Permits and naturalisation: I am of European nationality and wish to work temporarily in Switzerland. What do I have to do?

You are an EU or EFTA worker and wish to work in Switzerland? Does your contract have a fixed term? This article explains what you need to do.

Please note: Specific measures are in force for Croatian nationals. If this is the case for you, please ask the competent authority for details. 

As a citizen of the European Union and/or the European Free Trade Association, you will not need a visa and benefit from the free movement agreement. 

The application for a work permit is made at the Foreigners’ Service, an office of the Population Service, in the Canton where you will be working.


Let’s first consider the length of your stay:

Stay less than or equal to 90 days:

You will not need to apply for a work permit. However, it is compulsory to register with the State Secretariat for Migration if you are in gainful employment. 


Stay from 3 to 12 months:

The worker will have to obtain an L permit, dedicated to short-term residents. 

The L permit is granted upon presentation of a work contract for a period of 3 to 12 months. Its validity will correspond to the length of the contract, but is renewable.

This permit gives free choice as to the place of work and residence.


Stay of one year or more:

If your contract is for a fixed term of 12 months or more, you will need to apply for a B permit. This permit is issued to long-term residents.

Permit B is issued if you have a fixed-term contract of more than 1 year. It will be valid for 5 years and renewable if the contractual situation does not change. 

The B permit allows a free choice of place of work and residence.


Here are the possibilities if you wish to work in Switzerland for a fixed period of time as a foreign worker. 

Do you need help to obtain your permit? Not sure about your situation? Lawrence answers all your questions and assists you in your legal steps!

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