Working in Switzerland

Working in Switzerland

Can I work in Switzerland?

As a foreign national, you are not permitted to work in Switzerland without a permit. The regulations depend on whether you come from an EU/EFTA state or from a third country.

What rules apply to citizens of EU/EFTA states?

In order to work in Switzerland you require a valid employment contract. You must also apply for a residence permit from the commune in which you will be living. To do this, you must register with the appropriate commune within 14 days of arriving in Switzerland (and before starting work) and submit a written declaration of employment from your employer.

Depending on the duration of the intended employment, you will be issued with a short-term residence permit (max. one year) or a B residence permit (more than one year). Gainful employment of less than three months does not require a permit, but must be reported.

Note: Special conditions apply for Croatian nationals.

Detailed information

What rules apply to third-country nationals?

If you come from a non-EU/EFTA state (third country) and would like to work in Switzerland, you must be highly qualified. The number of work permits is limited and depends on your qualifications and your profession.

Your future employer must apply for a work permit for you and prove that there is no suitable person to fill the job vacancy from Switzerland or an EU/EFTA state. In general, only highly-qualified candidates – i.e. those who have a degree from a university or an institution of higher education and a number of years of professional work experience – will be issued with a work permit.

Depending on your country of origin, you may also require a visa in addition to your work permit (see Entering Switzerland). You must register with the authorities of your place of residence in Switzerland no later than 14 days after entering the country. Only then are you allowed to take up employment.

Detailed information

Last modification 21.07.2023

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