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Application submission The employer submits the application documents to the cantonal labour market or immigration authority. Employees requiring a visa must also submit an application to the Swiss representation abroad that is responsible for their place of residence.
Application documents
Cantonal immigration and labour market authorities
Application screening The competent cantonal authority (labour or immigration office) screens applications on the basis of the Foreign Nationals and Integration Act and takes a preliminary decision. Applications approved by the canton must be submitted to the SEM for final approval.
Application screening The SEM

reviews applications according to admission criteria that apply to the whole of Switzerland. The applicant and employee as well as the cantonal authorities receive the official decision from the SEM, which is subject to a charge that is payable by the employer. This official decision does not permit the employee to enter Switzerland, yet.

Issuance of visa The cantonal immigration authority issues electronic visa authorisation to the Swiss representation abroad for those who require a visa, based on the SEM's approval. The visa can then be collected from the representation.
Registration The employee registers with the competent authority at their place of residence in Switzerland within 14 days after entering the country. The start of gainful employment is only permitted after registration has taken place.

Last modification 11.10.2020

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