Different quotas exist depending on the nationality of the foreign citizens to be employed and the type of work.

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Overview of quota systems  

Overview Quota systems for foreign labour 2022
Overview Quotas systems for foreign labour Image source: AWA
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Third-country nationals

Issuance of a maximum of 4,500 residence permits and 4,000 short-term residence permits for third-country nationals is foreseen for 2021. These permits will be distributed at federal and cantonal level according to economic and labour market needs.

Allocation of supplementary quotas by the federal government is possible for special needs.  

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Citizens of EU/EFTA member states who enter an employment relationship with an employer in Switzerland benefit fully from the free movement of persons. However, they require a quota as soon as they are posted to Switzerland by an EU/EFTA based company for more than ninety days.

For the latter cases, the envisaged maximum quotas for 2021 amount to 500 for residence permits and 3,000 for short-term residence permits. The quotas are released quarterly.


United Kingdom (UK)

Following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons between Switzerland and the EU will no longer apply to the UK from 1st January 2021. To enable companies based in Switzerland to recruit specialists from the UK in 2021, the Federal Council, on 25th November 2020, decided to set maximum quotas valid for one year for gainfully working UK citizens.

The maximum quotas (Switzerland-wide) for 2022 are: 2,100 residence permits (B) and 1,400 short-term residence permits (L).

For the time being, these maximum quotas for the United Kingdom (UK) are valid for one year and will be released to the cantons quarterly.  


Amt für Wirtschaft und Arbeit – Abteilung Arbeitsbewilligungen


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