Switzerland to Ease Work Permit Procedures for Third-Country Citizens

Switzerland's Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) has introduced measures to ease work permit procedures for third-country citizens. The move is aimed at attracting more skilled workers to the country and reducing administrative hurdles for companies.

As per a media report, the Swiss authorities have decided to simplify work permit procedures in order to attract more qualified workers from third countries.

The Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) has taken steps to reduce administrative barriers and streamline the approval process. This decision is expected to increase legal certainty for businesses while also expediting procedures.

According to a statement from the Federal Department of Economics Education and Research, qualified workers from third countries will be eligible to obtain a work permit in Switzerland if there is a need for it and it is in Switzerland’s economic interest.

What is a Switzerland Work Permit?

A Switzerland work permit is a legal document that allows foreign nationals to work in the country. If you are not a Swiss citizen or a citizen of the European Union (EU) or European Free Trade Association (EFTA), you can come to Switzerland and look for work for up to 6 months.


During the first 3 months, you do not need a permit, but after that, you can obtain a short-term EU/EFTA residence permit, which is valid for 3 months per year, provided you have the necessary financial means to support yourself.

Reducing Administrative Hurdles

In March of last year, the Federal Council announced measures to reduce administrative barriers and speed up procedures for businesses. After consulting with the cantons, the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) revised the Aliens and Integration Act (AIG) instructions.

On February 1, 2023, the cantonal labour market and migration authorities were able to consider the situation of companies looking for qualified specialists in occupations that are particularly affected by a skilled worker shortage.

They can be more generous with the requirements for professional qualifications and proof of priority for domestic employees in such occupations.


The cantons are also now eligible to grant simplified approval for internationals who already have a residence permit in the country to change from employed to self-employed employment.

Furthermore, some work permit requests no longer require federal approval, reducing the length of the application process.

Unemployment Rate at Its Lowest in 20 Years

According to Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the unemployment rate in 2022 will be the lowest in 20 years, at 2.1 per cent. Last year’s labour market development was characterised by a labour shortage.

It was highlighted that the unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percentage points from 2.6 in 2021.


Express Fee Surcharge Rejected

According to the statement, the cantons have rejected the introduction of an express fee surcharge for the expedited processing of work permit applications.

The decision to simplify work permit procedures for third-country citizens is expected to attract more qualified workers to Switzerland, assisting in meeting the skilled labour shortage and driving economic growth.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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