Working in Switzerland


Does anyone have any experience of sending their employees to work in Switzerland at all?

We have an opportunity to send a couple of employees to work on an assignment with our client and whilst I have received some (free) legal advice about what the requirements are, I wanted to see if anyone can provide any more guidance on the requirements for the work permit process?

Please let me know and I would be happy to provide specifics if required.



  • Hi Natalie
    I have some ( not so recent) experience of transferring over 50 staff from the UK to Switzerland. In summary, the employer seeks authorisation for a work visa on the employees behalf from the cantonal employment service , the employee applies for an entry visa in the home country. A residents and work permit follow on arrival in Switzerland.

    It can be a long process ( allow 2 months) as the local cantonal employment service, will review and then refer the application on to the Federal Office for Migration (FOM) for approval. When considering an application, the FOM will take into account a range of factors but authorisation will usually be granted if:
    the employee is a manager, specialist or technically qualified and the established quotas allow it and there are no local swiss applicants suitable for the position.

    In terms of the work permit application requirements will vary from canton to canton ( which is the applicable canton in your case? ) but in general the needs are :

    a photocopy of your passport/travel ID data page;
    copies of job advertisements (press or online);
    job description
    copies of qualifications, such as certificates or diplomas

    Following arrival in Switzerland, there are 14 days to register with the Residents’ Registry Office through the local cantonal migration offices and to get a residence permit.

    Regarding types of Swiss resident and work permits

    Permit L – is a short-term residence permit that allows a stay in Switzerland for up to one year. The L permit is tied to the terms of the employment contract and may be extended in exceptional cases for a further year but no more if employee continues to work for the same employer.
    Permit B – is an initial or temporary residence permit that is valid for one year but can be extended annually, as long as there are no grounds for it not to be reissued, Permits are issued on a quota basis and are tied to the same employer. The permits often specify that you live in the canton that issued the permit and cannot move out of that canton.
    Quotas are generally issued by quarter and are often used up before the end of the quarter

    Hope this ( combination of my recollections of the process and some extracts from relevant websites) helps
  • Hi Natalie, There is a reply from me in your inbox, based on my experience of moving 50+ employees from UK to CH (a while back) - unfortunately my first reply to your post disappeared into the ether!
  • In reply to Kevin Elvidge:

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for your reply, unfortunately I don't have anything in my inbox in relation to your previous post?



  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    18 Oct, 2018 15:45

    In reply to Kevin Elvidge:

    It's there now (above). Apologies... over-zealous spam filter.
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    18 Oct, 2018 15:45

    In reply to Natalie Fraser:

    See above :)