EU/EFTA citizens in Switzerland

Federal Council invokes safeguard clause for EU-171 and EU-82 states

The Federal Council decided to invoke the safeguard clause contained in the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons. After 1 May 2013, the quota for B-permits (5-year residence permits) will be kept in place for nationals of the EU-8 states and as of 1 of June 2013, quotas will be applied to B-permits for workers from EU-17 states as well. Quotas will apply for one year.

Affected by the quotas are persons with an employment contract valid for one or more than one year or indefinitely wishing to take up employment in Switzerland and therefore applying for a type B residence permit for gainfully employed persons. The same applies to the self-employed persons.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions FAQ – Frequently asked questions
Rundschreiben vom 29. April 2013 (EU-8) Rundschreiben vom 29. April 2013 (EU-8) (this document is not available in English)
Rundschreiben vom 22. Mai 2013 (EU-17) Rundschreiben vom 22. Mai 2013 (EU-17) (this document is not available in English)

1) The EU-17 comprises the western and southern European countries Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Sweden, Spain, and the United Kingdom

2) The EU-8 comprises Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.


The introduction of the free movement of persons takes place gradually. Nationals of the founding EU member states (EU-17, including Malta and Cyprus), those of the EU-8 member states that joined the EU in 2004, and those of EFTA states enjoy unrestricted free movement rights. Transitional measures and therefore specific regulations are still applicable for Bulgaria and Romania (EU-2). The following document provides ample information on the current regulations.


Go to the right hand side of this page for information on the various residence categories and points to consider if you are planning to move to Switzerland or click your country link:

EU-17/EFTA EU-17/EFTA  EU-8 EU-8EU-2 EU-2
Austria AustriaBelgium BelgiumBulgaria Bulgaria
Cyprus CyprusCzech Republic Czech Republic  Denmark Denmark
Estonia EstoniaFinland FinlandFrance France
Germany GermanyGreece GreeceHungary Hungary
Iceland IcelandIreland IrelandItaly Italy
Latvia LatviaLiechtenstein Liechtenstein  Lithuania Lithuania
Luxemburg Luxemburg  Malta MaltaNetherlands Netherlands
Norway NorwayPoland PolandPortugal Portugal
Romania RomaniaSlovakia SlovakiaSlovenia Slovenia
Spain SpainSweden SwedenUnited Kingdom United Kingdom  


The cantons are competent for issuing permits. For detailed information on the application procedure (where to apply, which form to fill out, how long it will take, etc.), please contact the competent cantonal authorities: