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8 November 2016

Switzerland sets work permit quotas for 2017: what employers need to know

Immigration is a buzzing topic in Switzerland at the moment, and it can be hard to understand what changes are happening and how these changes may affect the ability of a company to employ foreign workers. Read more here about how this recent quota announcement can affect your business and how to plan proactively.


Switzerland has used quotas as a tool to regulate the flow of various categories of foreign workers for a number of years. On October 12, 2016, the Swiss Federal Council decided in favor of a moderate increase in the maximum quota numbers for highly qualified workers from outside the EU/EFTA for 2017. Additionally, they decided that the quota numbers for service providers from EU/EFTA countries would remain at the same level for 2017 as it was this year.

In order to help you understand how these quotas may affect your business, we have created a short Q&A guide regarding the below questions:

  1. How do the quotas for 2017 compare to those available in 2016?
  2. When do the Swiss authorities need to "spend" one of the above quotas on a foreign worker?
  3. When are the above quotas released?
  4. I keep hearing that immigration in Switzerland is tightening. How does this announcement fit into the current political climate?
  5. What are some tips to companies for planning proacitvely with regard to quotas


If you liked this article you may also be interested in reading about Work permit options for EU Nationals on Assignment in Switzerland: Facts vs. Fiction, written by Daisy Vacher, Benjamin Dürig and Felix M.Mathis.

Photo: shutterstock/Aleksandr Ryzhov

Topics: Private Client  Corporate & M&A  Employment & Immigration 

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