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The Swiss government has decided the quotas for highly qualified workers from non-European Union (EU)/European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) countries, as well as for assignees from EU/EFTA countries.

The quotas for highly qualified, non-EU/EFTA nationals have increased by 500 per category, compared to the previous two years. Quotas for assignees from EU/EFTA countries remain at the same level.

The quotas are imposed on a national basis rather than per company. They also apply to 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.

2017 quotas for non-EU/EFTA nationals

In 2017, companies in Switzerland can recruit foreign national specialists from non-EU/EFTA countries up to the following national quotas:

  • 4,500 L permits
  • 3,000 B permits

The increase in permits for non-EU/EFTA nationals follows complaints from some cantons that their quota has already been used up this year. However, the number of L and B work permits issued for non-EU/EFTA nationals in 2017 will still be 1,000 fewer than before the 2014 vote that called for a curb on foreign immigration.

2017 quotas for EU/EFTA national assignees

The quotas for assignees from EU/EFTA countries to Switzerland for more than 90 and 120 days have remained the same as for 2015 and 2016:

  • 2,000 L permits
  • 250 B permits

This summary was prepared using information obtained from Peregrine Immigration Management.

Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Angela Volz:

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