Switzerland – Work Permit Quotas Announced for 2018

What has changed
 

On September 29, 2017, the Federal Council of Switzerland announced quotas for new work permit applications submitted during the 2018 calendar year for non-European Union/European Free Trade Agreement (non-EU/EFTA) nationals (with a stay greater than four consecutive months/120 days per year) and EU/EFTA nationals on assignment/secondment (with a stay greater than four consecutive months/120 days per year).

Who is affected?

  • Non-EU/EFTA nationals and EU/EFTA nationals

What to expect

Taking into account the persistent economic needs of specialists from third countries and the results of discussions conducted with the cantons and social partners, the federal authorities have decided to increase the total number of B long term permits for non-EU/EFTA nationals by 500 authorizations. The number of L short term permits will, however, remain the same as in 2017 (4500).

The federal authorities have also decided to increase the total number of B long term permits for EU/EFTA nationals on assignment/secondment by 250 and the L short term permits by 1000 authorizations.

The Swiss government announced the following quotas for 2018:

  • 4500 “L” short term permits for non-EU/EFTA nationals
  • 3500 “B” long term permits for non-EU/EFTA nationals
  • 3000 “L” short term permits for EU/EFTA nationals on assignment/secondment
  • 500 “B” long term permits for EU/EFTA nationals on assignment/secondment

Although there will be more work permits available for non-EU/EFTA nationals, the quota may still be exhausted before the end of year.

While quotas for non-EU/EFTA nationals are released on a calendar year basis, the quotas for EU/EFTA nationals on assignment/secondment are released on a quarterly basis. Please note that permit quotas for EU/EFTA nationals are frequently exhausted before the end of each quarter.
What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Do not wait until the end of the year to submit important applications;
  • Evaluate the possibility of reducing, when possible, short term assignments to four (4) months or 120 days per twelve (12) month period, which are not subject to quota availability;
  • Notify the authorities when a work permit has been granted but the person will not use the permit due to a change in plans, or when an individual holding a permit leaves Switzerland prematurely, as it may be possible for the authorities to re-use the granted unit for a new case;
  • Promote when possible Swiss local employment contracts for EU/EFTA nationals coming to work in Switzerland (instead of secondment status);
  • Use the trainees exchange program in place between Switzerland and various countries (separate quotas in place for the trainee exchange program);
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.