What is the change? The Swiss Federal Council has extended the transitional period for Croatian nationals until the end of 2021.

What does the change mean? Croatian nationals will be subject to work permit requirements until at least 2021. Swiss permit quotas for Croatian nationals in 2019 have been set at 953 L permits and 103 B permits.

  • Implementation date: The first transitional phase was set to expire Dec. 31, 2018. Switzerland exercised its option to extend it until Dec. 31, 2021.
  • Who is affected: Croatian nationals seeking to work or live in Switzerland for longer than three months.
  • Business impact: Companies sponsoring Croatian nationals as local hires or assignees in Switzerland will remain subject to current work permit rules at least through 2021, including annual quotas, labor market testing, and checks on their working conditions.

Background: Under the country’s agreement on the free movement of persons with the European Union, Switzerland may impose a transition period before allowing Croatians full access to its labor market. The first phase of the transition runs through the end of 2018, now will be extended for three years and could be further extended by the Federal Council until the end of 2023. After that, if Croatian immigration exceeds certain levels, Switzerland may trigger a safeguard clause that would continue to put restrictions on Croatian workers for an additional three years.

Analysis & Comments: Croatian nationals may continue to enter Switzerland as visitors on the basis of nationality and without needing a visa, but those who want to work or remain for longer than three months will continue to be subject to work permit quotas.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.