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Immigration to Switzerland

Immigration to Switzerland

Updated on Thursday 28th January 2016

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Immigration-to-SwitzerlandImmigration rules in Switzerland

Switzerland has very strict immigration regulations due to the fact that it is one of Europe’s countries hosting many foreigners compared to the local population. About 22% of Switzerland’s total population is represented by foreign citizens. Immigration to Switzerland depends very much on the nationality of the foreign citizen. Citizens of EU and EFTA (European Free Trade Association) countries are imposed fewer restrictions when immigrating to Switzerland. Other foreign citizens must first secure an employment contract with a Swiss company before coming to the country.

Free movement of individuals from EU/EFTA countries in Switzerland

In 1999 Switzerland signed several agreements with the European Union including an Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons. The agreement allows mutual recognition of professional qualifications, the right to own property in Switzerland and cooperation between social security systems between EU and EFTA countries and Switzerland.

EU/EFTA citizens may apply for the following types of residence permits when immigrating to Switzerland:

  • - short-term residence permits (L permits),
  • - the B EU/EFTA permit for resident foreign nationals,
  • - the C EU/EFTA permit for settled foreign nationals,
  • - the Ci EU/EFTA permit for resident foreign nationals employed by Swiss companies,
  • - the G EU/EFTA permit for cross-border commuting employees.

For details about applying for a residence permit you can rely on our lawyers in Switzerland.

Non-EU/EFTA immigrants in Switzerland

Even if it is a little more difficult for non-EU/EFTA citizens to immigrate to Switzerland, there are few types of residence permits available:

  • - a residence permit (B permit),
  • - a settlement permit (C permit),
  • - a short-term stay permit (L permit),
  • - a residence and work permit (Ci permit),
  • - the diplomatic ID card.

There are also three types of special residence permits for non-EU/EFTA immigrants: the F permit for provisionally admitted foreigners, the N permit for asylum seekers and the S permit for people requiring protection. Foreign individuals integrated in the community also have the possibility to apply for Swiss citizenship. Foreigners or Swiss citizens interested in obtaining citizenship in another country, for example in US, can benefit from the legal expertise of our partners immigration attorneys in Miami.

You can contact our Swiss law firm for information about taking up employment in the country.



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