Categorized | Current Events, Legal, Permits

Permits to Work in Switzerland

Posted on 20 July 2007 by LegalBeagle

It was only a matter of time before the permit process and the documents which provide authorization to work in Switzerland became the object of criminal attention.

In order for foreigners to work in Switzerland, a permit is necessary and there exist a dozen denominations of the Swiss work permit, which is described elsewhere on this site. While obtaining a work permit has become simplified and practically automatic for EU nationals, it has become somewhat tighter for the Rest of the World. The changing structure and attribution of work permits may be followed on the government website,

Recently, a young man was arrested for reported stealing 700 blank permits from the Office Cantonal de la Population in Geneva, which he then delivered to criminals from Kosovar gangs, and which helped him underwrite his drug habit. More the 700 work permits have disappeared into the Swiss landscape, permitting entry to perhaps a wide variety of cabaret artists, comfort women, and drug dealers.

The document thief, a 21-year old cocaine addict, was just released from Champs Dollon prison and is under home confinement awaiting judgment. The young man claims he began stealing the documents in order to pay off his drug debts to his Kosovar suppliers. A veritable traffic then sprung up in stolen blank permits. He has all the while refused to give the names of the people to whom he supplied the documents, as he is afraid they will retaliate by helping him into the trunk of his car.

Thanks to investigations of telephone records, police nonetheless tracked down one of his business associates and arrested a certain A., an Albanian construction worker living in Thoune. Police were able to prove that A. met with the Permit Thief, who claims to have passed A. 300 blank permits for agreed upon CHF 60,000 which A. then never paid.

A third man was arrested for having supplied the software used to print the data on permits. With the stolen blank permits and the software, one can proceed to issue permits without the annoying inconvenience of requesting government authorization.

For the time being, none of the permits have been recovered and the key Mafiosi to whom they were supplied remain at large. The permit thief continues to receive threatening SMSs, such as “We know where you lieve, bastard sonofabith, and we’ll kill you.”

As a rule, if one is highly qualified in any of numerous high-tech or value-added fields, or if one is well-educated, it is possible to find work in Switzerland through the simple straightforward process of obtaining a job offer from a Swiss.-based company, which will then apply to the authorities for a work permit.

Switzerland currently has a dire shortage of gualified professionals and many companies, despite having recourse to the expensive services of recruiters and numerous websites for professional recruitment, do not manage to rapidly find the qualified workers they are seeking. The fields of banking, insurance, I.T., biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and luxury watchmaking are particularly hot sectors of the Swiss economy.

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