Immigration and Residency (Switzerland)

Immigration and Residency
A Swiss Residence Permit entitles the holder to live in a particular canton and, if appropriate, work for a specified employer. Swiss immigration law generally divides all applicants for residency status into two categories: citizens of EU and EFTA countries, and citizens of non-EU and EFTA countries. The former have preferred rights; for the latter it must be demonstrated that there is a genuine need to hire and evidence that the position cannot be filled by a Swiss citizen or a citizen of an EU or EFTA country. Investors will need to demonstrate the economic benefit that will derive from their business activities.

  • Permit B (Initial Residence Permit): Granted to those who can prove they have sufficient funds to live in Switzerland without employment; to those who can prove they are self-employed and make a sufficient amount of money to live in Switzerland without becoming a burden on the economy; and to those who have a permanent, and unlimited employment contract valid for over one year. This permit is valid for five years, and is renewable for another five years.
  • Permit C (Permanent Residence Permit): Granted to citizens of the 15 original EU member states and the EFTA states who have lived in Switzerland for five years. All other foreign residents can apply for this permit after 10 years legal stay in Switzerland. In all cases this permit has to be renewed every 5 years. It allows holders to change cantons and employers freely, and even to stay for certain years abroad.
  • Permit L (Short-Term): For people who have an employment contract that is valid for less than one year. Those EU and EFTA nationals who are job hunting in Switzerland, and who have already been in the country for 90 days, can easily acquire this permit to extend their stay.

Residence permits are issued by cantonal immigration offices, and the application procedures may differ slightly for each canton. Sovereign can assist with all such applications for Swiss residency. In addition, we can provide first class relocation to clients and their families to make the transition as smooth as possible.


Share this story


Europe Focus January 2019

Happy New Year and welcome to Europe Focus, bringing you news and opinions from Sovereign’s offices across Europe, covering…

Follow us

Sovereign Trust (Gibraltar) Limited
Tel: +350 200 76173