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Working in Switzerland as a Foreign National

According to The World Happiness Report 2023, Switzerland is among the top 5 happiest nations globally with a happiness index of 7.51. The home of the worlds’ best chocolates has maintained its ranking among the top 10 on the happiness index since 2014, when it topped the list. Switzerland also boasts a high life satisfaction score. Despite a formal and conservative business culture, it is one of the easiest places for starting a business. It takes just 2.5 days to register a business, compared to the averages 8.5 and 22.7 days for the OECD high-income group and East Asia & Pacific economies, respectively.

Planning to Immigrate to Switzerland?

A member of the Schengen Area, Switzerland abides by the EU/EFTA agreement on the free movement of persons (AFMP). Therefore, EU/EFTA nationals do not need a visa to stay in the country from 90 days to up to 6 months (180 days). Beyond that, they need to register for a residence permit, which also serves as a work permit for EU citizens in Switzerland.

There are several types of residence and work permits for EU/EFTA citizens:

Type Ci EU/EFTA Permit

This is for the employees of intergovernmental organizations, consulates, and/or embassies and their families. It includes paid employment in Switzerland.

Type C Permit

Type C grants indefinite residency to citizens of the EU who have stayed in Switzerland for 5 years (or 10 for a few countries). The applicants have to confirm their residence status every 5 years.

Type L Permit

Self-employed non-Swiss EU/EFTA citizens are granted a Type L permit to work as freelancers or on short-term projects. The permit is valid for 1 year only.       

Type B Permit

Type B is for self-employed individuals or those who have employment contracts of at least 1 year.

Type G Permit

The G Permit, also known as the cross-border commuter permit, is granted to EU/EFTA citizens residing in an EU/EFTA member state who work in Switzerland but return to their primary foreign residence weekly. The permit stays valid for five years if the employment contract is permanent or fixed for more than a year. If not, it remains valid for the length of the employment contract.

Switzerland Work Visa for Non-EU Citizens

Non-EU citizens need a work permit to enter Switzerland. They also need to prove their qualifications and expertise (through an employment opportunity) for gainful employment in the country. The employer is responsible for ensuring that foreign hires have the necessary authorisation before hiring them. Additionally, the employer must prove the non-existence of a qualified employee within Switzerland and the EU/EFTA region. Permits Ci and G can be applied for by EU/EFTA citizens. Citizens of other nations can get provisional admission to the country through a Type F permit.

Expert Solutions for Employment in Switzerland

It can be challenging to figure out how to employ a team and set up payroll in Switzerland; it requires great attention to detail and a deep understanding of local best practices.

We provide a full set of services in Switzerland allowing corporate clients, recruitment agencies and professional contractors to operate in an optimal manner while ensuring that all local employment obligations are taken care of. Access Financial offers the following solutions in Switzerland:

• Employed

• Employer of Record (EOR)

If you would like to discuss how Access Financial can help, please contact us at [email protected]