Johann Schneider-Ammann, Switzerland’s Economics Minister, who is also the President of the Swiss Confederation for 2016, said that the number of work permits for skilled workers from non-EU countries should be increased to 8,500 per year from the present cap of 6,500.
Schneider-Ammann stated this while speaking on SRF (Swiss public radio) in the last week of September. If implemented, it would return to the 2014 levels. He was quoted by swissinfo.ch as saying that increase was to attract talented professionals, who would create four to six new jobs in the central European country.
Swiss companies are allowed to hire up to 6,500 professionals from outside the EU. Out of this, 2,500 are temporary residence permits, or B permits, while 4,000 are short-term permits, or L permits, for up to a year.
As on 13 September, it was confirmed by the Swiss government that the federal quota for the B permit was reached. In other words, Swiss cantons such as Zurich, Geneva, Basel City, which depend highly on overseas workers, have already exhausted their annual ceilings of B permits for non-EU workers.
Remaining 493 B permits can be distributed among other cantons. Switzerland has been under pressure to implement a 2014 referendum to keep immigration levels in check and to reduce pressure on the job market from workers from abroad.
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