UK nationals coming to Switzerland to work from 1 January 2021

Following the UK’s exit from the EU on 31 January 2020 and the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) between Switzerland and the EU no longer applies with the United Kingdom.

Admission requirements

UK nationals coming to Switzerland to work from 1 January 2021 are subject to the admission requirements in the Foreign Nationals and Integration Act (FNIA). This means that from 1 January 2021 only essential managers and specialists from the UK will be admitted to work here provided this is in Switzerland’s overall economic interest. Persons with specialist professional knowledge or skills may be admitted if it can be shown that these skills are required. Swiss residents and EU/EFTA nationals are given preference, and the wage and work conditions standard for the location, profession or sector must be observed.

An overview of the admission requirements for non-EU/EFTA nationals under the FNIA can be found here:
Admission requirements

Your employer must apply to the local cantonal immigration or labour market authority for a work permit. Contact details can be found here:
Cantonal immigration and labour market authorities.

Cross-border service provision up to 90 days per calendar year

Based on the temporary Services Mobility Agreement between Switzerland and the UK (press release EAER), persons from the UK supplying cross-border services in Switzerland for up to 90 working days per calendar year (short-term work) can do so using the online notification procedure. This applies to workers posted by a company based in the UK regardless of their nationality, and to self-employed service providers based in the UK with UK nationality.

Third-country nationals posted to Switzerland to provide cross-border services can only use the notification procedure if they were already permanently active in the regular labour market in the UK before being posted to Switzerland, i.e. at least 12 months (with a temporary or permanent residence permit).

The notification procedure and further information can be found here:
Notification procedure

Separate temporary quotas

On 25 November 2020 the Federal Council, set the temporary 2021 quota for UK nationals coming to Switzerland as employees or service providers for over four months at 3,500: 2,100 residence permits and 1,400 short-stay permits. The separate quotas are released quarterly and are handled by the cantons.

Information for third-country nationals on coming to work in Switzerland can be found here: 
Non-EU/EFTA nationals

Information for UK nationals who have acquired rights under the AFMP can be found under:
UK nationals with acquired rights

Last modification 27.04.2021

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