This site uses cookies to provide you with a more responsive and personalised service. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies. Please read our PRIVACY POLICY for more information on the cookies we use and how to delete or block them.
  • News and current developments on work and residence permits

    Quota situation 2020 / obligation to report vacant jobs / permit card for foreigners


News and current developments on work and residence permits

02 December 2019


Quota situation 2020

In November 2019, the Federal Council determined the 2020 quotas for third country nationals and service providers from the EU/EFTA. The maximum quotas for 2020 will remain at the same level as 2019. 

Third-country nationals

8’500 specialists from non-EU/EFTA countries may be recruited in Switzerland.

  • 4’000 quotas for L short-term residence permits
  • 4’500 quotas for B residence permits


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


Croatian citizens

The quotas available for Croatian citizens have slightly increased for 2020.

  • 1'158 (+205) quotas for L short-term residence permits
  • 133 (+30) quotas for B residence permits


UK citizens

In the case of a no deal brexit, the Federal Council, in line with its "mind-the-gap" strategy, has also established separate quotas for UK nationals. 

  • 1'400 quotas for L short-term residence permits
  • 2'100 quotas for B residence permits


The obligation to report job vacancies - update

In order to take advantage of the domestic labour potential, the obligation to notify jobs was

enforced in July 2018. Vacancies in professions with a certain unemployment rate have be reported to the responsible Regional Employment Agency Centre (RAV - Regionales Arbeitsvermittlungszentrum) before being advertised or filled elsewhere.

Results from a recent report issued by the SECO (State Secretary for Economic Affairs) show that employers are complying with the reporting obligation and that the implementation is efficient. The number of notified jobs has significantly increased since coming into force in July 2018.

As of 1 January 2020, the threshold will be lowered to 5 percent. Employers will need to report all jobs in professions with at least 5 percent unemployment rate (throughout Switzerland).

Since the introduction of the obligation to report job vacancies in July 2018, results show that more than 80 percent of the registered jobs come from the professional areas of the hotel and restaurant industry, construction and the industrial sector.


Foreigner's identity cards in credit card format

Since November 1st, 2019, foreigner work- and residence permits have gradually been replaced by new permits in credit card format. By the end of June 2021, around 1.8 million paper identity cards will be renewed on a staggered basis by the cantons. The Federal Council has approved the relevant change in legislation necessary for the switch. According to the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), the new work- and residence permits are not only more convenient than the current ones, but also less liable to counterfeit and more modern. The new cards will not however contain biometric data.

A credit card sized identity card will be issued to EU/EFTA citizens, cross-border commuters, employed family members of diplomats, asylum seekers during asylum procedures and temporarily admitted persons.