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SWITZERLAND – Quotas for Work Permits in 2014 Announced

The Swiss government has decided that the quotas for highly qualified workers from non-European Union/European Free Trade Agreement countries, as well as for assignees from EU/EFTA countries, will remain unchanged in 2014, although there is a new, separate quota for Croatian nationals. Additionally, there are some as further minor regulatory changes.

How does This Affect Me?

Employers in Switzerland can plan to hire the same number of non-EU/EFTA highly-qualified workers in 2014 as in 2013, and in addition can hire Croatian nationals under a new, separate quota.

Which Work Permits are affected?

The quotas cover L permits, issued for four to twelve months, and longer-term B permits, valid for one to four years. The quotas are set on a national, rather than per-company, basis.

2014 Quotas for Non-EU/EFTA Nationals

In 2014 companies in Switzerland can recruit foreign national specialists from non-EU/EFTA countries up to the following national quotas:

  • 5000 L permits;
  • 3500 B permits.

2014 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 2013:

  • 3000 L permits;
  • 500 B permits.

Special Quota for Croatian Nationals

The Swiss government has also decided that the following quota will be granted for Croatian nationals until further notice:

  • 450 L permits;
  • 50 B permits.Note that the qualifying criteria for these permits are at this point still the same as for non-EU nationals.

Further Changes

It was also announced last month that, as of 1 December 2013, non-EU citizen family members of EU/EFTA nationals and Bulgaria and Romania must obtain biometric residence permits instead of paper-booklet residence permits. For those who are already in Switzerland the permit booklets will be exchanged for permit cards at the time of renewal. A personal appearance will therefore be necessary to submit biometric data.

Further, the Swiss government has decided on a partial revision of the regulation (VZAE) to the Foreigner Act (AuG) with the aim of determining that the data shared between the authorities dealing with migration, and those handling unemployment benefits, will be regulated with a view to counteracting abuse of the system.

Action Items

  • Note that the quotas in these categories have not changed, and that Croatian nationals count towards a new, separate quota.
  • Plan, as always, to submit work permit applications in good time.
  • Arrange for non-EU citizen family members of EU/EFTA nationals and Bulgaria and Romania to submit biometric data in person, for new and renewal residence permit applications.

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.