1 November 2017
Swiss residency permits... a brief guide
After many requests for information on Swiss residency permits and how to obtain them, I’ve written a short blog about it. This hasn’t been easy as there are different types of permits and requirements for each one. I’m not going to go into too much detail, but hopefully this post will clarify any general questions.
But first, in order to take some of the mundane out of the matter… let me start with some facts:
The Swiss Federal Statistic office (which is based here in Neuchâtel) has a 76 page report on integration and immigrants (if you’re looking for some light reading) : https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/fr/home/statistiques/population/migration-integration.gnpdetail.2017-0466.html
The report talks about how 2.5million people, more than a third of the population, is a result of immigration. 84% of those foreigners are European and 95% of the foreign residents in wo reside here, do so on either a B or C permit. Less than 5% of immigrants rely on short term or asylum seeking permits in order to reside in the country.
In Switzerland, for any stay longer than 3 months, you are required to obtain a residency permit, of which there are 3 types :
L Permit – short stay (less than 1 year)
B Permit – long stay (more than 1 year)
C Permit – unlimited duration
There are different categories for each type of permit based on your reason for living in Switzerland, including retirees, students, au pairs, borderers, artists etc.
Both B and C permits are issued upon proof of employment for 12 months or more (or in other cases, for example for students or retirees, with proof of financial means to live here without requiring state aide). L permits are more common for short-contracts or seasonal workers.
With regards to nationality, there are two categories, EU and Ex-EU.
The EU-27 and EFTA states have freedom of movement and can be recruited easily by Swiss employers. For non-EU citizens there is a larger list of requirements to obtain a permit and in most cases, the request for residency needs to be made in the current country of residency.
In short, in order to obtain a residency permit, you need either an employment contract (short or long term) or proof of the financial means to live here without state aide.
Hopefully this has cleared some of the mystery and gives a basic understanding of the general requirements, and as always, contact us if we can help further.