What you need to know about Swiss work permits

Swiss Permit Regulations

Freedom to work for the following EU- und EFTA member countries: EU: Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Malta, Cyprus, Lichtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia EFTA: Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein

L Permit

This permit is issued for employment contracts that are up to 1 year in duration. You as an employee can obtain it by taking a copy of your signed contract, a copy of your valid rent contract and your passport to the registry office (Kreisbüro, Einwohnerdienste etc.). Always make sure that you ask for a confirmation of registration to have a hard copy for your personal files. Should the employment contract be extended, this L permit can be extended by giving the registry office a copy of the newly signed contract showing the new end date. Normally the authorities will contact you a few weeks before your permit expires.

B Permit

This permit is for foreigners with employment contracts that have a duration of longer than a year. The B permit is valid for 5 years. There is no fixed quota anymore on the B permit. If you are in possession of an unlimited employment contract, you will get a B permit.

C Permit

Unrestricted living in Switzerland (i.e. no time restriction) without the right to vote. Not liable to tax at source anymore. Depending on your nationality you can apply for it after 5-10 years after living in Switzerland with a B-permit.

EU Plus Members – Romania, Bulgaria Foreigners of one of these countries still need a permit which the employer has to apply for. Due to the recent laws governing EU-25 and EFTA countries, it’s nearly impossible to obtain a permit for candidates from Romania and Bulgaria. They are handled like Non-EU and Non-EFTA members.

Non EU Members – Registration process for third party countries, Romania and Bulgaria:

•Candidate needs very sought-after skills, which are rare and specific

•The job ad has to have be posted on the RAV (unemployment authorities) website for a minimum 4 weeks

•It needs to be proven to the immigration authorities that there was no matching candidate coming from Switzerland or from the EU-25 and EFTA member countries.

•A letter from the client (employer) and Stamford justifying why this candidate needs to be hired

•Many other forms and documents are also required The whole process can take up to 2-3 months!

Short Term Permit (L)

Short term permits are issued up to a period of 4 months. There is no quota/restriction on how these are issued. The issuing canton office can produce and approve this permit within their own authority. In special circumstances this permit can be extended by a maximum of 24 months. This requires an application via the issuing canton office whereby the permit is then changed to a longer term L- permit. This process takes 3 to 6 weeks. Application goes via Bern.

Yearly Permit (B)

Currently, Yearly B permits will only be issued for highly qualified foreigners with several years of experience and diplomas, with the option for unlimited employment contracts.

Share on: