permit. When they applied for asylum, got rejected and are appealing the decision. So is it 400 CHF per month for one person or for a family of 4?

N permit holders do not receive the Caritas discount card right?
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  #27  
Old 15.10.2020, 19:16
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

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I'm wanting to help the refugees who are specifically on the N Permit. When they applied for asylum, got rejected and are appealing the decision. So is it 400 CHF per month for one person or for a family of 4?

N permit holders do not receive the Caritas discount card right?
N Permit holders receive the Caritas discount card, I had one myself.


One of my distant relatives is Ethiopian woman with 2 kids living in the Canton of Sion. Her case has been rejected for 6 years, and she received this week a deportation paper because the Ethiopian Gov finally yielded to the request of the Swiss Gov, and agreed to accept all those, whose case has been rejected.

She is devastated and cries all the time, even though she has received a written letters backing her right to stay, from many organizations: churches, doctors, psychiatrists, swiss citizens and women rights groups.

I am currently trying to write a letter, just to give her some hope but there really isn't much to do. She is due to report herself at the end of this month voluntarily to avoid forced deportation.

In a nutshell, there is nothing to do. The case has been decided by Bern, and the cantons must carry out the request. She is the one who has been living with 400/month with two kids for 6 years now without a permit.

If you want to help the N permit holders who are appealing their case, the easiest way is to go to your nearest asylum camp like EVAM and distribute papers indicating your wish to help. When I was at EVAM, many Christians used to come and take us to group prayer sessions they organized and would give us hope. Some even bought us bags of rice for Christmas.

I don't know if the laws have changed, but you don't need to go through any process to provide support to refugees, you only need to show up. If you want to adopt a teen or provide shelter then that's another story.

Good luck and thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 15.10.2020, 20:35
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

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So a family of four can get their rent covered up to 1800, health insurance covered, and receive up to CHF 1700 per month? That sounds ridiculously generous.
4000 a month. That's pretty much the poverty line,as defined by the Federal Government. (It's 2300 a month for single people).
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Old 15.10.2020, 21:33
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

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N Permit holders receive the Caritas discount card, I had one myself.


One of my distant relatives is Ethiopian woman with 2 kids living in the Canton of Sion. Her case has been rejected for 6 years, and she received this week a deportation paper because the Ethiopian Gov finally yielded to the request of the Swiss Gov, and agreed to accept all those, whose case has been rejected.

She is devastated and cries all the time, even though she has received a written letters backing her right to stay, from many organizations: churches, doctors, psychiatrists, swiss citizens and women rights groups.

I am currently trying to write a letter, just to give her some hope but there really isn't much to do. She is due to report herself at the end of this month voluntarily to avoid forced deportation.

In a nutshell, there is nothing to do. The case has been decided by Bern, and the cantons must carry out the request. She is the one who has been living with 400/month with two kids for 6 years now without a permit.

If you want to help the N permit holders who are appealing their case, the easiest way is to go to your nearest asylum camp like EVAM and distribute papers indicating your wish to help. When I was at EVAM, many Christians used to come and take us to group prayer sessions they organized and would give us hope. Some even bought us bags of rice for Christmas.

I don't know if the laws have changed, but you don't need to go through any process to provide support to refugees, you only need to show up. If you want to adopt a teen or provide shelter then that's another story.

Good luck and thanks for your thoughts.
Thank you Highsky! Yes.. I believe and I'm going to confirm that the refugees in Balmberg, Solothurn seem to all have been rejected in their application so I think they're all on N-Permits.
400 CHF per month for an adult and 2 children is ..... how did they honestly survive for 6 years?
Question: The donation drop boxes for Caritas.... do they give them to refugees for free and distribute them to different camps or do they end up at the Caritas stores and sold at a discount?
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Old 15.10.2020, 22:17
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

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4000 a month. That's pretty much the poverty line,as defined by the Federal Government. (It's 2300 a month for single people).
Probably still more than they'd earn than if one of the parents worked a full time entry level job.
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Old 15.10.2020, 23:32
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

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Thank you Highsky! Yes.. I believe and I'm going to confirm that the refugees in Balmberg, Solothurn seem to all have been rejected in their application so I think they're all on N-Permits.
400 CHF per month for an adult and 2 children is ..... how did they honestly survive for 6 years?
Question: The donation drop boxes for Caritas.... do they give them to refugees for free and distribute them to different camps or do they end up at the Caritas stores and sold at a discount?

Toys can be given to children for free by Caritas, but other items must be purchased. They are not costly, as you can get a trouser for just 5.-

A person with N permit whose case is rejected can still linger in the appeal process for years. But once all your appeals are rejected, and the N permit is taken away from you, that is when things become tougher.

400/month for 3 people is difficult to live with, it's done deliberately in the hopes that the asylum seekers will return to their country.

Most of the people just buy budget foods at Lidle/Aldi, and they also buy foods that are close to expiration for half the price, which I think is Fridays or Saturdays.
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Old 16.10.2020, 00:11
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

Thanks for your detailed answers highsky. Very helpful for how we can help.
So.... I'm think clothing and non-perishable food items... like you mentioned rice is a good choice, canned goods, canned drinks and maybe baby items like diapers and formula? Or is that provided if someone has a baby living in the camp?

I looked up the closest Caritas store for Balmberg and that would be in Olten. That would cost each adult refugee about 40 CHF for a return ticket back to Balmberg just to shop there.

Absolutely heartbreaking! Winter is approaching and I think many of them do not have weather appropriate outer-wear and boots and then with Corona an added layer of frustration and isolation.
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Old 16.10.2020, 10:17
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

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Absolutely heartbreaking! Winter is approaching and I think many of them do not have weather appropriate outer-wear and boots
There's considerably fewer coming in now than a couple of years ago when this really was an issue. But the need is still there.
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Old 16.10.2020, 12:15
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

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Probably still more than they'd earn than if one of the parents worked a full time entry level job.
To being with, there's child allowance on top of the salary. Next, low incomes qualify for subsidies for health insurance. For even lower income there's sozialhilfe. So, if one of the parents works full time at an entry level job, there's a good chance the net income is significatively higher after all the transfers.
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Old 16.10.2020, 18:03
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

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To being with, there's child allowance on top of the salary. Next, low incomes qualify for subsidies for health insurance. For even lower income there's sozialhilfe. So, if one of the parents works full time at an entry level job, there's a good chance the net income is significatively higher after all the transfers.
If one of the parents had an entry level job they may get as little as ~CHF 3'800 Netto.
Even with the Kinderzulagen, health insurance subsidy (and possibly Sozialhilfe) their net income will not be much more at all, despite working 40+ hours a week.
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Old 16.10.2020, 22:05
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

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Thanks for your detailed answers highsky. Very helpful for how we can help.
So.... I'm think clothing and non-perishable food items... like you mentioned rice is a good choice, canned goods, canned drinks and maybe baby items like diapers and formula? Or is that provided if someone has a baby living in the camp?

I looked up the closest Caritas store for Balmberg and that would be in Olten. That would cost each adult refugee about 40 CHF for a return ticket back to Balmberg just to shop there.

Absolutely heartbreaking! Winter is approaching and I think many of them do not have weather appropriate outer-wear and boots and then with Corona an added layer of frustration and isolation.
You can also ask at Red Cross, they usually organise this kind of stuff for refugees. If you lived in Zurich or close I would have recommended AOZ (Asylum Organization Zurich).
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Old 17.10.2020, 09:06
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

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When people's income is very low such that one qualifies for social assistance, a "social assistance" card (I don't know the name exactly) is also issued which helps the person benefit from reduced prices on things like food, health insurance, transport, libraries (most cost money), swimming pools, shopping at Caritas shops, so basic needs.

For food - Some places have weekly or bi-weekly food distribution centers, privately or officially organized, where one shows the card or if by donation, one donates whatever one can (i.e. 1-5 francs, or whatever) and then take fresh fruits and vegetables. The food available varies weekly, but one can usually take as much as needed, on a first come, first serve basis. One issue I see is when the distribution centers are located too far from those in need (think if you are poor AND disabled), so I could definitely see a need for improvement there.

For clothes - in addition to the Caritas shops where one must pay something, there are organizations that organize clothes "drives". This means that people know these places accept clothes throughout the year, and those in need know that they can drop in at certain times/dates in order to look through for what they need.

Charity organizations accept all sorts of things in very good to good condition - from clothes, to toys, to bikes, to pots and pans, anything. Alternatively, if you know people in need, they will definitely know other people in need, and your things will get to go to a family in need.

If I may advocate for the inclusion of the local population when you offer help, please. Not only refugees are in need of assistance. I know refugees who don't need it anymore, and I know locals who are on assistance. Some areas have a larger poor population than others. Some refugees are better off than the native Swiss, so don't discount helping simply based on where one was born.
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Old 17.10.2020, 11:52
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

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Why can I not thank this useful post by FunnyBone? is there a limit to how many thanks you can get per post?
There is a limit. One per person. You've already thanked it.
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Old 17.10.2020, 13:16
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

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Winter is approaching and I think many of them do not have weather appropriate outer-wear and boots and then with Corona an added layer of frustration and isolation.
If you find an asylum centre that accepts direct donation of clothing, would you mind posting that information here?

Finding a place to donate clothing directly (aside from Texaid) has become difficult as this year many of the church or community run clothing drives that collect for direct donation were cancelled due to COVID. At the same time, during lockdown lots of people took that time to have a good clear-out. I would guess that if there is a need more people would be happy to donate directly to one of the asylum centres.
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Old 19.10.2020, 17:59
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Re: Helping refugees in Switzerland

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I have a suggestion for a niche issue assuming that children aren't allowed to go to school until their families obtain certain permits: volunteering to teach kids not only the language, but also reading, writing, Math, and science.

From my understanding, when people arrive here, it can take years for their cases to be processed - so no work for the adults, no schooling for the kids. If a kid arrives here at 6 and their case takes 4 years to be processed until they get accepted, they are already 10, and can't read and write, something we would find unthinkable and unacceptable for a child born here, and even the most intelligent or hardworking child will be at a substantial disadvantage, with lifelong negative impact on their future opportunities. If a preteen or teen arrives, and assuming the same 4 years of paperwork processing, they will be aged out of the school system and end up with very limited literacy, and extremely limited opportunities.
Very sad, a life of struggling from thereon, the odds are against these people. Very unfortunate and the 'loophole' would be good to close.
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