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

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

01 October 2018

Quota situation 2019

On 28 September, the Federal Council set the quotas for the year 2019 for third country nationals and service providers from the EU/EFTA. The Federal Council has decided to increase the number of residence permits in view of the continuing demand for specialists from third countries, the substantial use of B residence quotas and dialogue with the cantons and social partners.


  • Third-country nationals
    Next year, 8'500 specialists from non-EU/EFTA countries can be recruited in Switzerland. Non EU/EFTA countries are commonly referred to as the 'third countries' in Switzerland. In 2019 there will be 4'500 (+ 1'000) B residence permits and 4'000 L short-term residence permits (- 500) available. The 1'000 additional B quotas remain in the Federal Reserve and will be allocated to the cantons upon request, and as needed.
  • Service providers from EU/EFTA countries
    The maximum number of service providers (i.e. expatriates) from EU/EFTA countries remains unchanged. In 2019, there will be 3'000 quotas available for L short -term residence permits  and 500 for B residence permits. The total number of permits will remain unchanged. Quotas will be released quarterly. To summarize, 750 L quotas and 125 B quotas per quarter will be released by the Federal Government.


Obligation to report job vacancies

On July 1st 2018, the new job reporting obligation for professions with above-average unemployment rates came into force (read more). The job reporting obligation is an instrument to control immigration into Switzerland and is intended to further promote better use of the domestic work force potential. Since the introduction of the obligation to report job vacancies, the number of vacancies has risen significantly. In July, companies reported more than twice as many jobs than in the previous month to the relevant regional employment centre (RAV).


Federal Act on Foreign nationals: second stage approved

In August 2018, the Federal Council approved the second stage with corresponding amendments to the bylaws on the Aliens and Integration Act (AIG, until 31.12.18 still AuG Aliens Act) and decided to enforce this policy as of January 1st 2019. The integration of foreign nationals will be enhanced through positive incentives and appropriate measures. This essentially includes the following:


  • Facilitated admission of refugees and provisionally admitted persons
    As of January 2019, recognized refugees and temporarily admitted persons can take up gainful employment after registering with the labour market authority. This relieves the burden on employers and creates easier access to gainful employment. The aim is to promote the domestic work force potential and reduce expenditure on social assistance.


  • Integration criteria
    Integration criteria have been defined which will be taken into account in decisions concerning foreigners. These include language skills, which are required for the granting and extension of a permit. The level of linguistic requirements will vary depending on the type of permit in question. Parliament has specified measures, which will be applied if there is a lack of willingness to integrate. The migration authorities can combine a residence permit with a binding integration agreement and sanction non-compliance accordingly. If the integration criteria are not met, a downgrading from a settlement permit (C) to a residence permit (B) can be imposed by the Migration authority.


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