In our blog from December 4, 2014 we reported that the new 2015 quotas for short term (L) and long term (B) work permits for both EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA nationals were significantly reduced with respect to last year’s quotas. It therefore does not entirely come as a surprise that the first quarter quotas for L and B permits for EU/EEA nationals have already been exhausted. New permits will become available on April 1; however, it is expected that these will also be used quickly as employers will be filing both for assignments pending from the first quarter (that were delayed due to the exhausted quotas) and for assignments scheduled to begin in the second quarter of the year.
Pro-Link GLOBAL advises its clients to initiate cases for assignments with planned start dates between now and the end of the second quarter as soon as possible. Some cantons allow applications to be filed already in advance of the start date of the new quarter, to be approved only once the new quarter starts, while other cantons will only accept new applications again on April 1st. We will therefore advise on a case by case basis when and how to proceed with applications for assignments with planned start dates in the first half of 2015.
It should be noted that EU/EEA nationals on local Swiss contract are not subject to quota, and the quota does not apply to work permits valid for 120 days (either consecutive or within a 12 month period). Furthermore, quotas for non-EU/EEA nationals, both local hires and ICTs, are still available at the time of this writing.