|March 11, 2014|
Previously published on March 5, 2014
A new streamlined procedure for third-country nationals’ residence permits is expected to reduce processing times, though it is not yet known by how much. Renewal applicants may bypass the current town hall submission and file directly with the Federal Foreigners’ Office (FFO). Third-party providers can submit applications on behalf of foreign nationals.
Third-country nationals can still opt to file applications in person with their local town hall, which will send the application to the FFO. Under the existing and new procedures, renewal applicants must appear at their local town hall to pick up the residence permit.
In a related change, residence permits can now be renewed for a validity of three months beyond the work permit expiry date, longer than the current validity of one month past the work permit expiry. The residence permit for first-time applicants, however, will likely be tied to the visa under which they entered and valid for only one month longer than the work permit.
What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals
Employers and third-country nationals will benefit from shorter processing times and fewer renewal filings if they use the new procedure. As the procedure has been recently implemented, its impact on renewal processing times is not yet known.