What is the change? The quota for L permits for EU/EFTA nationals has been exhausted for the second quarter of 2017.

What does the change mean? New L permits for EU/EFTA nationals who are assigned to Switzerland but remain on foreign employment contracts will be available starting July 1. Each canton has its own procedures when quarterly quotas are exhausted. Extensions of L permits are not subject to quotas, and 120-day permits and four-month short-term permits are also unaffected by the exhaustion of quotas.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: L permits. The exhaustion of quotas does not impact 120-day permits or short-term permits.
  • Who is affected: Employers and EU/EFTA nationals applying for new L permits.
  • Business impact: Companies may need to adjust start dates and timelines.
  • Next steps: Employers are encouraged to contact their BAL representative to discuss options for assigning EU/EFTA nationals who require L permits.

Background: Last October, Switzerland announced that it would not raise the quotas on EU/EFTA L permits in 2017, even though cantons and business interests had hoped for an increase. The annual quota for L permits for EU/EFTA assignees is 2,000, divided into allocations of 500 per quarter. The second quarter allocation has been exhausted. Cantons have implemented procedures in response to the quarterly exhaustion of quotas in recent years.

  • Zurich – Authorities will approve interim short-term L permits until July 1, when new applications will be accepted. The short-term permits are valid for one month and can typically be extended through the end of June. New applications requesting to change the temporary permit into an L permit must be submitted at the end of June.
  • Basel – Authorities will make provisional decisions on L-permit applications allowing assignees to start work. The quota will be issued July 1.
  • Geneva – Authorities will make provisional decisions on L-permit applications allowing assignees to start work. The quota will be issued July 1.
  • Ticino – Authorities will not issue preliminary or temporary approvals. L permits can be applied only for assignments starting July 1 or later.

Contact your BAL professional for information on other cantons.

BAL Analysis: Employers assigning new EU/EFTA nationals on L permits should contact their BAL attorney to discuss their options in each canton.

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.

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