Work permit quota increased in Switzerland

Next year will see an increase in the quotas of work permits for non-EU workers in Switzerland. The increase is a response to requests from business leaders to boost workforce immigration.

Swiss flag flying
The Swiss Federal Council will increase the work permit quotas for 2018.

Which work permits are affected?

The quotas are imposed on a national, rather than per-company, basis, on long-term B permits and short-term L permits. B permits are valid for up to five years and are renewable. Once the B permit quotas are reached, applicants are issued with L permits instead – valid for up to 12 months and convertible into a B permit after two years. 

Non-EU/EFTA Nationals

In 2018, a total of 8000 specialists may be recruited from non-EU/EFTA states. This is an increase of 500, which will go towards long-term B permits, making the total number of B permits 3500.The number of short-term L permits for non-EU/EFTA nationals will remain unchanged at 4500.The 500 extra B permits will be allocated to the federal quota, rather than directly to the cantons, to enable the federal government to flexibly manage the additional need in the various cantons on request.

EU/EFTA Nationals 

For 2018, the authorities will grant 500 long-term B permits, an increase of 250 compared to this year’s quota.The authorities will also allow 3000 short-term L permits – an increase of 1000 compared to 2017.These quotas will be allocated to the cantons on a quarterly basis, as before.

Action Items

Note the quotas for 2018 and plan, as always, to submit work permit applications in good time to avoid issues. This alert was prepared using information provided by Sgier und PartnerFor related news and features, visit our Immigration section.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory