EU/EFTA Citizens: Living and Working in Switzerland
Are you planning to work in Switzerland, to join your spouse or family or to study at a Swiss university?
The conditions applicable for residence in Switzerland are dependent on both your nationality as well as on the reason for your stay.
Currently the same conditions apply to all citizens of member states of the EU-27/EFTA, i.e. citizens of the EU-25/EFTA (EU-17/EFTA plus EU-8) and citizens of Bulgaria and Romania (EU-2).
Since 1 January 2017, Croatian nationals benefit from the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons. However, transitory provisions apply.
You will find the documents relevant to your stay in the table below (according to your nationality).
Countries of the EU-28/EFTA
Countries of the EU-27/EFTA
EU-17/EFTA citizens have full rights to freedom of movement since 1 June 2007.
Countries of the EU-17/EFTA
EU-8 citizens have full rights to freedom of movement since 1 May 2011.
Countries of the EU-8
Bulgaria and Romania (EU-2)
Bulgaria and Romania (EU-2)
Since 1 June 2016 nationals from Bulgaria and Romania enjoy full freedom of movement.
Weisungen zur Verordnung über die Einführung des freien Personenverkehrs (VEP)
(This document is not available in English)
Croatia joined the European Union (EU) on 1 July 2013. Each time a new member joins the EU, the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) is supplemented by an additional protocol. The extension of the AFMP to Croatia was negotiated in protocol III, which provides full free movement of persons for Croatian nationals following a ten-year transitional period.
On 17 June 2016, the Swiss Parliament approved protocol III and authorized the Federal Council to ratify it once an agreement to control immigration is reached with the EU that is compatible with the Swiss legal system. This condition had been fulfilled when the Parliament passed the act implementing Article 121a of the Federal Constitution on 16 December 2016. With the ratification of protocol III on 16 December 2016, the AFMP has been extended to Croatia.
On 1 January 2017, protocol III came into force. Since then, special transitory measures with quotas and restrictions regarding the access to the labour market (priority clause for local workers as well as control of wages and work conditions) are applied on Croatian nationals.
More detailed information regarding the admission of Croatian nationals is provided in the factsheet "Croatia”.
Following the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU, the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) will no longer apply between Switzerland and the UK. The two countries have therefore drawn up an agreement which will allow Swiss citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in Switzerland to remain in their respective host countries once the AFMP no longer applies. The agreement was approved by the Federal Council on 19 December 2018.
The AFMP is still in force between Switzerland and the UK and will continue to apply during a transition period, which will most likely run until 31 December 2020. However, this transition period will only be set once the EU and the UK have ratified a withdrawal agreement. This process is not yet complete.
According to recent developments in the negotiations between UK and the EU, UK's withdrawal from the EU could be postponed until mid-April. Information on the date of the entry into force of the agreement on acquired citizens' rights depends on the progress of these negotiations.
(PDF, 446.65 KB)
This publication of the agreement is not legally binding.
Federal Council’s press release of 20 December 2018
Further information regarding the agreement on the rights of citizens can be found here:
- FAQs to the Agreement
Federal Social Insurance Office
Recognition of foreign qualifications
State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI)
Information of the Federal Council’s "Mind the Gap" strategy
Directorate for European Affairs DEA
Information on Brexit for Swiss citizens in the UK
Swiss Embassy in London
Information for British citizens
British Embassy in Berne
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:
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