• News and current developments on work and residence permits - December 2018

News and current developments on work and residence permits - December 2018

13 December 2018

Extension of the transition period for Croatian workers

Since January 2017, Croatian citizens have been subject to the Free Movement of Persons. During a multi-stage transitional phase however, special conditions apply to the taking up of gainful employment in Switzerland and the provision of cross-border services. 

Croation nationals are permitted to take up gainful employment if the following conditions are met:

  • Priority of Swiss nationals is taken into account;
  • wage and working conditions are controlled;
  • there are sufficient fixed annual quotas.

The first period of this transitional phase ends on 31 December 2018. At its meeting in December 2018, the Federal Council decided to maintain the transitional phase until at least the end of December 2021.

For 2019, 953 quotas for short-term L residence permits and 103 quotas for B residence permits are available throughout Switzerland. The quotas are released by the Confederation on a quarterly basis. The decision to extend the transitional phase for workers from Croatia is in line with the recent measures adopted by the Federal Council to control immigration. 


Croatian nationals, despite being EU citizens, are still treated as non-EU/EFTA nationals when being employed in Switzerland. The priority of nationals comes into force, which means that  the Swiss employer must prove that no national has been found to fill the vacancy.


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