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Company Formation Switzerland



Residence Permit in Switzerland

Updated on Friday 08th December 2017

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 Residence Permit in Switzerland


 Anyone that wants to work in any Swiss canton or wants to stay in the country for more than three months requires a residence permit.

 The residence permit is issued by the Cantonal Migration Office and the Cantonal Labour Offices are responsible for issuing work  authorisations. Because Switzerland is a federal republic, federal law governs all of the 26 cantons (regions). However, each canton can  have special provisions regarding immigration.


Types of residence permits for EU nationals


Residence permits in Switzerland can be short-term, annual or permanent. The following types of permits are available in Switzerland for EU nationals and EFTA (European Free Trade Agreement) member states:

  • -          The B Permit: issued to EU/EFTA citizens for a period of five years. An employment contract in Switzerland or proof of financial independence must be provided for this type of permit. Additional regulations apply to EU-2 nationals (Bulgaria and Romania);
  • -          The C Permit: gives the right of settlement. Most EU/EFTA citizens become Swiss residents after spending five years in the country. However, this only applies for a selected number of countries. For all other nationals, the period is of ten years;
  • -          The Ci Permit: for family members. It also grants the holder the right to work in Switzerland.
  • -          The G Permit: for cross border workers. EU/EFTA nationals that choose to work in Switzerland and hold their place of residence outside of the country;
  • -          The L Permit: for foreigners that want to stay in Switzerland for more than three months but less than a year.


Types of residence permits for nationals of other countries


In addition to the Ci permit and the G permit, nationals belonging to countries other than the EU/EFTA can also gain the following permits:

  • -          The F Permit: individuals who have been ordered to return from Switzerland to their native country but such order proved to be unreasonable or impossible;
  • -          The N Permit: for persons who have applied for asylum in Switzerland;
  • -          The S Permit: for people in need of protection. The owner is entitled to stay in Switzerland, but not cross the border and return to Switzerland.


The Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons signed between the EU and Switzerland applies to any national of an EU-25 or EFTA state. Certain restrictions apply to EU-2 nationals.

The EU-25/EFTA states are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Portugal.

If you need more information about Swiss residence permit, employment or company formation in Switzerland, please feel free to contact  our specialists.



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