News and current developments on work and residence permits - January 2019
17 January 2019
Amendment of the Aliens Act
Since January 2019, the Federal Act on Foreign Nationals (AuG) has been rena med the Federal Act on Foreign Nationals and Integration (AIG). The new AIG is intended to promote the integration of foreign nationals by facilitating the approach and aim for an independent commitment to integration. Through giving more rights to foreigners, there will be a higher level of initiative and integration.
The essentials in brief:
- Integration criteria: In addition to the integration criteria currently in force, language skills have been defined which are required for the granting and extension of a permit.
- Recognised refugees and provisionally admitted persons: A work permit is no longer required and they can now exercise self-employment or employment throughout Switzerland after registering with the labour market authority. This will only come into effect if the wage and working conditions customary in the locality, profession and industry are observed.
- Permanent residence permit C: If the integration criteria are not met, the longterm settlement permit can be revoked and replaced by a residence permit (downgrading). The downgrading is linked to conditions to which the continued residence in Switzerland is subject. After a downgrading, the settlement permit can only be reconsidered after a minimum period of five years.
- Family reunion: Spouses of persons with a permanent residence permit C or a residence permit B must be able to communicate in the national language spoken at their place of residence. A level of A1 for oral language skills will be required. If proof of the required language skills cannot be provided, an application for a language course must be submitted.
Quota situation 2019
In September 2018, the Federal Council set the quotas for the year 2019 for third country nationals and service providers from the EU/EFTA. Compared to the previous years the number of residence permits for non-EU/EFTA nationals and for Croatian citizens has been increased.
8’500 specialists from non-EU/EFTA countries can be recruited in Switzerland.
- 4’500 (+ 1’000) quotas for B residence permits
- 4’000 (- 500) quotas for L short-term residence permits
The 1’000 additional B quotas remain in the Federal Reserve and will be allocated to the cantons upon request.
Service providers from EU/EFTA countries
The maximum number of service providers (i.e. expatriates) from EU/EFTA countries remains unchanged.
• 3’000 quotas for L short -term residence permits
• 500 quotas for B residence permits
Quotas will be released quarterly; 750 L quotas and 125 B quotas per quarter will be released by the Federal Government.
The quotas available for Croatian citizens have been slightly increased for 2019.
- 953 (+205) quotas for L short-term residence permits
- 103 (+25) quotas for B residence permits
Quotas will be released quarterly; 187 L quotas and 19-21 B quotas per quarter will be released by the Federal Government.
The B quotas for Croatians have already been exhausted for the first quarter of 2019.