IMPACT – HIGH

What is the change? L and B quotas for EU/EFTA nationals have been exhausted for 2017.

What does the change mean? Employers seeking to place new EU/EFTA assignees in Switzerland while remaining on foreign employment contracts will need to wait until Jan. 1 for new quotas to be available. The exhaustion of the L and B quotas does not affect 120-day permits or four-month short-term permits.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: L and B permits.
  • Who is affected: Companies seeking L or B permits for new EU/EFTA national assignees.
  • Business impact: Start dates may be delayed for new assignees affected by the exhaustion of quotas.
  • Next steps: Depending on the canton, employers may be able to allow assignees to start work before January.

Background: The following procedures apply for individual cantons when quotas are exhausted.

  • Aargau, Basel, Bern, Geneva, Zug – Authorities will issue a preliminary decision that allows assignees to start work. The quota will be issued on Jan. 1.
  • Neuchatel, Zurich – Authorities will grant permit approval for one month or two months during the interim until the new quotas are available (This only applies if the applicant has not already used four months in the past 12 months).
  • Ticino – Authorities will not issue any preliminary or temporary approvals. Employers must wait until Jan. 1 to apply for any quota-restricted permits.
  • Vaud Online registration may be used as a temporary solution until Jan. 1 if the applicant still has registration days left.

BAL Analysis: Demand for Swiss permits for EU/EFTA assignees continues to outpace quotas.