The Swiss Federal Council announced on 22 November that it would raise the number of work permits to non-EU workers in 2018.
The Local quotes News agency ATS as saying that this would translate into 8,000 permits in 2018 for non-EU workers, comprising 4,500 L permits and 3,500 B permits, which is an increase of 500 compared to 2017.
Unlike EU nationals who arrive in the Alpine country with the right to work there as per a bilateral agreement which grants them unrestricted movement, permits granted to workers from non-EU countries are restricted.
Although the number of permits was increased in 2017, it is still lesser than those issued in 2014, as the Swiss federal government, following the 2014 anti-immigration vote, reduced the quota of permits by a quarter for those from outside the Continent for the years 2015 and 2016.
The cantons of Basel-City, Geneva and Zurich, in a joint letter in August to the government, said since they had exhausted their ceiling of permits by the end of the first trimester of 2017, they urged the number to be increased.
The letter was quoted as saying that the low ceiling number was causing anxiety among the business houses and authorities, which does not augur well for their economic development.
The letter added that even as local Swiss and EU workers constitute a major part of the country’s workforce, businesses must be in a position to hire workers from third states (non-EU nations), especially specialists in R & D, otherwise they could face a growth in risk of projects being relocated elsewhere or companies may decide against coming to Switzerland.
As of now, Switzerland is home to 2.1 million foreign nationals, about 25 percent of the population of the Central European country.
If you are looking to work in Switzerland, get in touch with Y-Axis, a prominent consultancy for immigration services, to apply for a visa.