Non-EU-27/EFTA member states (third countries): Commencement of work with an employer in Switzerland and postings

Third-country nationals are subject to particular provisions regarding admission to the Swiss labour market. Information about access to the Swiss labour market is available from the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).

General information for Swiss and foreign employers wishing to locally hire or post a third-country national to Switzerland.

As regards gainful work, the following foreign persons require a work permit and are subject to restrictive conditions under the law on foreign nationals:

  • People who enter Switzerland for work purposes
    • Start of employment/immigration
    • Cross-border commuters
    • Postings
  • Students with part-time jobs
  • Family members of persons with a short-term residence permit (L).
  • Students and provisionally admitted foreigners or refugees
  • Asylum seekers wishing to work after expiry of the waiting period
  • Provisionally admitted foreign nationals
  • Provisionally admitted refugees
  • Persons with refugee status with a residence permit (B)

There are special conditions for:


In the case of applications for interns, decisions are made exclusively by the SEM based on existing internship contracts with the individual countries. See also Internship programmes.


A work permit for a trainee may only be submitted if it relates to a mandatory internal corporate group or compulsory university training. In the latter case, the application must be submitted to us by one of the two student organisations IAESTE or AIESEC.


Important information: against the backdrop of the tense quota situation, only applications that meet the overall economic interest can be approved at present.


Please submit the completed application via our work permit platform (for this please use one of the two links below) or by post to the following address:

Office of Economy and Labour
Work Permits
Utengasse 36
4005 Basel

Important note: Do not submit applications by email!

Please note

Face-to-face appointments by prior arrangement only.
Telephone advice
09:00 - 11:00 a.m.
02:00 - 04:00 p.m.
Tel. +41 61 267 50 60