The Federal Council recently announced that the total number of work permits submitted to quotas for 2016 will remain at 8,750 – the same number as in 2015.

In order to stay innovative and internationally competitive, the Swiss economy is dependent on qualified specialists. The Federal Council therefore confirmed the dual system for the admission of foreign workers. In addition to the employment of EU and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) nationals based on the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons, the Federal Council allows the employment of specialists from non-EU/EFTA states.

Non-EU/EFTA nationals

In order to provide the Swiss economy with the requisite amount of permits in 2016, the Federal Council has decided to allocate 6,500 permits (4,000 L-permits and 2,500 B-permits) for highly qualified non-EU/EFTA nationals (the same split as in 2015).

Service providers from EU/EFTA states

As in 2015, the Federal Council is reserving 2,000 L-permit quotas and 250 B-permit quotas for service providers of EU/EFTA member countries. In order to be eligible for these special permits, a worker must seek to provide services in Switzerland for more than 90 days and 120 days respectively in a calendar year and remain on the payroll of an employer based abroad.

For further information on this topic please contact Ara Samuelian or Adrian Howald at Suter Howald Attorneys at Law by telephone (+41 44 630 4811) or email ( or The Suter Howald Attorneys at Law website can be accessed at

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