The Swiss authorities online
Citizens from EU-25*/EFTA** 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.
Citizens from EU-25/EFTA states do not require authorisation for short-term employment up to three months or 90 days per calendar year. However, the future Swiss employer is required to register the employment using the electronic reporting procedure. The report must be submitted at least one day before employment is due to begin.
For employment lasting longer than three months, EU-25/EFTA citizens require a residence permit. Register with the communal authorities in the place you reside before taking up work. You will be required to present a:
For non self-employed you will also need a:
For self-employed you will also need a:
On 18 April 2018 the Federal Council decided to extend by one year the safeguard clause in the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals applying for a category B EU/EFTA residence permit which is valid for more than a year (up to five years).
The safeguard clause, in effect since 1 June 2017, allows the government to restrict the number of work permits granted. As in the previous twelve-month period, 996 B-permits are available between 1 June 2018 and 31 May 2019.
The measure applies to citizens from Bulgaria and Romania (EU-2) who have an employment contract in Switzerland that is valid for more than a year or is of unlimited duration. It also applies to self-employed persons wishing to settle in Switzerland.
Unrestricted free movement of persons applies from 1 June 2019.
You can find more information on the website of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM): www.sem.admin.ch > Entry & Residence > Living and Working in Switzerland > Bulgaria/Romania (EU-2)
Since 1 January 2017, Croatian nationals have also benefited from the freedom of movement; however they are still subject to transitional provisions.
Croatian nationals interested in working in Switzerland are subject to transitional provisions. For the time being, they may only work in Switzerland subject to the following restrictions:
Conditions for taking up self-employment:
With regard to taking up self-employment, as of 1 January 2019, the rules are the same as those for citizens from EU-25/EFTA member states. Croatian nationals must be able to demonstrate that they are self-employed when submitting their application, but are no longer subject to a set-up period or quota restrictions.
EU/EFTA nationals may enter Switzerland to look for work. They may stay in the country for up to three months without a permit. If the job search takes longer than three months, EU/EFTA nationals may apply for a temporary residence permit valid for three months within any calendar year (total stay = six months), provided they have the financial means to pay their living expenses.
Croatian citizens must be in possession of a valid work permit before the first day of employment in Switzerland, even if the period of employment is less than three months.
*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