Switzerland Work Visa – Eligibility, Application and Permit Types

Landing a job in Switzerland is a dream come true for many people. For one, it would mean a chance to live and work in the beautiful alpine country. With a Swiss Work Visa, you can go to Switzerland and work. But it would help if you had a Residence Permit to achieve this feat.

But even before you think about getting a Work Visa for Switzerland, there are things to consider. First, are you eligible for a Switzerland Work Visa? To be eligible, you have to fulfill specific requirements. Also, you have to learn the Visa Application Process. In addition, it would be good to know the benefits of working in Switzerland.

What Are The Benefits of Working In Switzerland?

Being a European country, Switzerland has a lot of benefits to offer. Let’s look at some of them.

1. With a Swiss Work Visa, you can enjoy full Schengen travel rights because Switzerland is a Schengen Area.

2. The standard of living in Switzerland is high. With a Work Visa, you can access exceptional health services, a sound education system, and other work opportunities.

3. Switzerland’s rural-urban combination gives you a good work-life balance. Even in one of the cities like Zurich, Geneva, or Bern, Swiss villages like Zermatt, Grindewald, and Adelboden are close.

4. Furthermore, Switzerland ranks as one of the world’s wealthiest countries. With a Work Visa, you can be a part of the workforce that enriches this country.

5. Because Switzerland is a multilingual society, its workforce comprises people from different countries. The country is bordered by nations like Italy, Germany, Spain, and France. This is probably why German, French, Italian, English, and Spanish are some of the widely spoken languages in the country. Therefore, it would be interesting to work with citizens of different nations. Not only would the language rub off on you, but the culture as well.

With a Swiss Work Visa, these benefits and more will be available.

What is A Swiss Work Visa?

A Swiss Work Visa is a Switzerland National or Long-Stay Visa that enables the holder to live and work in the country for the duration of the visa.

Anyone who wants to work in Switzerland must have a Work Visa, notwithstanding your Nationality. However, there are different requirements for EU/EFTA citizens than for non-EU/EFTA citizens.

Are You Eligible to Get a Swiss Work Visa?

Suppose you are not a citizen of an EU or EFTA country. In that case, you are eligible to apply for and get a Switzerland Work Visa. However, it would be best if you met the following conditions.

a. You must have a university degree

b. You must be skilled in a specific area and have many years of work experience.

c. You must already have a job offer from a Swiss firm

d. Your employer must prove that no EU or EFTA citizen is suitable for the job.

e. The specific job you are coming for must be in the annual quota which the country allocates for Work Visas.

How to Apply For A Swiss Work Visa

If you meet the conditions above, it’s time to apply for a Switzerland Work Visa.

1. Find a Job in Switzerland.

Before anything, the first step is to get a job. But this is not as hard as it sounds. You have different sources through which you can get a job in Switzerland.

1a. You may get a job offer from someone looking for a set of skills you have.

1b. You can go through a recruitment agency. International and Local Recruitment Agencies can help you get a job in Switzerland for a fee. So, all you need to do is indicate your skills and area of expertise. Also, they can even prepare you for job interviews and give you valuable ideas about how to land the job you desire.

1c. Furthermore, you can check online for job listings. Sometimes, big companies advertise for positions online, and if you’re lucky, you can get a job that way.

2. Download and Fill Out A Swiss Work Visa Application Form

Now that you have a job offer go ahead and apply for a Swiss Work Visa. Download the Application Form from the government website, and fill it out. Please note that documents are to be submitted in a set of three. Because of this, you will download and fill out three copies of the Visa Application Form. If the language is not GermanFrench, or English, it should be Italian or Spanish.

If you are unable to download the application form online, you can get it at the visa office you’ll be applying.

3. Gather Your Documents

You will submit 

3a. Three completed National Visa Application Forms. Don’t forget to sign and date the application.

3b. A valid passport with two blank pages is not more than ten years old. The passport must remain valid for at least three months after you’ve left Switzerland.

3c. Three copies of some important pages of your passport, like the last page, the issue and expiry dates, and copies of previous visas, if any.

3d. Four recent and passport-size pictures of you. They must show your face clearly, occupying about 80% of the space.

3e. Three copies of your job contract. That is, the original and two copies.

3f. Your certificates or diplomas showing your qualifications

3g. Your CV

4. Make an Appointment.

In your country, you will appear in person at the Swiss embassy or its representative. This is where you will submit your application and pay your visa fees. You will also submit the other documents mentioned above. Remember that the visa fee you will pay is non-refundable, no matter the outcome of your application.

When Can you Apply For Your Permit to Work in Switzerland?

Please note that a Residence Permit is what you need, as there is no separate permit that allows you to work in Switzerland.

Your employer will apply for a Residence Permit once you have a job. The Residence Permit will enable you to work in Switzerland.

Your employer has to prove that there is no EU or EFTA citizen suited for the job you have been given. Once he does this successfully, he can apply at the local canton in charge of the area where you will work.

The local cantonal authorities will assess your application and advise the Federal Office for Migration (FOM).

FOM’s approval will be based on your language, skills, age, and adaptability.

If FOM approves, your employer, as well as the cantonal office, will be informed. The cantonal office will, in turn, inform the Swiss embassy.

The Swiss embassy or its representative in your country will give you a Swiss National Work Visa. Congratulations!

Once you get to Switzerland, your days will start counting, and you will have fourteen days during which you must register at the Residents’ Registry Office through the local cantonal migration offices.

In little or no time, you will receive your Swiss Residence Permit, with which you will be able to live and work in Switzerland.

Types of Residence Permits

There are three types of Residence Permits that you can get with a Swiss Work Visa:

1. Permit L

This is a short-term Residence Permit. With a Permit L, you cannot stay longer than 24 months in Switzerland. With this type of permit, you can only work for one employer.

2. Permit B

Although this permit is also a temporary one, it can be renewed annually. It is called an Initial Residence Permit because even though you can only work for one employer, you can work with a B permit for ten years, after which you qualify to get a Permanent Residence Permit.

3. Permit C

This is a Permanent Residence Permit. To qualify, you must live in Switzerland for ten years. This permit allows you to work for more than one employer and change jobs as often as you like. Another good thing about this permit is that with it, you can become self-employed if you wish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a Swiss Work Visa Without A Job?

No, you cannot get a Swiss Work Visa without a job. This is because getting a job is a prerequisite for a Swiss Work Visa.

How can I get a job in Switzerland?

You can get a job in Switzerland by employing the services of a local or international recruitment agency. Also, you can search online for jobs.

When should I apply for a Swiss Work Permit?

Switzerland does not grant work permits; rather, it grants residence permits. And depending on the duration of your permit, you can live and work in Switzerland for a long time.

Can I get a Swiss Work Visa?

Yes, you can, with conditions firstly, if you have a job offer from an employer in Switzerland. Secondly, if your employer can prove that you have the set of skills required for the job, which no EU or EFTA citizen has. Thirdly, if you can get a slot in the quota allocated to foreign nationals by the Swiss government annually.

How much is the Visa Application Fee for a Swiss Work Visa?

Generally, a Swiss Work Visa Application Fee is about €80, depending on your Nationality.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a Swiss Work Visa opens the window of opportunity for a better life and a higher standard of living in Switzerland. It takes as little as fifteen working days to make this happen, but first, you must get the necessary documents. You can also read Switzerland Visa Requirements – Application and Documentation.

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