Switzerland increases work permit quotas for 2018

Immigration update - SwitzerlandThe Swiss authorities have increased the total number of B long-term permits for non-European Union/European Free Trade Association (EU/EFTA) nationals by 500 authorizations for 2018. The number of L short-term permits will remain 4,500, the same as in 2017. 

Discussions with the cantons and social partners as well as the increased needs of specialists have resulted in the increase of B long-term permits. 

On September 29, 2017 the Federal Council of Switzerland announced the following quotas for 2018:

Non-EU/EFTA nationals
4,500 L short-term permits
3,500 B long-term permits

EU/EFTA nationals on assignment/secondment
3,000 L short-term permits
500 B long-term permits 

All assignments, non-EU and EU/EFTA, over four months (120 days per year) are subject to permit quotas.

Key considerations

Even though the quotas have increased, meaning more work permits will be available, the quota may still be exhausted before the end of each quarter. Crown World Mobility advises submitting permit applications prior to the start of each new quarter to avoid delays when the quarterly quotas become exhausted.  

Tips to avoid the quota:

  • If possible, limit the assignments to four months or 120 days per 12-month period to avoid the quota system.
  • Separate quotas for trainee exchange programs are available.
  • For EU nationals, consider a short term local employment contract instead of a secondment to avoid the quota system. 

Source: This update was prepared using information from The Federal Council, The Portal of the Swiss Government.

Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Alison Burton, Immigration Specialist for Switzerland.