What is the change? The Swiss canton of Neuchâtel has instituted a requirement that non-Swiss nationals provide an original long-form birth certificate, as well as a marriage certificate or related document when registering with local authorities.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals registering with local authorities upon moving to Neuchâtel should be prepared to provide the appropriate document (see chart below) when completing their registration processes.

  • Implementation time frame: The change was implemented April 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: All permits types, including B, C and L permits.
  • Who is affected: EU and non-EU nationals moving to Neuchâtel, including B, C and L permit holders and dependents. The change also applies to non-Swiss nationals moving from another Swiss canton to Neuchâtel. People changing addresses within Neuchâtel are not affected.
  • Impact on processing times: Registrants who do not have the appropriate documentation could be refused registration.
  • Business impact: Businesses should take note of the change and advice prospective employees accordingly.

Background: Switzerland requires foreign nationals who move to the country to register with local authorities within 14 days of their arrival and before they begin working. The April 1 change requires registrants to provide one of the following documents:

Marital Status Required Document
Single Long-form birth certificate
Married Marriage certificate or family booklet
Divorced Divorce certificate or family booklet
Widow/Widower Spouse’s death certificate or family booklet

Other required documents include copies of employees’ Swiss work contracts and original passports and two passport photos (for EU nationals only, as non-EU nationals are required to provide biometrics). In addition, employees must provide documentation confirming the employees’ arrival date and address in Neuchâtel (e.g., a copy of an apartment lease). Required certificates must be accompanied by a translated copy in English, French, German or Italian, if the original is in another language.

BAL Analysis: BAL is not aware of any other cantons that have instituted a similar requirement. Employers in all cantons should work with BAL, however, to ensure foreign employees are prepared for their registration appointment no matter where in Switzerland the employee and his or her dependents are registering.

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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