Employment for persons in the field of asylum

In the field of asylum, federal law distinguishes between those whose request for asylum is being considered (asylum seekers) and those who have already been granted right to stay in Switzerland (recognised refugees and temporarily admitted refugees). The Federal Council has a declared objective of promoting the professional integration of people with a right of residence in Switzerland.

Recognised refugees (B permit), temporarily admitted refugees and temporarily admitted persons (F permit)

Temporarily admitted persons and refugees are allowed to work. Since 1 January 2019, persons in these categories simply need to give notice that they have found a job, primarily so that they can quickly get on with integrating themselves into Swiss working life. The authorisation procedure no longer applies. The foreign nationals in question may also take part in employment and integration projects, which also aim to facilitate their professional and social integration.

Asylum seekers (N permit)

For the first three months after filing an asylum application, asylum seekers are not allowed to work. This period can be extended to six months if a court of first instance rejects their application for asylum within the first three months. After those six months, asylum seekers may be permitted to take up a temporary job under certain conditions: the economic and labour market situation allows it, wage and working conditions are respected, and the priority accorded to nationals is kept. In the interest of fairness within the job market, the cantons may restrict authorisation to work for certain industries. Almost all the cantons run employment programmes, which aim to provide participants with the basic knowledge they need for everyday life in Switzerland. The cantons also offer the possibility of participating in programmes of general utility.

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