SWITZERLAND: New Quotas for 2020

On 27 November 2019, the Federal Council of Switzerland announced that quotas will remain the same for new work permit applications submitted during the 2020 calendar year for certain groups.

The groups are:

  • Non-European Union/European Free Trade Agreement (non-EU/EFTA) nationals (with a stay greater than four consecutive months/120 days per year)
  • Service providers/seconded workers based in the EU/EFTA (also with a stay greater than four consecutive months/120 days per year).

The Federal authorities also confirmed they will grant 2100 B long term permit and 1400 L short term permit for British citizens for 2020 in case of a no-deal Brexit.

What to expect

Taking into account the persistent economic need for specialists from third countries, and the results of discussions conducted with the cantons and social partners, the federal authorities have decided to maintain the same number of B long-term permits and L short-term permit for non-EU/EFTA nationals.

The number of B long-term and L short-term for service providers/seconded workers based in the EU/EFTA also remains the same.

The Swiss government announced the following quotas for 2020:

  • 4000 “L” short-term permits for non-EU/EFTA nationals;
  • 4500 “B” long-term permits for non-EU/EFTA nationals;
  • 3000 “L” short-term permits for service providers/seconded workers based in the EU/EFTA;
  • 500 “B” long-term permits for service providers/seconded workers based in the EU/EFTA;
  • 1400 “L” short-term permits for British nationals;
  • 2100 “B” long-term permits for British nationals.

The quotas for non-EU/EFTA nationals are released on a calendar-year basis while the quotas for service providers/seconded workers based in the EU/EFTA are released on a quarterly basis.

Please note that although the allocated quotas for 2019 should be enough to cover demand, the quota in 2020 might still be exhausted before the end of the year. Also, permit quotas for service providers/seconded workers based in the EU/EFTA might be exhausted before the end of each quarter.

Our Advice

Employers are advised to:

  • Submit important applications as early as possible;
  • Evaluate the possibility of reducing, when possible, short-term assignments to four months or 120 days per twelve-month period, which are not subject to quota availability;
  • Notify the authorities when a work permit has been granted, but the individual will not use the permit due to a change in plans or if they leave Switzerland prematurely, as it may be possible for the authorities to re-use the granted permit for a new case;
  • Promote, where possible, Swiss local employment contracts to EU/EFTA nationals arriving to work in Switzerland (instead of secondment status);
  • Use the trainees exchange program in place between Switzerland and various countries (separate quotas in place for the trainee exchange program);
  • Contact a Newland Chase immigration specialist for case-specific advice.

For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to Switzerland, please email us at enquiries@newlandchase.com.