06 Feb 2023


Relaxed Work Permit Requirements for Certain Non-EU/EFTA Nationals 

The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) has implemented various changes to the work permit requirements for the hiring of certain categories of non-EU/EFTA nationals. Starting in February 2023, in professional categories that are deemed by the Cantonal authorities to be affected by a pronounced structural shortage of skilled workers (e.g., Managers, Engineers, ICT [Intra Company Transfer] specialists), the authorities may refrain from demanding specific search efforts of the local labor market. Additionally, in professions with a pronounced shortage of skilled workers, permits may also be granted for positions that do not necessarily require a university degree (non-academic professions).

The following occupational fields may fall under this category (i.e., may no longer require a labor market test as part of the work permit application process):  

  • Managers (executive positions) in information and communication technology, management consulting, the finance and insurance industry, the 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; 
  • Health care professions including medical specialists, medical residents, specialized nursing personnel (e.g., surgical nursing, acute and emergency care), and radiology assistants; and  
  • University teachers.  

Additionally, permits may be granted for positions that do not necessarily require a university degree (non-academic professions), e.g., in the skilled trades, field of nursing specialties, or if the professional experience required as a rule after a completed course of study is still lacking. Prior to this change, to sponsor an individual for a work permit, the prerequisite was typically either at least a vocational training qualification or several (i.e., five years) years of professional experience or a completed higher education degree. 

The following occupational fields may now fall under this category of relaxed professional qualifications:  

  • Health care professions including specialized nursing personnel (e.g., surgical nursing, acute and emergency nursing) and radiology assistants; and 
  • Technical and specialized occupations in the field of information and communications technology (e.g., specialized database and networking professionals and computer network and systems technicians). 

Further, for non-EU/EFTA nationals residing in Switzerland on an approved B permit, a change in status to self-employment will still require approval from the authorities. However, new instructions provide for greater flexibility and generosity with this review. This change will assist with facilitating professional mobility for those already residing and working locally in Switzerland. 

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The content above is provided for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. Use of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. 

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Alan Tafapolsky


Robin Paulino


J. Anthony Smith


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