SWITZERLAND – Increase in Work Permit Quotas for 2019

The Swiss Federal Council has decided to increase the work permit quotas for 2019.

Which work permits are affected?

The quotas are imposed on a national, rather than per-company, basis, on long-term B permits and short-term L permits. B permits are valid for up to five years and are 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.

Non-EU/EFTA Nationals

• In 2019, a total of 8500 specialists may be recruited from non-EU/EFTA states, an increase of 500;
• The number of B permits available will increase by 1000 to 4500;
• The number of L permits available will decrease by 500 to 4000; and
• The 1000 extra B permits will be allocated to the federal quota, rather than directly to the cantons, to enable the federal government to flexibly manage the additional need in the various cantons on request.

EU/EFTA Nationals

• For 2018, the authorities will grant 500 long-term B permits – no change on last year’s quota.
• The authorities will also allow 3000 short-term L permits – no change on last year’s quota.
• These quotas will be allocated to the cantons on a quarterly basis, as before.

Action Items

Note the quotas for 2019 and plan, as always, to submit work permit applications in good time to avoid issues.