• Work and Residence Permit Quota Extended for Bulgarian and Romanian Nationals
  • May 14, 2018
  • The situation

    The Federal Council has extended the yearly quota of 966 spots for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals applying for Category B EU/European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Work and Residence Permits until the end of May 2019. The quota was implemented June 1, 2017.
    A closer look
    Bulgarian and Romanian nationals applying for a Category B EU/EFTA Work and Residence Permit can only apply if there is an open quota spot. To determine this, the Swiss employer must file a quota application and await approval prior to filing for the work permit. The Swiss government can take up to six weeks to process a quota application.
    Background
    An annual quota of 966 spots is released on a quarterly basis and applies to the following Bulgarian and Romanian nationals seeking B-Permits:

    • Those with a Swiss employment contract of unlimited duration or validity of more than one year; or

    • Self-employed persons intending to work and reside in Switzerland.
    Impact
    Bulgarian and Romanian nationals will again be subject to a quota until the end of May 2019 and should initiate their applications for B-Permits as early as possible to increase their chances of having an available position within the quota restrictions.
    If the quota is reached, immigration officials may reject B-Permit applications, in which case the worker can either leave Switzerland or instead apply for an L-Permit. Some Cantons may decide to automatically issue L-Permits once the quota has been reached.
    Looking ahead
    Starting June 2019, Bulgarian and Romanian nationals will no longer face a quota when seeking entry into Switzerland.