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Work Permit Options for EU Nationals on Assignment in Switzerland: Facts vs. Fiction

Posted by on 19 August 2016

Are you an EU national planning to work on assignment in Switzerland? Would you like to learn more about how to avoid some common immigration pitfalls? 

The existence of the bilateral agreement on the free movement of persons (AFMP) signed by Switzerland and the EU has facilitated an ease of access for living and working in Switzerland for economically active EU-27 and EFTA nationals. Due to this ease of access, a common misperception is that EU nationals do not under any circumstances require Swiss work authorization. This is not the case. Learn more here about how to avoid this pitfall and what steps need to be taken in order for an EU-27 or EFTA national to start working on assignment in Switzerland.

Whilst the bilateral agreement on the free movement of persons (AFMP) signed by Switzerland and the EU does create unlimited freedom for citizens of EU-27 and EFTA countries to work in Switzerland under an employment agreement with a Swiss employer, this is not the case for employees from such countries wishing to complete assigned work in Switzerland while remaining employed in their home-country. In order to help you understand the options generally available for EU-27 and EFTA nationals who need to work in Switzerland on assignment, we have created a short guide regarding the below points:

  1. Assignments of up to 8 days per calendar year
  2. Assignments of up to 90 days per calendar year
  3. Assignments not exceeding 4 consecutive months or 120 days within one year
  4. Assignments of over 4 months or exceeding 120 days within one year
  5. Minimum Salary Requirements


If you liked this article you may also be interested in reading about Work permits in Switzerland: Navigating through the alps, written by Daisy Vacher, Benjamin Dürig and Felix M.Mathis.

Photo: istockphoto/ Chaoss

Topics: Private Clients | Corporate & Commercial | Employment

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Benjamin Dürig

Benjamin is an experienced transaction lawyer with a focus on M&A and corporate finance transactions, and corporate law. Benjamin advises clients in M&A and corporate finance transactions and is an experienced team leader in complex transactions. He advises listed and non-listed entities, including regulated financial institutions. He has in-depth expertise on the legal issues relating to real estate in and outside of transactions, including regulatory aspects, environmental issues (polluted sites), and complex commercial lease agreements. Benjamin is a regular speaker to various audiences on topics relating to his practice, including international lawyers' conferences, commercial chambers and industry organisations. He joined our firm as an associate in 2009 and became counsel in 2017. Before that, he worked at a Zurich district court and a French-speaking law firm for a number of years. Benjamin’s law degree is from the University of Zurich (2003) and he was admitted to the Zurich Bar in 2007. He is a member of the Swiss Bar Association, the Zurich Bar Association, the Franco-Swiss Chamber for Trade and Industry, and of the International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA). His working languages are German, French and English.

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Felix M. Mathis

Felix Mathis is a Zurich-based partner with a particular focus on corporate and commercial law as well as commercial litigation. Felix Mathis has been a partner at our Zurich office since 1995. He advises domestic and international clients on a broad range of industries, including aviation, pharmaceuticals, internet, construction and start-ups. He obtained his law degrees from the University of Zurich in 1980 and New York University (MCJ) in 1988. His working languages are German and English. Felix Mathis is a member of the Zurich Bar Association, the Swiss Bar Association and the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA).

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Daisy Vacher

Daisy Vacher's work focuses on matters of Swiss immigration and the procurement of work permits for companies wanting to employ foreign nationals in Switzerland. Before joining Froriep as an attorney, Daisy Vacher spent three years working for Fragomen Global Immigration Services in Zurich. Before that she was an associate attorney with Izaguirre Law in Colorado Springs, USA. In 2006 she completed her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Arizona followed by her Juris Doctor degree from the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver in 2011. Later that same year she was admitted to the Colorado Bar. She is a native English speaker and has a good command of German, Spanish, French and Italian.

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