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Working in Switzerland as a citizen of an EU/EFTA member state

Citizens from EU-27* states enjoy full freedom of movement. This means that citizens of those countries are free to travel to Switzerland, and to live and work here. Special rules apply to citizens of Croatia, which joined the EU on 1 July 2013.

Short-term employment up to three months

You do not require authorisation for short-term employment of up to three months or 90 days per calendar year. It is nevertheless required to register your employment.

Registration procedure for short-term work in Switzerland

Employment longer than three months

For employment lasting longer than three months, a residence permit is required. Register with the communal authorities in the place you reside before taking up work. You will be required to present a:

  • valid ID card or passport
  • copy of your rental agreement
  • passport photo

For non self-employed:

  • employment contract.

For self-employed:

  • accounting records, in order to prove that you can earn a decent living.

If you apply for welfare benefits, you will lose your right to remain in Switzerland. Information on cost of living and residence permits can be obtained from the cantonal immigration office.

Registering with the communal authorities

Cantonal immigration and labour market authorities

Conditions for obtaining a short term residence permit with a view to seeking employment in Switzerland

Since 1 April 2015, citizens of the European Union (EU-27*) or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA**) who are looking for work in Switzerland are only granted a residence permit if they have sufficient financial resources to cover their living expenses.

*The EU-27 comprises the following countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Hungary, the United Kingdom and Cyprus.

**EFTA: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland

Special rules applying to Croatian nationals

Following the popular vote of 9 February 2014 (adoption of mass immigration initiative), the agreement on the free movement of persons will not be extended to Croatia. However, as of 1 July 2014 Croatian nationals will be subject to separate quotas (outside quotas for third country nationals). These consist of 50 one-year B permits and 450 short-term L permits. Please refer to the relevant State Secretariat for Migration SEM fact sheet.