Residence Permit in Switzerland
Working in Switzerland, for anyone not born in the country or without a Swiss citizenship, requires a residency permit. This permit is required for anyone who is intending on working for over three months.
The canton in which the future resident is intending to live is in control of issuing the residence permit. Each canton in Switzerland has a Cantonal Migration Office as well as a Cantonal Labour Office and these offices are in control of issuing these residency certificates. The major decider of these certificates is the Federal government, as Switzerland is a federal republic, so this means that the government is overall, in control of every canton’s decision, though, cantons may issue special terms with regards to the immigration and residency.
Types of residence permits for EU nationals
There are a few types of Swiss residency as far as the Swiss government is concerned and these are short-term, annual or permanent. All of which have permits certificates for those living in the EU and in EFTA countries and states.
The below permits are available for those within the EU:
B Permit: this permit is issued for 5 years and is presented to only EU and EFTA residents. In order for a citizen to gain a B permit, they must show an employment contract or ensure they are financially independent. EU-2 citizens are subject to further requirements.
C Permit: this permit allows its recipients to settle in Switzerland. Almost every EU and EFTA citizen ends up a Swiss resident within 5 years in Switzerland. Though not every EU citizen becomes a citizen within 5 years, some other nations are subject to a 10 year period.
Ci Permit: for families only, this permit allows the recipient to work in Switzerland.
G Permit: developed for citizens of other countries who are intending to work in Switzerland, but still remains a resident of their non-Swiss country. This permit is for EU/EFTA citizens.
L Permit: specifically designed for unusual requirements, the L permit allows for foreigners to reside in Switzerland for over 3 months, but under a year.
On top of all of the EU residency permits, there are also permits for other, non-EU countries.
The below permits, although designed for non-EU nationals, can be used by both EU and EFTA citizens.
F Permit: citizens who have been requested by the Swiss government to return to their home country, but are unable to do so. These individuals are then presented with an F permit.
N Permit: specifically designed for citizens of other nations who are seeking asylum in Switzerland.
S Permit: this permit contains a few requirements. This residency allows for the holder to seek shelter or protection in Switzerland, though if the holder leaves the country they are not allowed to return to Switzerland.
Switzerland has signed an agreement with the EU, The Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons, which is also relevant to any EU-25 and EFTA nationals. Though, there are a few restrictions on the EU-2 nationals.
For your information, the nations within the EU-25 are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Portugal.
Gaining a Swiss residency permit is a vital and in most cases a required step to take before any business operations in Switzerland. We highly recommend you speak with our business consultants or residency agents for more information on your requirements before establishing a company in Switzerland.