What is the change? Third-quarter quotas for L permits continue to show signs of excess demand in light of the government’s decision to lower the cap on EU nationals in 2015.

What does the change mean? In some cantons, L permits for EU/EFTA nationals have been exhausted for the quarter, and companies will have to wait until Oct. 1 to apply for new permits. However, the number of available permits varies from canton to canton and should be assessed on an individual basis.

  • Implementation time frame: Now through Oct. 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: L permits. The quotas do not affect 120-day permits or 4-month short-term permits.
  • Who is affected: EU/EFTA nationals assigned to Switzerland who remain on a foreign contract.
  • Business impact: Companies may face delays in hiring and assigning EU nationals in affected cantons.
  • Next steps: Companies are encouraged to contact their BAL attorney for an individual assessment, as each canton has its own policy for processing applications in light of the excess demand.

Background: Swiss authorities significantly reduced the number of L permits for EU/EFTA nationals from 3,000 in 2014 to 2,000 in 2015. The effects are beginning to show in the oversubscription of the category. Last quarter, the quotas were also exhausted in several cantons.

BAL Analysis: As Swiss policies may continue to put pressure on available work permit numbers, employers should work with their BAL representative to explore the best options moving forward.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Switzerland. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact