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Switzerland - New Card Format for Residence Permits

Effective immediately, residence permits issued to European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Area (EFTA) citizens (L, B and C permits) will have a new credit card-like format, including a biometric photograph and signature (no fingerprints), replacing the old paper permits. A card in this new format will also be provided to third country nationals in possession of a border crossers permit (Category G) or working spouses and children of members of foreign representations and international organizations (Category Ci).

The new residence permits will be rolled out by canton from now until July 2021 starting with the cantons of Geneva, Schwyz, St. Gallen, and Thurgau. The implementation plan is subject to change. Current paper permits are valid until their expiration date.

On November 27, 2019 the Swiss government has published the following permit quota numbers for 2020:


Work permit quotas for assignees from EU/EFTA: L permits: 3,000 B permits: 500

Work permit quotas for non-EU/EFTA nationals : L permits : 4,000 B permits : 4,500


These numbers are the same as they were for 2019, thus the current level of granted quota is deemed to be an adequate response to the economy’s requirement for specialists.


The Swiss Council has decided on separate quotas for UK nationals who move to Switzerland based on employment:


Work permit quota for UK nationals based on employment in the event of a no-deal Brexit: L permits: 1,400 B permits: 2,100


If the UK will leave the EU with a negotiated withdrawal agreement, the free movement agreement will continue to apply during the agreed transitional period between Switzerland and the UK.


source : Seyfarth Global Immigration Update: December 2019


Many countries, including Switzerland, have implemented severe « local national priorities » and work permit procedures are becoming more protracted than ever. The GR Mobility Relocation Group hosts an in-house center of expertise in immigration, handling short and long-term permits for multinational companies, international organisations (including legitimation cards) and private customers.


Francis Docherty — Board Member of SARA GR Mobility Group — Chief Commercial Officer Geneva | Lausanne | Zürich | Switzerland ✉️ : francis.docherty@grmobility.com ☎️ : +41 (0) 799 375 964

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