Immigration to Switzerland | Complete Guide on Work and Residence Permit
Switzerland boasts one of the most robust economies in the world with a workforce that is highly skilled. Each year, the number of employees entering the country is closely regulated by the Swiss government. The standard of living is extremely high, it is ideal for expats who want to relocate and take up a new position. Salaries in Switzerland are also amongst the highest with great working conditions in the world. It is a very welcoming country, with 25% of its population being foreign individuals. English is a widely spoken language, and there
are great career opportunities, a developed infrastructure and beautiful, scenic nature. One of the best ways to immigrate to Switzerland is through work permits, most foreign nationals require a permit to work in Switzerland. The procedure for obtaining a permit depends on your nationality and type of employment. If you are among qualified non-EU/EFTA nationals,
for example managers, specialists or university graduates with years of professional experience, you can work in Switzerland. You require a work permit, even for short-term employment. You should also notice that the number of permits issued is limited. A work permit may also be issued for self-employment. Spouses of Swiss nationals or of persons with a settlement or residence permit do not require a work permit. To obtain Swiss citizenship, you must live in the country for 10 consecutive years and have a permanent residence permit.
If you want to know how to immigrate to Switzerland via a work and residence permit, stay tuned until the end of this video. [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] Welcome back everybody, thanks for watching. My name’s Ahmadreza and here in Persia Global, we help those who are in search of better opportunities to work, live or study abroad. In today’s video, I’m going to share Switzerland work and residence permit, different types of Switzerland visas & permits, requirements & procedures to apply for work and residence permit, and finally how to get permanent residency and Swiss citizenship. If you come from a non-EU/EFTA country and would like to work in Switzerland, you may only do so if you are highly qualified, like when you are a manager, specialist or other skilled professionals. This means, essentially, that you should have a degree from a university or an institution of higher education, as well as a number of years of professional work experience, language skills and a suitable age. If you are planning to stay in Switzerland
for several years, you will also have to fulfil certain other criteria that will facilitate your long-term professional and social integration. The key factors here for longer stays are your professional and social adaptability, language skills and age. In your work permit application, the most important part is that your future employer must prove that there is no suitable person to fill the job vacancy from Switzerland or from an EU/EFTA country. Also, the salary, social security contributions and the terms of employment for foreign workers must be in accordance with conditions customary to the region, the profession and the particular sector. Switzerland is divided into 26 different areas called cantons. A canton is similar to a state in the United States;
the individual municipalities and cantons are very free, and for attracting foreign immigrants they make independent decisions too, and therefor this has both advantages and disadvantages. Language is the key to successful integration when it comes to get permanent residence and then apply for Swiss citizenship. In fact, there are four languages widely spoken in Switzerland, and English language could still suffice for your employment. The majority of the population lives in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. About 65 percent of the population speaks Swiss-German.
About 20 percent French, 8 percent Italian, and some 45 percent of the Swiss population speaks English regularly. English language use is more widespread in German-speaking Switzerland than in the Italian and French-speaking regions. So, for applicants with English language abilities German-speaking regions of Switzerland have more jobs vacancies with English language requirement.
For long-term stays (more than three months) in Switzerland you are subject to get authorization like a work permit in case of gainful employment and a residence permit for family reunification. So, anyone wishing to work in Switzerland needs to have a work permit before taking up gainful employment. Beside a valid work permit, in the case of people requiring a visa, like third countries nationals, a valid visa is also necessary for entry. So, for you to enter the Swiss labor market, you firstly need to find an employer with an employment contract, then you and your employer should file an application for work permit, to enter the country, you also need to apply for a visa, after your entry you or your employer need to register for a residence permit. There are 8 types of residence permits available in Switzerland, three of them are more issued for highly qualified persons that allow them to work and live, I explain them here for you.
L residence permit; is a short-term permit issued for both EU/EFTA or third country nationals, this permit is temporary and issued for less than a year. B residence permit; is a limited permit, but issued for over one year it’s also issued for both either EU/EFTA or third country nationals. C residence permit or settlement permit; is indefinite and unconditional permit is also issued for both either EU/EFTA or third country nationals. There are also other permits named G, N, f, ci & S; they are mainly issued for temporary residence or asylum seekers in Switzerland that are not the subject of this video. So, as I mentioned, third country nationals are also allowed entry to the Swiss labor market, but they have to fulfill some extra preconditions. Here, in the following explanations, I’m going to clarify the most important admission or approval criteria so that you can understand the requirements for obtaining a work permit from the Swiss authorities and can submit a comprehensive and well-supported application.
The first criteria to consider for approval of third-state nationals to the Swiss labor market is that applicants must explain and document why their admission is in the overall economic interest for Switzerland, to prove this you can narrow down your job search in job vacancies with less percentage of unemployment rate that I’ll explain more about this issue in the rest of the video. Another important consideration is that admissions of non-EU and non-EFTA state nationals are limited. The Federal Council determines the maximum numbers in the Ordinance on Admission, Period of Stay and Employment on an annual basis. So, the number of work permits issued to the third country nationals in Switzerland is restricted and for this factor the job opportunities are more competitively available.
Another point to consider is that third country nationals are only authorized when no Swiss or EU/EFTA national is available for the job advertised. Third-state nationals can be admitted only if it is not possible to recruit a person who qualifies for precedence from the labor market in Switzerland or in an EU/EFTA country. Precedence is initially given to Swiss nationals, and then foreign nationals with a residence permit like a (Permit C), foreign nationals with temporary admission Permit F, etc. So, vacant positions must be registered with the regional employment centers (RAV) and advertised via the European Employment System (EURES); here, employers must also demonstrate to the authorities that a search via the recruitment channels used in the sector was unsuccessful. What the job registration requirement with the regional employment centers (RAV) means for employers and jobseekers is that in addition to the precedence or priority given to applicants from Switzerland or from countries with which a free movement agreement has been concluded, notice must be given to regional employment agencies of certain job vacancies.
The obligation to give notice of vacant positions applies to those professions, areas of activity or economic regions in which the national unemployment rate is five percent or higher. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO annually updates the list of professions that are subject to the obligation to give notice. So, if your job is listed with an unemployment rate under 5 percent, your employer doesn’t need to give a notice to RAV & you as a third country national has stronger chance to enter into Swiss labor market. Salary and employment conditions are also customary in the region and sector; Salary, social security contributions and employment terms for foreign workers must accord with local, professional and sectoral conditions. Some sectors lay down these conditions
in a collective employment agreement, which is legally binding at national or at least cantonal or local government level. The authorities also carry out checks on salary and working conditions to ensure that foreign employees are not exposed to unlawful working conditions and that workers already in Switzerland are protected from wage dumping. So, good news is that foreign employees have a right to the same salary and the same working conditions as Swiss nationals. Another criterion to consider gaining approval for Swiss labor market and work permit acquisition is based on personal requirements & qualifications; You should know that most admissions or work permits are limited to managers, specialists and other highly qualified workers. ‘Qualified workers’ primarily means individuals with a degree from a university or university of applied sciences who also have several years of professional experience. Depending on the profession or the field of specialization, individuals with special training and several years of professional experience may also be admitted. In addition to professional qualifications,
certain integration criteria must be taken into account when granting work and residence permits: a person’s professional and social adaptability, language skills and age must suggest that they can become sustainably integrated into the Swiss employment market and Swiss society. Qualifications are checked on basis of a person’s CV, their education certificates and their employment references. The authorities require copies of documents in their original language as well as translations into one of Switzerland’s official language or English. If the foreign education or professional training system is significantly different from that of Switzerland, it is helpful for the authorities if documents contain additional information about the training institution and the length and content of training (e.g., curriculum, training certificates on examination subjects taken and results obtained, etc.). If your job is
among regulated professions like health, teaching, law, social work and technical professions, your degree or certificates need to be recognized by the appropriate agencies in Switzerland that I’ll explain about it in the following. You also need a suitable accommodation; foreign nationals may only be admitted in order to work if suitable accommodation for them & their family members is available. pppppppppppp There are some exceptions you do not need a work permit to go through an additional permit process to become self-employed or take up employment. Exceptions to the work permit requirements are management or specialist transfers in international companies, for internships and training and further education in multi-national companies in cases like knowledge transfer, etc., doctoral / post-doctoral students, family members of Swiss nationals and those holding residence permits, an au pair arrangement that involves the temporary admission of young foreign nationals who arrive in Switzerland to improve their language skills and expand their general education through better knowledge of the host country and finally for employment following study in Switzerland that applies only to degrees from recognized Swiss higher education institutions.
So, let’s see what’s the application procedure for Switzerland work permit. The first step is the application submission that starts with your employer. Your employer submits the application documents to the cantonal employment or local immigration authority. Employees requiring a visa must also submit an application to the Swiss representation abroad that is responsible for their place of residence. The next step is the application screening, the competent cantonal authority, employment or immigration office screens applications on the basis of the Foreign Nationals and Integration Act and takes a preliminary decision. Applications approved by the canton must be submitted to SEM for final approval. After first preliminary approval, the final application screening is processed by State Secretariate for Migration or SEM that reviews applications according to admission criteria that apply to the whole of Switzerland. The applicant and employer as well as the cantonal
authorities receive the official decision from SEM, which is subject to a fee that is payable by the employer. This official decision does not permit the employee to enter Switzerland yet. To enter the country, the Issuance of visa is done by the cantonal immigration authority that issues electronic visa authorization to the Swiss representation or embassy abroad for those who require a visa, based on SEM's approval. The visa can then be collected from the embassy in your home country. The last step to take is done by you, you register with the competent authority at your place of residence in Switzerland within 14 days of entering the country. In fact, you can only begin to work after you have registered. so, what are the application documents that are required for a work permit.
The State Secretariat for Migration and the cantonal employment services will only process applications if they are submitted in full. You & your employer should submit general documents, documents of precedence, personal requirements, reason for the application & salary and employment conditions. • For general applications you need to fill in an application form; Most cantons make the forms available on their own websites. Some cantons allow online applications; • Copy of passport; • For precedence, confirmation that vacancy is advertised by the regional employment office (RAV) and within the EURES system (notify your RAV advisor); • Copies of job advertisements published in professional journals, national weekly or daily newspapers in Switzerland, specialist online portals and social media (such as LinkedIn); • Information on other job search efforts in Switzerland and the EU/EFTA area (as customary in the respective sector); • Also, confirmation from an appointed employment agent; • Information on applications received and reasons that they cannot be considered (RAV offices can provide the relevant questionnaires, for example); • For personal requirement, a Curriculum vitae in tabular form; • Proof of qualifications such as education certificates and references; • Copies of documents in original language, as well as certified translations if the documents are not in one of Switzerland’s official languages or English; • Documents for reasons the vacancy must be filled; • Job description or duties of the position to be filled, and information on the company; • For salary and employment conditions, contract of employment (must be signed at least by the employer; this is considered binding by the authorities), or employee transfer confirmation from the foreign employer, stating salary, expat allowances and expenses arrangements.
In addition to the documents I mentioned, you may also need to go through the recognition process of Foreign Diplomas or professional recognition that is required to obtain the right to work in a certain field. Professional recognition differs between regulated and non-regulated professions. For Regulated Professions; Regulated occupations or professions are subject to legal restrictions and requirements. As such, they can only be carried out by holders of specific qualifications (e.g., degree, certificate, proficiency credentials) or titles. In such cases, official recognition of a foreign qualification must be obtained from the appropriate agency. Professions in the following fields of work are regulated: • health • teaching • technology • law • social work that you can also find a link in the description section of video for further details.
For Non-regulated Professions; In Switzerland, no official recognition of foreign qualifications or degrees is required for professions in unregulated fields of work. Here, the recognition is entirely up to the employer. Swiss ENIC can issue a level confirmation/evaluation for foreign university qualifications which give access to non-regulated professions, provided that a similar university course or diploma is offered by a Swiss university that is also free of charge. For the last part of the video as I mentioned we will see how you can get Swiss Permanent Residency and Citizenship; after you have lived in Switzerland for 10 continuous years, you will be eligible to apply for a Swiss Permanent Residence Permit (C Permit). Once you are a permanent resident, and have lived in Switzerland for 10 years, you can also apply to become naturalized as a Swiss citizen. Previously, the required residency period before
becoming eligible for naturalization was 12 years. You may be eligible to apply for Swiss permanent residence or citizenship earlier in particular cases. For example, if you are the spouse of a Swiss national or a second-generation child resident. If you are an EU/EFTA national, you can apply for permanent residence or citizenship after only 5 years. Both Swiss permanent residence and citizenship offer a lot of the same benefits. For example, you will no longer have any
restrictions when it comes to employment – you can work for whoever you want and change jobs as you like. You can buy property without restriction, open your own business, and live wherever you want in Switzerland. You would also have access to social assistance and welfare benefits, same as a Swiss citizen. However, the added benefit of being a Swiss
citizen is that it gives you the right to vote and to stand for public office, which you do not have when you have a permanent residence permit. But the procedure of becoming a Swiss citizen is longer. Swiss citizenship also brings more obligations, such as having to do military service (applicable only to men aged 18 to 34.) pppppppppppppppppp Thanks again for watching this video, I hope it could help you get valuable information on your immigration journey to Switzerland, there are also other helpful videos in our channel, in different playlists, please do not forget to subscribe and hit the notification bell.
in Persia Global, we are going to help applicants who are in search of better opportunities to work, relocate or study abroad. Roy Bennet, the author of the light in the heart says “The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence; the past is a place of learning, not a place of living.” Until next video, Cheers, Over and out [Music]