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, temporarily admitted refugees and temporarily admitted persons). The Federal Council has a declared objective of promoting the professional integration of people with a right of residence in Switzerland.

Chapter 4.8.5 of the SEM directives relating to foreign nationals sets out the conditions under which persons in the field of asylum may take up work (only available in German, French and Italian):

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 report 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 occupational and integration projects, which also aim to facilitate their integration into working life and society.

The form for reporting employment engaged in by recognised refugees (B permit), temporarily admitted refugees (F permit) and temporarily admitted persons (F permit) can be accessed here (available in German, French and Italian):

If you are unable to send the completed form by clicking on ‘Übermittlung’, you can do one of the following:

  • Convert the form into a PDF and send it to the local cantonal authority for the place of work (see list of addresses).
  • Only if you cannot send the form by email, print it out and post it to the local cantonal authority for the place of work (see list of addresses).

NB: Please do NOT send the form to the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM). Send it to your local cantonal authority.

The email and postal addresses of the cantonal authorities can be found here:

Kantonale Kontaktstellen für Arbeitgebende

Jeder Kanton verfügt über eine Kontaktstelle für Arbeitgebende, welche Flüchtlinge, vorläufig aufgenommene Flüchtlinge und vorläufig aufgenommene Personen als Arbeitskräfte oder Lernende anstellen möchten. Die Kontaktstellen finden Sie hier:

Asylum seekers (N permit)

Authorisation is required before employment can be engaged in by an asylum seeker. The reporting process does not apply. An application for authorisation for an asylum seeker to engage in employment may be made to the cantonal authorities.

Asylum seekers may not engage in employment whilst they are in a federal asylum centre. Authorisation for temporary employment can be granted once an asylum seeker has been allocated to a canton and subject to certain conditions: the economic and labour market situation allows it, wage and working conditions are respected, and priority is accorded to the domestic workforce.

In the interest of fairness in the job market, the cantons may grant authorisation to work in certain sectors only. Almost all the cantons run occupational 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 not-for-profit programmes. Information on available occupational programmes can be obtained from the local cantonal authorities.

to the top Last modification 28.02.2020