The Federal Council of Switzerland has announced plans to gradually re-open the economy, including easing travel restrictions and resuming processing of certain visas and permits.

Key Points:

  • From May 11 onward, authorities will begin processing residence permit and cross-border commuter permit applications for EU/EFTA nationals submitted prior to March 25 but put on hold owing to COVID-19.
  • This also includes applications for cross border permits (G-permits) and online registration for local employment or assignment in Switzerland for up to 90 days.
  • New online registrations for assignment-based work in Switzerland will also be processed, provided the service provision is based on a written contract signed before March 25, 2020.
  • Third-country workers who already have a permit to work in Switzerland, but were not issued a visa because of the restrictions imposed on entry, are now permitted to enter the country.
  • Applications to employ third-country nationals submitted before March 19 will now be processed. The applications will be approved provided the provisions of the Foreign Nationals and Integration Act are met and the applicants are able to take up the position.
  • Family reunification for family members of Swiss citizens and EU/EFTA nationals living in Switzerland is again possible.

Additional information: The current border controls will continue. Nonetheless, additional border crossings will be opened in order to avoid excessive wait times. International flights will still only be able to land at Zurich, Geneva or Basel airports. The authorities have also announced the tentative decision to begin processing, as of June 8, applications from all workers from EU and EFTA states who are able to begin employment in Switzerland, provided the COVID-19 situation so permits. The requirement to give notification of job vacancies, which has been temporarily suspended, will also be reactivated at that time.

Analysis & Comments: The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, available here, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes in other countries.

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