Getting a Work Permit

Posted on 03 February 2007 by Steven

Generally, it’s like this: you need a work permit to work in Switzerland.With few exceptions, only companies can get this once they have decided to hire you.Companies don’t like to take the trouble to do this. Furthermore the government sets limits on how many permits they will grant for their canton and for each company.

Since 2004, it has become simple to obtain permits for EU nationals. As of summer 2006, the process took about a few days. Nonetheless, permits are still doled out according to a quota system until 31 May 2007. Quotas for EU citizens desiring to work in Switzerland will be suspended as of 1 June 2007. For the time being, you still need a residence permit and a work permit, and you are still subject to the quota system. The cantons are exclusively responsible for this procedure.

To get a work permit, find a job first. The company will get the permit for you. To find a job with a company here it is best to be here to conduct your job search. You are allowed to come into Switzerland for a few months. Verify the rules with your local consulate. There are different types of permits. B permits are given to people who are employed by a company. Valid as long as you work for this company. You can change companies and get your work permit transferred to a new one but only after one year. Seasonal workers can be employed in the tourist industry (as an example) and are allowed to work 6-11 months of the year only. You have to leave Switzerland for the remaining months. For E.U Citizens the rules are different: You still need a work permit but there is a treaty between the EU and Switzerland. There are companies and cantons more willing than others to grant work permits. I can suggest that if you have skills in Bio technology or I.T. it can be easier than for others as there is currently a shortage for these skills in Switzerland. I.T. is not as hot as it was in 1997-2002. There are currently many unemployed I.T. professionals.

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