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SWITZERLAND – Quotas for Work Permits in 2016 Announced

The Swiss government has announced the quotas for highly qualified workers from non-European Union/European Free Trade Agreement countries, as well as for assignees from EU/EFTA countries. The quotas announced are the same as those for 2015.

Which Work Permits are affected?

The quotas are imposed on a national, rather than per-company, basis, on B permits, which are long term residence permits, valid for up to five years, and renewable. Once the B permit quotas are reached, applicants are issued with L permits instead – valid for up to 12 months and convertible into a B permit after two years.

2016 Quotas for Non-EU/EFTA Nationals

In 2016 companies in Switzerland can recruit foreign national specialists from non-EU/EFTA countries up to the following national quotas:

  • 4000 L permits;
  • 2500 B permits.

As in previous years, half of the quota will be allocated to the cantons, with the other half kept as a Federal Reserve.

2016 Quotas for EU/EFTA National Assignees

The quotas for assignees from EU/EFTA countries to Switzerland for more than 90 and for more than 120 days have also remained the same as for 2015:

  • 2000 L permits;
  • 250 B permits.

These quotas will be allocated to the cantons on a quarterly basis, as before.

Action Items

  • Note the quotas for 2016 and expect a continuation of the strict qualifying criteria seen in 2015;
  • Plan, as always, to submit work permit applications in good time to avoid issues.

This alert was prepared using information provided by Sgier und Partner.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.