Switzerland recently relaxed work permit rules for highly skilled non-EU nationals.

Key Points:

  • Employers hiring highly skilled nationals of non-EU countries in an occupation on the skills shortage list no longer need to conduct labor market tests.
  • Cantonal authorities may still require labor market tests to be conducted on a case-by-case basis for certain nationals of non-EU countries being hired in a position on the skills shortage list.
  • Highly skilled nationals of non-EU countries hired in an occupation on the skills shortage list can obtain a residence permit without having a university degree. Instead, such individuals must have training qualifications or at least five years of professional experience.
  • Occupations that may qualify for the aforementioned relaxed work permit rules include:
    • Managers (executive positions) in the finance and insurance industry; information and communication technology; management consulting; mechanical, electrical and metal industry; and the production of chemical, pharmaceutical and food products.
    • Engineering occupations; scientists and researchers in mathematical, scientific and technical fields; and specialized professionals in information and communications technology.
    • Healthcare professions; medical residents and specialists; radiology assistants; and specialized nursing personnel.
    • Teachers at universities.

BAL Analysis: Swiss authorities relaxed work permit rules to help highly skilled foreign workers obtain work permits in Switzerland more easily and to reduce delays by simplifying the application process.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

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