Swiss Residence


Relocating to Switzerland has become a popular choice among expats from different countries around the globe. After all, Switzerland offers lots of opportunities, a high living standard and most important of all safety. There are different types of Swiss Residence Permits, which are given to individuals based on their citizenship (EU/EFTA or Non EU/EFTA), purpose of residence and number of years they have lived in Switzerland. Below we would like to summarise the conditions which are required for the different types of Swiss Residence Permits:

  • The B Permit, also called Swiss residence permitis issued for an initial period of five years to EU/EFTA citizens. An employment contract with a company in Switzerland (valid for at least one year) or proof of financial independence is necessary in order to obtain this residence permit. Non EU/EFTAT, as a rule, can obtain this permit for not longer than one year the first time it is given. Normally, a B permit is renewed from one year to the next. There are a limited number of these permits, which are subject to quotas. Important to note: the citizen holding a B permit can only reside in the canton that issued the permit.


  • The C Permit, also called Swiss settlement permitgrants foreign nationals the right of settlement. Most EU/EFTA citizens can become permanent residents after a continuous period of five years spent in Switzerland. (However, this does not apply to people from Cyprus, Malta, and the Eastern European EU member states.) Citizens of Non EU/EFTA countries need to have lived in Switzerland for ten uninterrupted years in order to qualify for a C Permit. Once a foreigner has acquired the right to settle in Switzerland, he/she is no longer tied to the conditions imposed by their work permit regarding their choice of employer. This is the final step before being eligible to apply for a Swiss passport.


  • The Ci Permit, also called Swiss residence permit with gainful employment applies only to members of the families of intergovernmental organisations and for members of foreign representations. This concerns the spouses and children up to 25 years of age. The validity of this permit is limited to the duration of the main holder’s function.


  • The G Permit, also called Swiss cross-border commuter permit, is intended  for foreign nationals who are resident in a foreign border zone and are gainfully employed within the neighbouring border zone of Switzerland.  Often, this type of permit is granted cross-border workers who commute to Switzerland on a daily or weekly basis for work. Holders of a G permit are required by law to return to their country of residence at least once a week. G Permits are valid for the duration of the employment contract, but no longer than five years. Non EU/EFTA citizens will only be granted a G permit, if they have already hold a permanent residence permit in a neighboring country. They also need to have had their residence in the neighboring country’s border zone for at least six months and fulfill the labor market requirements. What is also important to note is that Non EU/EFTA border commuters require permission to change jobs or occupations.


  • The L Permit, also called Swiss short-term residence permit is for foreigners who are planning to stay in Switzerland for a period of more than three months but less than a year. In exceptional cases, an L permit may be granted for up to 24 months if the holder works for the same employer. As a work contract is no eligibility requirement, this permit is often used by those EU/EFTA citizens who come to Switzerland in order to look for work.


  • The F Permit, also called Swiss permit for provisionally admitted foreign nationals, is intended for persons who have been ordered to return from Switzerland to their native countries but in whose cases the enforcement of this order has proved inadmissible (violation of international law), unreasonable (concrete endangerment of the foreign national) or impossible (for technical reasons of enforcement).


  • The N Permit, also called Swiss permit for asylum seekers, is intended for persons who have applied for asylum in Switzerland and whose application is being processed.


  • The S Permit, also called Swiss permit for individuals in need of protection, is intended to those staying in Switzerland provisionally. Individuals holding a S permit cannot cross the border and return to Switzerland. The duration of this permits validity does not entail any right of residence.


The Swiss State Secretary of Migration (SEM) has complete and detailed overview of all requirements under the following link:

By |2016-12-05T23:28:13+00:00December 5th, 2016|Blog|Comments Off on Swiss Residence