May 7, 2015

Swiss Relocation: Annual Migrant Quotas Reduced

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Swiss Relocation: Annual Migrant Quotas Reduced

To support relocating assignees moving into Switzerland, Cartus closely monitors all aspects of Swiss immigration. This includes the recent announcement from Swiss authorities that they have reduced migrant quotas for international assignees moving on certain permit and contract types. We worked with our in-house immigration specialist in Geneva to provide further information on the new quotas and the potential impact on international relocation programmes in our latest Cartus Mobility Insights.

Assignees with B and L Permits

Reduced annual quotas have been introduced for nationals from non-European Union (EU) countries, non-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, and Croatia, if they are applying for B and L Permits:

•  B Permits: Initial Residence Permits typically granted to individuals on a longer assignment with an employment contract of one year or more.

•  L Permits: Short-Term Residence Permits typically granted to individuals on a short-term assignment with an employment contract of one year or less, and can be renewed if necessary.


Quotas apply only to those making their first application, so anyone renewing a permit is exempt. For a list of the reduced quota numbers, by permit and country, download our Cartus Mobility Insights.

Assignees on Non-Local Work Contracts

Quotas for non-local contracts used by some EU/EFTA assignees relocating to Switzerland have also been reduced and are released on a quarterly basis. So far, caps have been reached before the end of each quarter, and this has led to delays in application processing times. For example, at the end of January, it was announced that the quota for EU nationals had already been exhausted for the first quarter of the year.

Impact on Organisations and Assignees

•  Organisations and assignees affected by these changes need to be mindful that quota reductions may result in applications being rejected.

•  Start planning Swiss assignments as early as possible so that all work permit possibilities can be reviewed.

•  Assignees who are affected can help meet this potential immigration challenge by finding out whether the canton where they are submitting their work permit will accept applications before the next quarter’s quota numbers are announced.

The Swiss local government has stated that it continues to look to partner with Cartus in regard to the permit applications we submit on behalf of our clients. Should additional information and updates be released on this topic, we will communicate them to you.

Picture of Lora  Foster

Posted By

Lora Foster

About Lora

Lora Foster is based in our Geneva office, where she manages Cartus’ destination services in Switzerland. She has been with Cartus for 10 years and speaks English, French, and German.

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