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Work Visa
in Switzerland.


CONTRACT LANGUAGES German / French / English

PAYROLL TAX 8.17% – 23.50%


TIME TO HIRE 24 hours

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    Types of work visas in Switzerland

    If you can live and work freely in Switzerland will depend on if you are a Swiss national, a national of a European Union member state or a national from a European Free Trade Association (EFTA) country. Those that are not from one of these eligible countries, will require a valid working permit to live and work in Switzerland.

    There are 5 types of work permits available to third-country nationals who wish to work in Switzerland. These include:

    L Permit

    The L Permit is a short-stay work permit granted to foreign nationals who present a valid employment contract valid for between 3 to 12 months only. EU/EFTA nationals can enter Switzerland freely for up to three months to look for work in Switzerland that is valid for a L or B work permit, while third country-nationals must apply for a work visa prior to arriving in Switzerland.

    B permit

    The B permit is a residence permit issued to those who are on a permanent or fixed employment contract that is ongoing or longer than 12 months. EU/EFTA nationals need to renew this permit every five years, while third-country nationals need to renew it on a year-to-year basis.

    C Permit

    The C permit is issued to settled foreign residents who have resided in Switzerland for 5 years continuously for EU/EFTA nationals or 10 years for third-country nationals.

    Ci Permit

    The Ci Permit is for spouses or children under the age of 21 of foreign workers of international organisations or permanent missions in Switzerland. This gives the holder access to the Swiss labor market.

    G Permit

    Foreign nationals that reside in a border country to Switzerland and commute weekly to work are issued with the Ci Permit.

    Required documents for a work visa in Switzerland

    In Switzerland, employers are responsible for applying for a work permit for the foreign national. However, new foreign employees will need to apply for a work visa to enter Switzerland before they move. To do this, they will need to gather the following documents:

    • Filled out long-stay visa form in either German, French, Italian or English
    • Passport
    • Three copies of the main pages of their passport
    • Four passport-sized photos
    • Two copies of the job contract
    • Proof of professional and tertiary qualifications
    • CV

    These documents will need to be submitted to the relevant Swiss Embassy or Consular service in the applicant’s resident country. EU/EFTA citizens do not need to apply for a work visa prior to arriving in Switzerland.

    Process to get a work visa in Switzerland

    It can take anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks to process work visas for third-country nationals.

    Application procedure to get a work visa in Switzerland

    Depending on if you are a foreign national that is not from an EU/EFTA or not will determine how you can apply for a work visa for Switzerland.

    Getting a work visa when the employee is based outside of Switzerland

    Third-country nationals must always apply for a work visa outside of Switzerland, but the process also involves work from the employer in Switzerland. The complete process to attain a valid visa is as follows.

    1. The employer in Switzerland applies for the work permit
    2. The employer proves to the relevant Canton authorities that the role could not be filled by a Swiss national or EU/EFTA national
    3. The Canton Authorities review the employer’s work permit application and forward it to the Federal Office of Migration (FOM) for further review
    4. The foreign employee gathers the relevant documents and submits them to the Swiss Embassy in their home country
    5. Once the FOM has made a decision, this is relayed to the employer and foreign national
    6. If approved, the Swiss long-stay visa gets approved by the relevant embassy or consulate where the work visa application was made
    7. Foreign nationals have 14 days to register themselves at the Residents’ Registry Office after entering Switzerland on their work visa

    It is important that the employee and employer keep in touch during the entire application process.

    Getting a work visa when the employee is based inside of Switzerland

    EU/EFTA nationals can remain in Switzerland while they wait for their prospective employer to apply for their long-stay residence permits.

    Special notes about work visas in Switzerland

    Foreign nationals must be highly qualified to be eligible for a work permit in Switzerland, with employers having to prove they cannot find equally qualified nationals for the same position and that hiring a foreign national is in Switzerland’s overall economic interests. There is also a limit each year on how many work permits are issued to foreign nationals. 

    Hiring in Switzerland, Made Easy

    Your business can easily hire employees in Switzerland without opening a local entity. We handle local employment law, complex tax regulations, and international payroll in 180+ countries worldwide. All you need to do is focus on your business.


    An EU Blue card is distributed to foreign nationals living and working in one of the 27 European Union countries. As Switzerland is not a part of the EU, all foreign nationals are required to have a Swiss Resident permit to freely move in and out of Switzerland.

    Whether or not you can bring family members with you on a work visa will depend on the type of residence permit you are on. Generally, most foreign nationals will need to apply to the Swiss authorities for family reunification before their family can join them in Switzerland.


    It can take anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks to be granted a work visa in Switzerland.

    Third-country nationals will need to prove to the Swiss Authorities that their employment is still valid each year. EU/EFTA nationals can renew their work permits every 5 years.

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