• Work Permit Quotas Set for 2017
  • October 17, 2016
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The Swiss Federal Council has announced that quotas for B- and L-Permit for foreign nationals from non-EU/European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries will increase by 1,000 units in 2017: 500 extra units for B-Permits and 500 extra units for L-Permits. Quotas for EU/EFTA nationals on assignment will remain unchanged from 2016. The quotas for Croatian nationals will also remain unchanged.

    The quota numbers for non-EU/EFTA nationals and Croatian nationals will be released in January 2017 and will be available until December 31, 2017.

    The extra 1,000 units will be released based on the need and request of the cantons.

    Quota Summaries

    The quotas for nationals from non-EU/EFTA countries will be:
    • For B-Permits, a cap of 3,000.
    • For L-Permits, a cap of 4,500.
    The quotas for EU/EFTA nationals on assignment will be:
    • For B-Permit, a cap of 250.
    • For L-Permits, a cap of 2,000.
    The quotas for Croatian nationals will be:
    • For B-permits, a cap of 50.
    • For L-permits, a cap of 450.
    Background

    B-Permits are for stays over one year, and L-permits are for initial stays between four months and one year. Quotas apply to first-time applicants and those converting an L-Permit into a B-Permit only. Applicants renewing their work permits are not subject to the quotas.

    Quota Exhaustion Expectations

    Even with the extra 1,000 units, the quota for non-EU/EFTA nationals might be exhausted during the fourth quarter, and the quotas for Croatian nationals will likely not be exhausted before the end of 2017.

    Quotas for EU/EFTA nationals on assignment will be released on a quarterly basis starting January 1, 2017 and will likely be exhausted within one and half months of each release.

    In 2016, 75% of these quotas were exhausted by the end of August.

    What This Means For Foreign Nationals

    Foreign nationals should submit work permit applications for work planned in 2017 as soon as possible to avoid rejections due to the quota.