July 14, 2014

In our Global Brief from March 19, 2014 we reported on the implementation schedule for the new regulations on immigration, which are to be drawn up as a result of the outcome of the Referendum Against Mass Immigration on February 9, 2014.

Fully on schedule, on June 20, 2014 the Swiss Federal Council has approved and released their concept for the implementation of the new article on immigration. The official draft legislation is still planned to be released at the end of the year. The most important aspects of the concept article are as follows:

• New quantitative limits and quotas will come into effect at the latest early 2017;
All permit applications, including 120 day work permits, cross-border  commute permits and renewals, will be subject to quota;
EU and EFTA nationals will be less restricted than third country nationals; specialist qualifications will not be required for this group of nationals;
An advisory committee will be installed, which will include representatives from federal and cantonal migration and employment authorities;
• The Federal Council will be responsible for setting the quotas, but it will base its decision on the needs reported by Cantons, analyses performed by the advisory committee, and consultations with social partners;
• No specific target for immigration reduction has been set and there will be no restrictions applied to family reunification.

In addition to these immigration related plans, the concept also includes goals related to domestic and foreign policy, such as the Federal Council’s intentions to maintain and develop the relationship with the EU, and to improve the usage, but also the position, of its domestic work force.

Based on the outcome of the Referendum Against Mass Immigration, the Free Movement of Persons Agreement (FMA) with the EU will need to be renegotiated. The Federal Council has instructed the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP), in cooperation with the Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), to draft a mandate for the required negotiations with the EU for approval by the Federal Council in autumn of this year.

Pro-Link GLOBAL will continue to monitor the preparation and implementation of the new legislation closely and will report on any further updates as they are made available.