December 8, 2010

Switzerland operates a capped immigration system, whereby the total number of work permit approvals each year in several categories is limited to a set figure.  The Swiss government has just announced the allocation of its immigration quota for 2011.  The total quota figure is 11,000, the same as in previous years, but the key difference is that, effective 1 January 2011, the quota will be split between European Union(EU)/European Free Trade Association (EFTA) nationals and non-EU nationals, as well as between short term (from 4 to 12 months) “L” permits and long term (over 12 months) “B” permits.

A Note About EU Nationals and the Swiss Quota System 

It is important to note that the quotas for EU/EFTA nationals apply only to EU/EFTA nationals on assignment to Switzerland – EU/EFTA nationals who are locally employed are not subject to a quota system.  Also, Switzerland operates separate quotas for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals as well as, until 30 April 2011,  for EU nationals from the countries that joined the EU in 2004.

Short Term “L” Permit Quotas

The total quota for 2011 for all short term “L” permits is 7000; 1000 less than the total allocated quota for 2010.  This is subdivided into quotas for non EU/EFTA nationals and EU/EFTA nationals on assignment (except Bulgarians and Romanians) as follows:

Short Term “L” Permit for Non-EU/EFTA Nationals

The total quota for short term “L” permits for non EU/EFTA nationals for 2011 is 5000. Of this, 2500 places will be allocated out to each canton on 1 January 2011 as set out in the table below.  The remaining 2500 places will remain at federal level to be allocated at the request of the cantons and in case of need.

Zurich 504 Schaffhausen 24
Berne 314 Appenzell AR 14
Lucerne 110 Appenzell IR 4
Uri 9 St. Gallen 153
Schwyz 36 Graubunden 63
Obwalden 10 Aargau 170
Nidwalden 11 Thurgau 64
Glarus 11 Tessin 113
Zug 46 Vaud 197
Fribourg 64 Wallis 82
Solothurn 74 Neuenburg 56
Basel-Stadt 104 Geneva 166
Basel-Land 79 Jura 22

 

Short Term “L” Permits for EU/EFTA Nationals on Assignment (Except Bulgarians and Romanians)

The total quota for short term “L” permits for EU/EFTA nationals on assignment (except Bulgarians and Romanians) is 2000 which will be allocated quarterly.  500 places will be made available each quarter.

Long Term “B” Permit Quotas

The total quota for 2011 for all long term “B” permits is 4000; 1000 more than the total allocated quota for 2010.  This is subdivided into quotas for non EU/EFTA nationals and EU/EFTA nationals on assignment (except Bulgarians and Romanians) as follows:

Long Term “B” Permits for Non-EU/EFTA Nationals

The total quota for long term “B” permits for non EU/EFTA nationals for 2011 is 3500.  Of this, 1750 places will be allocated out to each canton on 1 January 2011 as set out in the table below.  The remaining 1750 places will remain at federal level to be allocated at the request of the cantons and in case of need.

Zurich 353 Schaffhausen 17
Berne 220 Appenzell AR 10
Lucerne 77 Appenzell IR 3
Uri 6 St. Gallen 107
Schwyz 25 Graubunden 44
Obwalden 7 Aargau 119
Nidwalden 8 Thurgau 45
Glarus 8 Tessin 79
Zug 32 Vaud 138
Fribourg 45 Wallis 57
Solothurn 52 Neuenburg 39
Basel-Stadt 73 Geneva 116
Basel-Land 55 Jura 15

 

Long Term “B” Permits for EU/EFTA Nationals on Assignment (Except Bulgarians and Romanians)

The total quota for long term “B” permits for EU/EFTA nationals on assignment (except Bulgarians and Romanians) is 500 which will be allocated quarterly.  125 places will be made available each quarter.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

The division of the quota into allocations for EU/EFTA nationals and non EU/EFTA nationals provides the cantons with less flexibility.  It is likely that quotas will be reached quickly in 2011, as every year, and Pro-Link GLOBAL urges our clients to prepare applications and submit early in order to have the best chance of approval.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader 

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification. Pro-Link GLOBAL worked with our PLG | KGNM Correspondent Office in Switzerland to provide you this update.