EU/EFTA Citizens: Living and Working in Switzerland

EU/EFTA
EU/EFTA

Are you planning to work in Switzerland, to join your spouse or family or to study at a Swiss university?

The conditions applicable for a residence in Switzerland are dependent on both your nationality as well as on the reason for your stay.

You will find the documents relevant to your stay in the table below (according to your nationality).

EU-28/EFTA

Countries of the EU-28/EFTA

Austria   Finland   Latvia   Portugal  
Belgium   France   Liechtenstein   Romania  
Bulgaria   Germany   Lithuania   Slovakia  
Croatia   Greece   Luxemburg   Slovenia  
Czech Republic   Hungary   Malta   Spain  
Cyprus   Iceland   Netherlands   Schweden  
Denmark   Ireland   Norway   United Kingdom  
Estonia   Italy   Poland    

Factsheets

EU-27/EFTA

Countries of the EU-27/EFTA

Austria   France   Liechtenstein   Romania  
Belgium   Germany   Lithuania   Slovakia  
Bulgaria   Greece   Luxemburg   Slovenia  
Czech Republic   Hungary   Malta   Spain  
Cyprus   Iceland   Netherlands   Schweden  
Denmark   Ireland   Norway   United Kingdom  
Estonia   Italy   Poland    
Finland   Latvia   Portugal    

Factsheets

EU-17/EFTA

EU-17/EFTA citizens have full rights to freedom of movement since 1 June 2007.

Countries of the EU-17/EFTA

Austria   France   Italy   Norway  
Belgium   Germany   Liechtenstein   Portugal  
Cyprus   Greece   Luxemburg   Sweden  
Denmark   Iceland   Malta   Spain  
Finland   Ireland   Netherlands   United Kingdom  

Factsheets

(Most of these documents are not available in English)

EU-8

EU-8 citizens have full rights to freedom of movement since 1 May 2011.

Countries of the EU-8

Czech Republic   Latvia   Poland   Slovenia  
Estonia   Lithuania   Slovakia   Hungary  

Factsheets

(Most of these documents are not available in English)

Bulgaria and Romania (EU-2)

Bulgaria and Romania (EU-2)

Until 31 May 2016, the following restrictions remain effective for EU-2 nationals who take up employment in Switzerland: increasing annual quotas, national worker priority, and control of wage and working conditions. When staying in Switzerland without gainful activity (students, pensioners, etc.) and in matters of family reunion, citizens of all EU-27 and EFTA states enjoy the same rights.

Self-employed EU-2 nationals in Switzerland are subject to the same conditions as EU-25/EFTA nationals. Applicants must provide the cantonal authorities with proof of their self-employment in Switzerland (start-up capital, business plan etc.). Self-employed EU-27/EFTA citizens may not take up the self-employed activity until the application has been processed and a residence permit has been issued.

EU-2 nationals providing services are also subject to restrictions in certain branches. Further information can be found here: Registration procedure

Factsheets

(Most of these documents are not available in English)

Croatia

Croatia

Croatia joined the European Union (EU) on 1 July 2013. Croatia’s accession does not have any immediate bearing on the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) concluded between Switzerland and the EU. Each time a new member joins the EU, the agreement is supplemented by an additional protocol. Extension of the AFMP to Croatia was initially negotiated in Protocol III, which provided full free movement of persons for Croatian nationals following a ten-year transitional period.

However, in February 2014, the Swiss electorate adopted a popular initiative aimed at stopping mass immigration. As a result, the Federal Council was no longer in a position to sign Protocol III because it violates the new constitutional provisions.

In February 2015, the Federal Council managed to work with its EU partners to establish a new basis on which to move forward: both Switzerland and the EU agree that they should strive for a mutually amenable solution based on a common interpretation of the existing safeguard clause (Art. 14.2 AFMP). This became necessary after Art. 121a was added to the Federal Constitution in response to voter approval of the popular initiative to stop mass immigration.

With this new basis, the Federal Council signed Protocol III and the corresponding Federal Council Dispatch on 4 March 2016. It now intends to submit Protocol III to the Swiss Parliament for ratification (i.e. legally binding enactment), which should occur if a solution has been found that is compatible with the AFMP. There are two reasons why signature of Protocol III and parliamentary scrutiny are important: first, doing so lays the foundation for Croatian nationals to enjoy the same privileges as citizens of other EU member states; second, it is an important step for full-fledged membership of Switzerland in the new research framework programme Horizon 2020.

Until Protocol III comes into effect, Switzerland will continue to apply separate quotas for Croatian nationals; access to the Swiss labour market will remain subject to the provisions of the Foreign Nationals Act (FNA, SR 142.20). These quotas comprise 50 one-year B permits and 450 short-term L permits.

Factsheets

(Most of these documents are not available in English)

Permits

The cantons are competent for issuing permits. For detailed information on the application procedure (where to apply, which form to fill out, how long it will take, etc.), please contact the competent cantonal authorities: