Work Permits

A) Persons who may invoke the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) or the EFTA Convention (Art. 3a COVID-19 Ordinance 2)

As of 15 June 2020, persons from all Schengen states covered by the AFMP or EFTA Agreement may enter and stay in Switzerland or engage in gainful employment in accordance with the regular entry requirements. Thus the rights of free movement under the AFMP and the EFTA Agreement have been fully restored.

B) Foreign workers from third countries (Art. 3b COVID-19 Ordinance 2)

Due to the current situation of the COVID 19 pandemic, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) has introduced entry restrictions for all countries (so-called third countries) outside the Schengen area. At present, all third countries are considered to be risk countries (see Annex 1 of COVID-19 Regulation 2, and see note about the link below).

Regarding admission to the labour market of third-country nationals, existing applications submitted before 19 March 2020 will be processed (reduction of pending applications) and entry (visa) will generally be approved, provided that the requirements under the Foreign Nationals Act are met and the competent authorities have checked with the applicant that the position can actually be taken up and that travel opportunities are available.

New labour market applications (under Art. 3 para. 1 let. f or g COVID-19 Ordinance 2) for newly arriving foreign gainfully employed persons may be received and processed by the competent cantonal authorities if the following activities are involved:

• carrying out urgent service work on important infrastructure (Art. 3 para. 1 let. f COVID-19 Ordinance 2; e.g. specialists for nuclear power plant maintenance)

• specialists who are of great importance to Switzerland in connection with the health sector (Art. 3 para. 1 let. g COVID-19 Ordinance 2; e.g. researchers, doctors);

• Securing essential goods and services, in particular in the areas of therapeutic products and care, food, energy, logistics and information and communication technology; this includes in particular maintenance work. This includes, for example, IT specialists, logistics specialists, food specialists and the like (in the public interest, especially in the area of national economic supply; Art. 3b para. 1 let. d no. 1 Covid-19 Ordinance 2);

• Urgent economic need exists (Art. 3b para. 1(d)(2) Covid-19 Ordinance 2); in addition to the conditions for admission under the AIG, the companies must cumulatively and appropriately demonstrate that
1. an assignment cannot be postponed, i.e. there is no possibility of postponement
2. an assignment cannot be carried out from abroad, i.e. the technical facilities are not available or the activity must be physically carried out in Switzerland; and
3. the activity of the foreign specialists is of existential importance for the company in Switzerland. This means, for example, that jobs are directly affected or endangered; a damage to the company's reputation and financial position could arise if an order or similar cannot be fulfilled; the threat of important customer losses or customer acquisitions that are of great economic importance for the region or the company concerned.

• Those related to the education sector (Art. 3b para. 1 let. d no. 3 Covid-19 Ordinance 2). For the beginning of the new school year / semester 2020/2021, teachers at international schools, private schools or public schools and educational institutions may be admitted. Excepted from this are teachers / supervisors who wish to enter the country exclusively in the context of summer camps before the start of the school year.

New labour market applications for newly arriving foreign workers who do not meet the above criteria will not be accepted by the AWA until further notice.


You will find the links to the SEM Directive of 15.06.2020, the Federal Council information of 12.06.2020 and the COVID-19 Ordinance 2 including annex either at the end of the page "Reporting procedure" ("Further important information...") or "Non-EU countries (third countries): Starting work with an employer in Switzerland and postings" ("Further important information...").

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BREXIT – The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) left the EU on 31 January 2020. In the withdrawal agreement, the EU and the UK agreed on a transition period until 31 December 2012. As a result, notification and permit procedures remain unchanged for UK nationals and for service providers based in the UK. If you are working for less than 90 days, please select the “Notification procedure” heading, if you are working for more than 90 days, please select “EU-26/EFTA: Commencement of work (…)” or “EU-26/EFTA: Postings”.

  • Notification procedure

    Find out about your notification duties and the online notification procedure for postings as well as short-term work of up to three months with a Swiss employer.

  • EU-26/EFTA: Commencement of work with an employer in Switzerland for more than three months

    General information for employers regarding the employment and work of EU-27/EFTA nationals in Switzerland.

  • EU-26/EFTA: Postings

    A work permit is not required for postings of up to 90 days per calendar year. There is, however, a duty to notify to be complied with directly via the notification procedure.

  • EU-1 (Croatia)

    Protocol III of the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) provides transitional provisions regarding gainful work for Croatian nationals (EU-1). Authorisation is still required for numerous activities.

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

    Third-country nationals are subject to restrictive conditions under the law on foreign nationals regarding admission to the Swiss labour market.

  • Non-EU member states (third countries): Self-employment

    Nationals from third countries are subject to particular conditions under the law on foreign nationals for taking up self-employment.

  • Wages

    Would you like to find out whether minimum wages exist in a specific industry and what wages apply in a certain region or industry? Do you know how to calculate the respective wage yourself? Use the wage calculator of the Federal Statistical Office.

  • Au-Pairs

    All applications for au-pair permits must be submitted to AWA. Applications related to au-pairs from third countries may be submitted to AWA by licensed Swiss au-pair organisations only.

  • Trade fair assignments

    The employment of foreign staff at trade fairs requires notification or a permit application.