working permits Switzerland

Residence and work permit in Switzerland

Switzerland is not an EU country. A permit is required for long-term residence and job.

The permit is issued by the migration office regarding your employment contract and lease contract. These documents are sent to the migration office through the municipal office (“Gemeinde”), where you have just secured housing or found a job with accommodation. It is simply the place, where you live. You are required to check-in at the migration office within 14 days after arrival. Only in the case of a short-term permit “Meldeverfahren” – Notification procedure is your employer responsible for arranging this permit for you himself.

Types of permits

Notification procedure – Meldeverfahren
For EU citizens only. It is an employer’s obligation to report employees to the migration office. This permit is for 90 days within a calendar year. It applies to a specific location and a specific employer. It is handled by the employer online and the confirmation follows electronically within 24 hours. On this one A4 paper there is your name, place of work, and period of validity. It’s good to carry it with you. Its advantage is that you do not have to have Swiss health insurance and you operate with an EU health insurance card. Many people often do not even know they have it, so they misinform the FB groups that no permission is needed for 3 months. You DO need one!

Employers may only submit notification forms for their own employees from these countries:

  • EU-27/EFTA nationals taking up employment in Switzerland
  • Employees posted by a company domiciled in one of the EU/EFTA member states, regardless of the employee’s nationality. Third-state nationals are required to have been legally working in an EU/EFTA member state for at least 12 months prior to being posted to Switzerland.
  • Independent service providers from an EU/EFTA member state domiciled in an EU/EFTA member state

I definitely recommend travel insurance for this type of stay. One never knows when it may come in handy.

Permits L, B
They are issued for a period of 1-5 years. The period of validity is determined by the migration office on the basis of quotas, its cantonal regulations, and requirements. This selection can’t be influenced much. This procedure begins at the municipal office “Gemeinde”, where you submit the documents. It continues then by receiving a written request to pick up your permit. And then comes a moment of surprise, a lottery, what are you probably going to get. Anyway, you pay around 80 francs for this. It will be a kind of card that is called “Ausländerausweis”. It usually says that you are allowed to stay and work in the whole of Switzerland, for how long you have this permission and your photo on the top. For this kind of permit could apply anyone from whole over the world.

C, F, N, S permits are currently irrelevant for beginners from EU countries, as is obtaining a Swiss passport.

For regular commuters with permanent residence abroad serves the permit G – coming from the word “Grenzgänger” – crossing the border regularly. Its advantage lies in the possibility of one’s own choice in which country to get health insurance or the possibility to keep the car’s license plate number. Disadvantage: taxes. You are obliged to declare the taxes in both countries. Apart of that you also have the obligation to leave the country regularly on a weekly basis. These conditions may vary in different cantons.

Which permit is the best?

From my point of view, it is best to get permission B.
With this permit, it will be easier for you to find an apartment, enter into a contract with a telephone operator, and of course, you can start your own business.

Expats and families

Permit B is released for family members who arrived on the basis of family reunification. You need to apply for this by your city council representatives.
Keep in mind that it will be considered whether you have the financial means and sufficient space for family members. Switzerland is a country where anyone has the right to their own spaces and also it is compulsory to pay for health insurance by yourself – for you and your family members.

We are flexihelp

Do you need help with health insurance or do you plan to do business in Switzerland? We will be happy to help you.

Foto: Pixabay



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