IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The quotas for L and B permits for EU/EFTA nationals on assignment in Switzerland have been reached for the third quarter of 2017.

What does the change mean? Employers must wait until Oct. 1 to apply for new work permits for EU/EFTA assignees. Each canton has its own procedures when quarterly quotas are exhausted. Extensions of L permits are not subject to quotas, and 120-day permits and four-month short-term permits are also unaffected by the exhaustion of quotas.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: L permits and B permits.
  • Who is affected: Employers and EU/EFTA nationals applying for new L and B permits.
  • Business impact: Companies may need to adjust their business schedules and employee start dates.
  • Next steps: Employers should work with their BAL representative to discuss options for EU/EFTA assignees that require L permits.

Background: The annual quota for B permits for EU/EFTA assignees is 250, and for L permits for EU/EFTA assignees is 2,000, allocated 500 per quarter. The third quarter allocation has been exhausted. Each canton implements its own procedures in response to the quarterly exhaustion of quotas:

Zurich. Authorities will grant interim one-month L permits (if the applicant has not already used four months in the past 12 months). The permits can typically be extended through the end of September. New applications requesting to change the temporary permit into an L permit must be submitted at the end of September.

Basel. Authorities will make provisional decisions on L-permit applications allowing assignees to start work. The quota will be issued Oct. 1.

Bern. There is currently no policy on quota exhaustion and the canton is unlikely to accept pending applications for quota-based permits for starting dates earlier than Oct. 1.

Geneva. Authorities will make provisional decisions on L-permit applications allowing assignees to start work. The quota will be issued Oct. 1.

Ticino. Authorities will not issue preliminary or temporary approvals. L permit applications can only be submitted for assignments starting Oct. 1 or later.

Vaud. Applicants are referred to the online registration process which can be used as a temporary solution until Oct. 1 (if the applicant still has registration days left).