New rules for Working in Switzerland

Posted on 20 May 2007 by LegalBeagle

Beginning June 1st, 2007, the bilateral agreement on labor markets and the free movement of workers concluded between Switzerland and the European Union stipulates the removal of remaining restrictions on access to the Swiss labor market for nationals of the 15 core members of the EU, the AELE (Norvège, Islande et Liechtenstein), and Malte and Cyprus, and therefore the fully free access to employment in Switzerland for the nationals of the European Union.

The only remaining obligation for EU nationals seeking to work in Switzerland will be to announce their arrival in the country at the Office de la population in the commune where they will live. The commune then automatically issues the work permit.

Currently, the cantonal authorities can theoretically refuse to issue a work permit if the quota of EU nationals was exceeded for the year. Up until May 31, 2011, for nationals of Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia, different

treatment will be applied, with permits being allocated on a contingency basis and priority given to workers already on the Swiss labor market.

Nationals from outside the European Union will not have the right to work as a n independent but will have the option to be a salaried employee of their own company. As a salaried employee, such nationals can first of all look for work in Switzerland from a Swiss employer. The work permit will be requested from the Swiss employer under the form of an L permit (which is for a short stay, accorded when the employment contract is concluded for less than one year) or a B permit (if the employment contract is for an indeterminate period).

To obtain an authorization to work in Switzerland, your skill set will be an important factor in the delivery of a work permit. It is important to have acquired a professional experience during one’s studies in your professional domain. Especially for Non-EU nationals, who are subject to scrutiny before delivery of a work permit, this will raise the likelihood of the delivery of a work permit.

If you wish to create your own company, you can obtain a work permit, becoming a salaried employee of your won company. The company must be an ‘SA’ and may not be an S.a.r.l., which requires less capitalization. (An SA usually requires a capitalization of CHF 100,000, but there are ways to reduce this.

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