Swiss Resident Permits

Legal assistance and representation

A Swiss resident permit is required for any foreign citizen if he or she works in Switzerland or if he or she remains in our country for longer than 3 months. Cantonal migration offices issue permits depending on circumstances (s. below).

Legal Regulation

There are different legal acts that regulate the types of permits and visas issues on foreigners depending on their citizenship.

Citizens of the EU/EFTA and their relatives can profit from provisions of the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons. The Swiss Federal Law on Foreigners and Integration applies subsidiary.

The legal status of non-EU/EFTA citizens is governed primarily by the Swiss Federal Law on Foreigners and Integration.

Types of Swiss Resident Permits

There is a difference between short-term residence permits (less than 1 year), annual residence permits (limited), and permanent residence permits (unlimited).

Type of the permitWhat does it mean?Citizens of EU/EAFTNon EU/EAFT
Permit LTemporary authorization to reside and workContract duration does not exceed 12 monthsContract duration does not exceed 12 months. But quotes and other restrictions!
Permit BTemporary authorization to reside and workContract duration exceeds 12 monthsContract duration exceeds 12 months. But quotes and other restrictions!
Permit CUnlimited authorization to reside and work

Legal Reasons for Swiss Permits

Typical reasons for a Swiss resident permit to be issued:

  • Family reunion;
  • Labor / Work contract;
  • Education;
  • Investments;
  • Retirement in Switzerland;
  • Lump-sum taxation.

Please consider that Swiss resident permit requirements are different depending on the citizenship of foreigners and/or their relatives. For example, there are several restrictions for non-EU/EFTA citizens to be allowed to work in Switzerland (the list is not exhaustive):

  • there are yearly quotas for L and B permits. Quotas do not apply for the family reunification;
  • the future employer must demonstrate that no Swiss or EU/EFTA worker have been found for the relevant position;
  • Only skilled and educated non-EU/EFTA citizens can be hired.

How can I help?

With my knowledge I can assist you with all your questions and concerns. As I am an expert in Swiss immigration law, I can help also you with complicated and problematic cases and questions.

Marad Widmer, LL.M. (Geneva), Managing Partner of the Widmer Strategy GmbH. Bachelor and Master in Swiss Law (Universities of Berne and Zurich). Languages: German, English, Russian and Italian. Member of the Swiss Lawyers Association (SJV/SSJ/SSG). Author of the Portal „Business in Switzerland“.