What is the Brexit news? The Swiss Federal Council has approved a temporary quota scheme that would allow U.K. nationals to apply for work authorization in Switzerland in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

What does the news mean? The temporary quota scheme offers a temporary solution for U.K. nationals who would no longer be covered by the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons and would be considered third-country nationals. The Swiss government would offer 3,500 work permits—2,100 residence permits and 1,400 short-stay permits—to these nationals between March 30 and Dec. 31. The cantons would be notified on a quarterly basis of the maximum number of U.K. nationals they could admit.

  • Implementation time frame: March 30.
  • Who is impacted: U.K. nationals applying for work permits after March 30.
  • Business impact: Employers would be able to recruit U.K. nationals for employment in Switzerland between March 30 and Dec. 31.

Background: Last month, the Swiss Federal Council approved a bilateral Swiss-U.K. agreement to administer the status of U.K. nationals in Switzerland and Swiss nationals in the U.K. Under the agreement, U.K. nationals registered in Switzerland and Swiss nationals registered in the U.K. before the Swiss-U.K. agreement goes into force, as well as their dependents, will preserve their status under the EU-Swiss Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons. The agreement also covers cross-border workers in both countries, such as G-permit holders working in Switzerland.

Analysis & Comments: While the Swiss-U.K. bilateral agreement announced last month provided some certainty to employers as well as to U.K. and Swiss nationals residing in each other’s country, it did not provide details on immigration procedures for U.K. nationals arriving post-Brexit. The council’s decision to offer a temporary quota scheme for U.K. nationals provides additional clarity and gives employers the option to recruit and hire U.K. nationals following a no-deal Brexit. More details regarding the number of work permits available by canton are expected by the end of March as the Federal Department of Justice and Police will draft amendments to the Ordinance on Admission, Period of Stay and Employment.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.