Asylum seekers (N-permit)


Asylum-seekers (permit N) are persons who have applied for asylum in Switzerland and whose application is being processed. During the asylum proceeding, they are basically entitled to be resident in Switzerland. Under certain circumstances, they can be permitted to pursue gainful employment as an employee subject to Art. 43 Asylum Act.


During the first three months after their application asylum-seekers are not allowed to work. This prohibition can be extented for another three months if the application was rejected during the first three months. After that 6 month waiting period asylum seekers are allowed to work under the following conditions:

  • Residence in the Canton of Zürich
  • the situation on the labour market allows an employment
  • an application by the employer has been handed in
  • priority for nationals
  • the salary and terms of employment are in accordance with those customary in the region and sector.

Provisions and statutory requirements

Asylum seekers may only work in the following sectors:
Agriculture, market gardening, horticultural and landscape gardening, forestry, woodmills

  • Building industry
  • Hospitals, homes, institutes (nursing and maintenance)
  • Food and drink manufacturing
  • Hotels and catering, canteens
  • Laundries, dry cleaners, sewing and mending workshops
  • Waste disposal (waste recycling)
  • Engros-Markt Zurich

Taking up and changing employment and part-time employment are all subject to permit regulations. When combined, the total hours of all part-time jobs notified may not exceed that for one full-time job.

If an application for asylum is rejected, permission to work is withdrawn on expiration of the deadline to leave the country. The Migration Office is authorised to decide on specific cases.

Application documents

Application can be made with the electronic form. If you have not yet registered, please request a password by selecting “New registration”. If you wish to apply on paper using the form use the Application to take up/change employment.

Further documents

  • Copy of Permit N
  • Copy of the employment contract
  • Confirmation that the RAV was notified about the vacancy in the case of initial employment + explanation why nobody from the Swiss labour market can be employed