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					6. Visas, residence and work permits.




Switzerland’s prosperity is partly due to the immigration of          consulate can only issue the visa if the Swiss federal or cantonal
foreign workers. Not only do they boost the economy, they             office in charge has granted approval to do so. The type of visa
also enrich the culture. Thanks to the free movement of               and the documents required depend on the purpose of the stay.
persons between Switzerland and the EU, EU/EFTA citizens
can now remain in Switzerland without a lot of red tape. In
the labor market they have the same rights as Swiss workers.           Permit and visa requirements by nationality
For people from other countries who wish to work and live in
Switzerland, certain provisions apply.                                 www.bfm.admin.ch
                                                                       Search under: Visa
                                                                       Languages: German, English, French, Italian
 Entering and living in Switzerland

 www.bfm.admin.ch                                                     One of the visa requirements is that applicants must prove that
 Link: Topics/Entry                                                   they have enough funds available or can legally obtain them to pay
 Languages: German, English, French, Italian                          for living expenses during their trip through or stay in Switzerland.
                                                                      The Swiss consulate may require the submission of a letter of
                                                                      sponsorship before it issues the visa if the applicant does not have
                                                                      sufficient funds or if there is some doubt on this point. The relevant
6.1 Entering the country and visas.                                   authorities will require that travel insurance be concluded regard-
                                                                      less of whether a letter of sponsorship has been submitted. The
Generally a valid travel document recognized by Switzerland is        minimum coverage for this insurance is EUR 30,000.
sufficient to enter the country. Only citizens of certain countries
require an entry visa for stays of up to three months. A visa is
generally required for longer stays. The Federal Office for Migra-     Swiss consulates abroad
tion publishes the latest requirements on its homepage.
                                                                       www.eda.admin.ch
6.1.1 Visa regulations                                                 Link: Representations
Foreigners who require a visa must obtain an entry visa from the       Languages: German, English, French, Italian
Swiss consulate where they live before they enter Switzerland. The



48    Handbook for Investors 2010
Fig. 19: Do I need a visa?

                                                           I would like to travel to Switzerland.
                                                                     Do I need a visa?


                                                        Are you a citizen of one of the following
                                                       countries? EU-25, EFTA, Andorra, Brunei,
                                           No                                                               Yes
                                                       Japan, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, New Zea-
                                                       land, San Marino, Singapore, Vatican City


   Are you a citizen of one of the                                                                                      You do not need a visa.
 following countries? Antigua and          Yes                                                                          Welcome to Switzerland!
   Barbuda, Argentina, Australia,
    Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil,
      Bulgaria, Canada, Chile,             No         Will you be staying more than three months?                                             Yes
 Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador,
   Guatemala, Honduras, Israel,
   Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama,
     Paraguay, Romania, South                                     Do you plan to work?
     Korea, St. Kitts and Nevis,
      Uruguay, US, Venezuela               No                                                               Yes


                No                                                     No               For more than eight days per calendar year?           Yes



                                                                                             In one of the following industries?
                                                                                           Construction and construction-related
                                 You do not need a visa.
                                                                       No             sectors, gastronomy, commercial and residential         Yes
                                 Welcome to Switzerland!
                                                                                        cleaning services, surveillance and security
                                                                                                  services, erotic services

                          You need a visa. Please contact the
                      Swiss consulate in your area for more detailed
                                       information.
                                  www.eda.admin.ch
                            Search under: Representations




6.1.2 Visa regulations for certain countries

Fig. 20: Visa regulations for certain countries
Country         Visa required for       Visa required for         Exceptions/comments
                a stay of up to         a stay of over
                3 months                3 months
Brazil          No (V1)                 Yes                       V1 Work visa requirement:
                                                                  • construction and construction-related sectors, gastronomy, commercial
                                                                     and residential cleaning services, surveillance and security services and
                                                                     erotic services
China           Yes (V)                 Yes                       V    Third-country nationals with a valid long-term residence permit from a
                                                                       Schengen member state along with a recognized travel document do
                                                                       not require a visa.




                                                                                                                  Handbook for Investors 2010       49
Country          Visa required for        Visa required for   Exceptions/comments
                 a stay of up to 3        a stay of over 3
                 months                   months
EU-25/EFTA No                             No
(Schengen)
India            Yes (V)                  Yes                 V   Third-country nationals with a valid long-term residence permit from a
                                                                  Schengen member state along with a recognized travel document do
                                                                  not require a visa.
Japan            No                       No
Canada           No (V1)                  Yes                 V1 Work visa requirement:
                                                              • construction and construction-related sectors, gastronomy, commercial
                                                                 and residential cleaning services, surveillance and security services and
                                                                 erotic services
Russia           Yes (V)                  Yes                 V   Third-country nationals with a valid long-term residence permit from a
                                                                  Schengen member state along with a recognized travel document do
                                                                  not require a visa.
Kazakhstan       Yes (V)                  Yes                 V   Third-country nationals with a valid long-term residence permit from a
                                                                  Schengen member state along with a recognized travel document do
                                                                  not require a visa.
Hong Kong        Dependent on travel Yes                      The following are accepted documents for entry into Switzerland:
SAR              document (see ex-                            • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region People’s Republic of China
                 ceptions/comments)                              Passport (HKSAR passport); visa waiver (V1)
                                                              • Hong Kong British National Overseas Passport (BNO passport); visa
                                                                 waiver (V1)
                                                              • Hong Kong Certificate of Identity; visa requirement (V)
                                                              • Document of Identity for visa purposes with the entry «Chinese» under
                                                                 the heading «Nationality.» In this case the document is a Chinese
                                                                 passport (if there is no entry under nationality, it cannot be accepted for
                                                                 entry into the country); visa requirement (V)
                                                                 (The «Hong Kong British Dependent Territories Citizens Passport» is no
                                                                 longer accepted.)
US               No (V1)                  Yes                 V1 Work visa requirement:
                                                              • construction and construction-related sectors, gastronomy, commercial
                                                                 and residential cleaning services, surveillance and security services and
                                                                 erotic services
Taiwan           Yes (V)                  Yes                 V   Third-country nationals with a valid long-term residence permit from a
                                                                  Schengen member state along with a recognized travel document do
                                                                  not require a visa.
Ukraine          Yes (V, V5)              Yes (V5)            V  Third-country nationals with a valid long-term residence permit from a
                                                                 Schengen member state along with a recognized travel document do
                                                                 not require a visa.
                                                              V5 Holders of official passports (diplomatic, service or special passports)
                                                                 are exempt from the visa requirement for the following travel-related
                                                                 purposes and durations:
                                                              • official missions
                                                              • other reasons for travel of up to 90 days, without employment
Source: Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA


50      Handbook for Investors 2010
6.1.3 Application procedure                                                If the visa is denied, the applicant can appeal to the Federal
1. Persons requiring a visa must submit the visa application to            Administrative Court in Berne within 30 days of notification by
    the Swiss consulate that is responsible for the area where they        requesting the decision for a fee from the Federal Office for
    live. Travel documents and any other requested documents               Migration.
    which explain the reason for the journey must be submitted
    along with the application. The consulate homepage provides
    detailed information about the required documents and the               Visa application form
    relevant application forms. All documents, letters or certifi-
    cates that are not in German, French, Italian or English must           www.bfm.admin.ch
    be submitted with a translation.                                        Languages: German, English, French, Italian, Spanish,
2. If the consulate requires a letter of sponsorship, the foreign           Portuguese, Russian, Chinese
    visitor must complete the relevant form and submit it to the
    sponsor.
3. The sponsor completes and signs the form and submits it
    along with the required documents to the cantonal or munici-           6.2 Residing in Switzerland.
    pal authorities in charge.
4. The letter of sponsorship is checked by the relevant cantonal           Residence and permanent residence permits are issued by the
    or municipal authorities and is entered into the Central Migra-        cantonal and migration offices. Stays of up to three months do
    tion Information System.                                               not require a permit, while stays of over three months do. It may
5. The results of this check are presented to the consulate with-          be possible to work depending on the type of permit issued.
    out delay, after which the consulate decides whether to issue          Foreigners who reside in Switzerland receive a residence permit
    the visa.                                                              indicating which type of authorization has been granted.



6.2.1 Types of permits

Fig. 21: Types of permits
L permit (purple):                     For temporary positions and other temporary stays.
B permit (grey):                       For residents (foreigners who are in Switzerland for a specific purpose for a longer period of time
                                       with or without employment).
C permit (green):                      For permanent residents (foreigners who have received a permanent residence permit after
                                       living in Switzerland for five or ten years. There is no limit on the amount of time they may stay in
                                       Switzerland).
G permit (brown):                      For cross-border commuters (foreigners who reside near the Swiss border and work in Switzerland).
F permit (light blue):                 For foreigners permitted to stay in Switzerland provisionally. This permit is issued by the cantonal
                                       authorities based on approval by the Federal Office for Migration.
N permit (dark blue):                  For asylum seekers. This permit is issued by the cantonal authorities based on approval by the
                                       Federal Office for Migration.
Ci permit (red):                       This permit is issued by the cantonal authorities to the employed spouses and children of members
                                       of foreign consulates or intergovernmental organizations.
S permit (light blue):                 For people in need of protection. This permit is issued by the cantonal authorities based on approval
                                       by the Federal Office for Migration.
Source: Federal Office for Migration




                                                                                                            Handbook for Investors 2010        51
                                                                     6.3.2. Longer stays
 Federal Office for Migration, residence                             Stays of more than three months also require a permit for persons
                                                                     who are not gainfully employed (retirees, students, job seekers
 www.bfm.admin.ch                                                    and others). Permits are issued by the cantonal migration offices.
 Link: Topics/Residence                                              A distinction is made between short stays (less than one year),
 Languages: German, English, French, Italian                         temporary stays (of limited duration) and permanent stays (of
                                                                     unlimited duration).

6.2.2 Reunification of families                                      Non-EU/EFTA nationals must submit the application for a resi-
Holders of an annual residence permit or temporary permit are        dence permit (together with the visa application) to the relevant
entitled to apply for permission for their families to join them;    Swiss consulate before entering Switzerland. Depending on the
a work permit is issued to the spouse and family members in          purpose of the stay (schooling, retirement, medical purposes,
descending line. Spouses also have the right to a work permit        etc.), different documents will be required. If the conditions for a
even if they do not share the same place of residence. It is also    permit are met, then a short stay permit (L permit) for a stay of
possible for a spouse to be resident in another canton.              less than one year will be issued, or a residence permit (B permit)
                                                                     valid for one year will be issued if the applicant is to stay longer
                                                                     than one year. After entering the country, the permit holder must
6.3 Residing in Switzerland without                                  register with the relevant municipality.

    gainful employment.                                              EU/EFTA nationals who are not gainfully employed are granted
6.3.1. Stays of up to three months                                   the right to stay in Switzerland based on the free movement of
Switzerland has been an associate member of the Schengen             persons agreement. After arrival, a residence permit must be
Agreement, and thus part of the Schengen Area, since December        applied for at the municipality and will be granted if the following
12, 2008. The provisions of the Schengen Agreement govern            requirements are met:
entry and stays that do not require a visa for up to three months.   •	 The unemployed person must have sufficient financial funds to
                                                                        prevent them from becoming dependent on state aid so they do
Generally, staying in Switzerland without employment (e.g. for a        not become a burden on their new country of residence.
visit, tourism) for up to three months does not require a permit.    •	 They must have health insurance that covers all risks (even
However, a visa is necessary for nationals of certain countries.        accidents).
Foreigners may stay in Switzerland for no more than three months
within a six-month period calculated from the first time of entry.   The EC/EFTA residence permit is valid throughout Switzerland for
Persons requiring a visa must comply with the amount of time         five years and is automatically extended by the relevant authorities
they are permitted to stay as stipulated on their visa.              if the above-mentioned requirements continue to be met. Unem-
                                                                     ployed persons may bring their families with them if they have
To enter the country, foreigners must have a valid travel docu-      sufficient financial funds to care for them.
ment that is recognized by Switzerland. For persons requiring a
visa, Switzerland issues Schengen visas, which are generally valid
for the entire Schengen Area for stays of up to three months.         Addresses of cantonal migration offices

                                                                      www.bfm.admin.ch
                                                                      Language: German




52    Handbook for Investors 2010
6.3.3 Special case: students                                           6.4 Residing in Switzerland with
The procedure described in 6.3.2 also applies to students. The
following conditions also apply:
                                                                           gainful employment.
                                                                       People working in Switzerland during their stay in the country or
Students who are citizens of EU or EFTA states, the US, Canada,        people staying for more than three months need a permit from
Australia or New Zealand must generally provide credible proof         the cantonal migration office. A distinction is made between short
that they will not become a welfare case during stays of more than     stays (less than one year), temporary stays (of limited duration)
three months (at the relevant Swiss consulate or municipality upon     and permanent stays (of unlimited duration).
registration). Students must also prove that they are enrolled at a
recognized school in Switzerland and will be attending general         The employer is responsible for obtaining a work permit from the
instruction classes or a program preparing them for a profession.      cantonal migration office.
If these requirements are met, the student will receive a residence
permit for the duration of their studies or for the period of one      Since the introduction of the bilateral agreements on the free
year if their studies last longer than one year. The permit will be    movement of persons and the revised EFTA convention, different
extended until the student has received a regular degree if the        conditions have applied to EU/EFTA nationals than to people from
requirements for the permit continue to be met.                        other countries. EU/EFTA citizens are on equal footing with Swiss
                                                                       employees.
Students who are not citizens of EU or EFTA member states, the
US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand must also include the fol-        Other countries are subject to immigration restrictions and the
lowing documents together with their personal entry application,       rule of priority for Swiss nationals. Foreign asylum seekers may
which they submit to the relevant Swiss consulate:                     stay in Switzerland in accordance with the provisions of asylum
•	 Letter of acceptance from the school                                legislation.
•	 Proof of payment of tuition
•	 Proof of sufficient financial funding for living expenses for the   The cantons are responsible for deciding on whether foreigners
   duration of the course of study                                     may stay and reside in the country. However, the federal govern-
•	 Diplomas/school certificates                                        ment has the right of veto. The cantonal migration authorities are
•	 Written agreement to leave Switzerland after completion of          responsible for alien control. Foreigners must register with the
   studies                                                             Residents Registration Office in the municipality in which they
•	 Additional sheet documenting language proficiency. Language         reside within eight days.
   proficiency is judged based on a short interview at the consul-
   ate.                                                                For anyone intending to relocate to Switzerland, it can be advan-
                                                                       tageous to bundle the permit applications and to discuss them
The Swiss consulate sends the entry application, including             beforehand. The cantonal economic development agencies pro-
documentation and assessment of language proficiency, to the           vide advice on how to proceed and how long the process takes.
relevant cantonal migration authorities for their approval.




                                                                                                       Handbook for Investors 2010        53
6.4.1 Professional licenses                                              Foreign nationals can perform these activities in Switzerland if
For some professions and for certain businesses, the federal             they have the required permits. In certain cases, approval is sub-
government or the cantons impose rules. Such cases require a             ject to a «demonstration of need» clause. Since the introduction
special permit or a patent or license. This applies to activities for:   of the bilateral agreements with the EU, the rules have gradu-
•	 Banks, insurance companies and investment brokers                     ally been eased thanks to the mutual recognition of professional
•	 Hotels and restaurants (only in certain cantons)                      qualifications.
•	 Physicians, dentists, pharmacists and attorneys
•	 Certain mercantile and services businesses (e.g. wine mer-
   chants, private employment agencies, temporary employment               Residing in Switzerland
   services)
                                                                           www.ch.ch
                                                                           Search under: Residence permits
                                                                           Languages: German, English, French, Italian



Fig. 22: Work and residence permits: rules and procedures
EU/EFTA nationals                                                                               Non-EU/EFTA nationals and Bulgarian
                                                                                                and Romanian citizens

EU-17 (original EU states including Malta        EU-8 (eastern European countries joined
and Cyprus)                                      in 2004)
Temporary residence permit                       Temporary residence permit                     Short-term residence permit
(L permit for EC/EFTA)                           (L permit for EC/EFTA)                         (L permit)
•	 entitlement to permit, provided that em-      •	 entitlement to permit, provided that        •	 for key positions (founding a company,
   ployment in Switzerland for three months         employment can be proved, renewal after        training new staff, specialists from inter-
   to one year can be proved (employment                                                           national companies): 12 months, can be
                                                    one year for up to one year if employment
   of less than three months in one calendar                                                       renewed for 24 months
   year: registration only)                         is secure, subject to any quotas            •	 possibility to bring family
•	 possibility to bring family                   •	 annually rising quota for permits: 15,800   •	 annual quotas of 5,000 permits for train-
                                                    (2007) to 29,000 (2010)                        ees: valid for 12 – 18 months, no option
                                                 •	 priority to Swiss nationals, controls on       to bring family
                                                    salary and employment conditions
                                                 •	 possibility to bring family
 Cross-border commuter permit                    Cross-border commuter permit                   Cross-border commuter permit
 (G permit for EC/EFTA)                          (G permit for EC/EFTA)                         (G permit)
 •	 no travel restrictions                       •	 travel within all Swiss border zones        •	 valid for 12 months for border zones of
 •	 obligation to return home to main resi-      •	 priority of Swiss nationals, checks for        the canton issuing the permit, must be
    dence in EU/EFTA country every week             salary and employment conditions               renewed every year
 •	 self-employment possible                     •	 rest same as for EU-17                      •	 resident at least six months with perma-
 •	 validity based on employment contract,                                                         nent residence permit in the border zone
    with maximum of five years, after which                                                        of a country neighboring Switzerland
    renewable                                                                                   •	 weekly return to this residence
                                                                                                •	 possible to change place of work or
                                                                                                   profession with permission




54    Handbook for Investors 2010
EU/EFTA nationals                                                                               Non-EU/EFTA nationals and Bulgarian
                                                                                                and Romanian citizens

EU-17 (original EU states including Malta EU-8 (eastern European countries joined
and Cyprus)                               in 2004)
 Residence permits                                Residence permits                             Residence permits
 (B permit for EC/EFTA)                           (B permit for EC/EFTA)                        (B permit)
 •	 valid for five years, after submission of     •	 annually rising quota for permits: 1,700   •	 full-year stay in Switzerland with em-
    confirmation of employment lasting a             (2007) to 3,000 (2010)                        ployment and permanent home life and
    year or more or without time restriction      •	 switch from self-employment to employ-        residence in Switzerland
 •	 year-round purpose-related stay with             ment at a company requires permission      •	 priority of Swiss nationals, checks for
    permanent home life and residence in          •	 priority of Swiss nationals, checks on        salary and employment conditions
    Switzerland                                      salary and employment conditions           •	 possibility to bring family
 •	 possibility to bring family                   •	 possibility to bring family                •	 annual renewal of permit is a formality
 •	 entitled to take up self-employment           •	 rest same as for EU-17                     •	 annual quota of 4,000 permits
 Permanent residence permit                       Permanent residence permit                    Permanent residence permit
 (C permit for EC/EFTA)                           (C permit for EC/EFTA)                        (C permit)
 •	 basically issued after a stay of five years   •	 same as EU-17                              •	 can generally be applied for after stay of
    in Switzerland based on residence                                                              10 (US citizens: 5) consecutive years in
    agreements or equivalent rights consid-                                                        Switzerland
    erations                                                                                    •	 the holder is generally no longer subject
 •	 basically equal to Swiss nationals on                                                          to labor market restrictions
    labor market                                                                                •	 entitled to take up self-employment


6.4.2 Residence and employment of EU/EFTA citizens                       Self-employed service providers whose headquarters are based
EU/EFTA nationals are treated the same as Swiss nationals in the         in the EU or EFTA region no longer require a license for activi-
labor market as a result of the free movement of persons agree-          ties in Switzerland lasting less than 90 days per calendar year.
ment. Job seekers may remain in Switzerland for three months             They simply need to register, which can be done via the Internet.
without a permit. Citizens of the EU-17 member states already            Exceptions to this are EU-8 service providers in the fields of con-
enjoy completely free movement – citizens of the EU-8 states are         struction, landscaping, cleaning and surveillance/security, which
still subject to restrictions until the permanent transition on May      still require a license.
31, 2011 (priority of Swiss nationals, controls, quotas). These per-
mits can be extended if needed. By no later than June 1, 2014,           The introduction of the free movement of persons is being ac-
however, citizens of all 25 EU countries will enjoy unrestricted free    companied by a series of measures designed to prevent wage
movement.                                                                and social dumping, as well as by the mutual recognition of
                                                                         professional qualifications and the coordination of social insur-
Currently EU-17 nationals do not need a work permit, but they            ance issues. This simplifies recruiting employees from EU/EFTA
must still obtain a residence permit, which is issued by the can-        countries and attending and using academic institutions in these
tonal migration office upon confirmation of employment/submis-           countries, and it boosts the efficiency of the labor market and
sion of an employment contract. No permit is needed for stays of         increases the availability of highly qualified staff.
less than 90 days, but these workers are still required to register.




                                                                                                          Handbook for Investors 2010        55
                                                                           to continue working in Switzerland after completing their studies.
 Regulated professions                                                     It is ultimately in the interest of the Swiss economy that foreign-
                                                                           ers temporarily working in Switzerland be permitted to bring their
 www.bbt.admin.ch                                                          family to Switzerland, and that partners and children of holders
 Search under: Diploma recognition                                         of a long-term residence permit have the right to be employed or
 Languages: German, English, French, Italian                               self-employed in Switzerland.

                                                                           Key regulations:
                                                                           •	 B residence permit: generally valid for one year. Option to
 Swiss/EU relations                                                           change jobs and cantons with permission, source tax, quotas
                                                                              (certain exceptions: e.g. spouses of Swiss citizens have the
 www.europa.admin.ch                                                          same rights as Swiss citizens).
 Languages: German, English, French, Italian                               •	 C residence permit: same rights as Swiss nationals in labor
                                                                              market, no source tax.
                                                                           •	 Cross-border commuter permit: possible to change jobs with
                                                                              permission, not possible to change cantons, source tax.
 Social insurance                                                          •	 L short stay residence permit: not possible to change jobs or
                                                                              cantons, source tax.
 www.bsv.admin.ch                                                          •	 Intern permit: maximum of 18 months, only for training young
 Languages: German, English, French, Italian                                  professionals.
                                                                           •	 Asylum seekers: Work permit one month following submission
                                                                              of application for asylum. Possible to change jobs with permit,
6.4.3 Residence and employment of non-EU/EFTA citizens                        not possible to change cantons. Source tax, 10 % of salary is
Citizens from countries outside the EU-15/EFTA and from the                   retained as security.
two most recent EU member countries, Bulgaria and Romania,                 •	 Transfer of managerial staff: Essential management staff may
require a work and a residence permit in any case. They are                   reside in Switzerland for three years in accordance with the
still subject to the existing admissions regulations (priority for            General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The permit
nationals, control of wages, quotas), but they have been granted              can be prolonged for one year.
significantly more mobility in the interest of labor market flexibility.
Holders of a long-term residence permit are free to change jobs            The employer is responsible for checks and due diligence, as well
and place of employment, and to be self-employed anywhere in               as for ensuring that a foreign employee has permission to as-
the country without requiring special authorization. In important          sume the position. In order to obtain an entry visa, the employer
cases, holders of a short-term residence permit may also work for          must prove that it was not possible to find a suitable candidate in
an employer in another canton.                                             Switzerland and that the training of a suitable employee within a
                                                                           reasonable period was not possible.
Priority is given to highly qualified and specialized professionals,
as well as to entrepreneurs and executives, recognized scien-
tists and key persons involved in cultural events, employees of             Employment of non-EU/EFTA citizens
internationally active corporations and people with international
business relations. This approach aims to promote economic,                 www.bfm.admin.ch
scientific and cultural exchanges and to support the transfer               Search under: Topics/Labour/Work permits
of decision-makers and specialists of international companies.              Languages: German, English, French, Italian
Qualified scientists should, in particular, be given the opportunity




56    Handbook for Investors 2010
                                                                                www.swissemigration.ch provides a guide for foreign trainees and
 Social insurance for foreign nationals                                         potential employers, addresses, a standard employment contract
                                                                                and application forms.
 www.bsv.admin.ch
 Link: Topics/Overview/Advice/FAQ
 Languages: German, English, French, Italian, Portuguese,                        Guide
 Russian, Chinese, Japanese
                                                                                 www.swissemigration.ch
                                                                                 Search under: Trainee exchange
6.4.4 Trainees/interns                                                           Languages: German, English, French, Italian
Switzerland has negotiated agreements with numerous countries
on the exchange of trainees/interns. These trainee agreements
make it easier to obtain residence and work permits of limited du-
ration. Trainees from countries which have no special agreement                 6.5 Naturalization.
with Switzerland must follow the normal application procedure for
work and residence permits.                                                     The naturalization process consists of three levels. It is possible
                                                                                to apply for Swiss citizenship in your municipality or canton, each
Trainees/interns are defined as people between the ages of                      of which has its own requirements for naturalization in addition to
18 and 30 who have completed their vocational training of at                    those imposed by the federal government (see below).
least two years. The age limit is 35 (exceptions: Australia, New
Zealand, Poland, Russia and Hungary: 30 years). The job must                    The following requirements must be met to become a naturalized
be in the profession that was studied and may last no more than                 Swiss:
18 months. Canadian students who would like to complete their                   •	 Resident for 12 years in Switzerland (years of residency between
education with an internship are also admitted. There are special                  ages 10 and 20 count double)
quotas for trainees, and national legislation giving priority to                •	 Integration into Swiss life
Swiss nationals does not apply. There is no provision for trainees              •	 Familiarity with the Swiss lifestyle, customs and traditions
to bring their families with them.                                              •	 Observance of Swiss laws
                                                                                •	 No threat to the domestic or international security of Switzerland
Fig. 23: Countries with which Switzerland has a trainee agreement
                                                                                Foreign spouses of Swiss citizens (simplified naturalization after
 Argentina           Czech Rep.          Philippines         Slovakia
                                                                                five whole years of residence in Switzerland and after three years
 Australia           Hungary             Poland              South Africa
                                                                                of marriage) and children of Swiss parents who are not yet Swiss
 Bulgaria            Monaco              Romania             Ukraine
                                                                                citizens benefit from simplified naturalization.
 Canada              New Zealand         Russia              US
Source: Foreign trainees in Switzerland: guide for foreign trainees and Swiss
        employers, www.swissemigration.ch
                                                                                 Information on naturalization

As a result of the bilateral agreements between Switzerland and                  www.ch.ch
the EU on the free movement of persons, nationals of the 15 origi-               Languages: German, English, French, Italian
nal EU countries and Norway no longer need official work permits.
Verification has been replaced by mandatory registration – anyone
residing in Switzerland for more than four months in order to work
must be officially registered with the cantonal labor market office.
Owing to this improved legal status, the trainee agreements with
these countries have been suspended.



                                                                                                                 Handbook for Investors 2010      57

				
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