the change? Switzerland has invoked the safeguard
clause of the free movement agreement to impose work permit quotas on nationals
of Bulgaria and Romania.
does the change mean? For 12 months
beginning June 1, Romanian and Bulgarian nationals will have restricted
access to the Swiss labor market if they want to work under a B resident
permit. B resident permits will be capped at 996 for the two nationalities
for the year and will be distributed on a quarterly basis. Short-stay L
permits are not affected, as there was no basis for invoking the clause for L
- Implementation time frame: June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018.
- Visas/permits affected: B resident permits.
- Who is affected: Bulgarian and Romania nationals intending to work in
Switzerland on local employment contracts.
- Business impact: Employers should anticipate the restricted availability
of B permits for Bulgarian and Romanian hires.
- Next steps:
Employers can hire Bulgarian and Romanian nationals before June
1 and receive a B permit outside the quotas (provided the
employment contract is unlimited). If the work start date is on or
after June 1, the B permit will come off a quota.
Swiss government lifted work permit requirements for Bulgarian and Romanian
nationals in April 2016, according to its agreement with the EU on free
movement. Since that time (starting June 1, 2016), Swiss employers have
been free to hire Bulgarian and Romanian nationals without applying for work
permits and with only a municipal registration procedure necessary as
the basis for their residence permits.
A safeguard clause of the
Swiss-EU agreement allows Switzerland to impose quotas on Bulgarian and
Romanian nationals if immigration exceeds a level that is 10 percent above
the median of the previous three years. In 2016, migration from Bulgaria and
Romania to Switzerland reached 3,300, doubling that of the previous year,
while migration from other EU/EFTA countries declined.
The Federal Council invoked the
safeguard clause for a period of one year. Under the agreement, Switzerland
may invoke it until May 31, 2019.
Analysis: Swiss employers hiring Bulgarian and Romanian workers should
prepare for the
possibility that quarterly quotas may fill up quickly in the coming year.
alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network
provider located in Switzerland. For additional information, please contact
your BAL attorney.
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