international movers

C Permit Switzerland

There are a lot of different permits in Switzerland for different (non-) EU/EFTA nationals. On this page we will try to give information about these different permits in Switzerland. For more detailed information about the different permits in Switzerland you can go the Swiss Government Visa Website. It will have precise information about the different kinds of permits.

EU/EFTA nationals

EU/EFTA nationals with a local permanent employment contract do not need to apply for a visa. To receive the work and residence permit, a registration at the Swiss immigration authorities upon arrival is required before taking up work. Requirements vary by Canton therefore contact the town hall in the commune to know where to register.

The Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons between Switzerland and the EU no longer applies with the UK from 1 January 2021. From this date, UK nationals are no longer EU/EFTA nationals, but are considered third country nationals.

*The EU-26 comprises the following countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Hungary and Cyprus.

**EFTA: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland

Permits in Switzerland for non-EU/EFTA nationals

If you are a third-country national who has been offered a job in Switzerland, your prospective employer must submit an application to the cantonal immigration or labour market authorities. If the application is accepted, it will be forwarded to the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) for approval. The SEM will then notify the parties and the cantonal authorities of its decision, but this decision does not constitute authorisation to enter Switzerland.

If you require a visa, the cantonal migration authorities will send a visa clearance certificate via e-mail to the Swiss diplomatic/consular mission in your home country. You can then obtain the visa there. Within 14 days at the latest of your arrival and before taking up employment, you will need to register with the communal authorities in the place where you are living and only then can you begin work.

The following requirements apply to employment of third-country nationals:

  • Persons are admitted when it is in the general economic interest.
  • Authorisation is only granted if established quotas have not been used up.
  • Third-country nationals may only be hired if no one with equivalent qualifications can be found in Switzerland or in an EU/EFTA member state
  • Only managers, specialists and other qualified workers will be admitted. “Qualified workers” are primarily the holders of higher education qualifications (i.e. from a university or university of applied sciences) who also have specific technical expertise and several years of professional experience. Integration criteria will also be taken into account when issuing residence permits: ability to adjust to a new occupational and social environment, language skills and age.
  • Salary and working conditions must also be equivalent to those that apply to Swiss inhabitants.

Family reunification for third-country nationals with a Swiss Permit

Permits Switzerland C holders

Third-country nationals holding a settlement permit (permit C) may bring, under the condition that they live together, the following family members to Switzerland under the family reunification programme:

  • Spouse, registered partnership,
  • Children under the age of 18.

Upon arrival in Switzerland, family members must present the following documents:

  • Proof of language competence (to at least oral level A1) in the national language spoken in the future place of residence. Proof of registration for a language course also meets this requirement, for proper integration
  • Valid ID card or passport,
  • Visa if applicable,
  • Certificate issued by the authorities in the country of origin proving that the person is related to you,
  • Anyone who will be dependent upon you must present a letter issued by the authorities of the country of origin confirming that you will pay their living expenses.


Spouse and children between 12 and 18 will receive a residence permit (permit B). This permit will have the same period of validity as your own settlement permit. Family members may take up employment but must register with the cantonal immigration and labour market authorities. If they live five years in Switzerland without interruption, they will be granted a settlement permit (permit C). Children under 12 will directly receive a settlement permit (permit C).

Permits Switzerland B Holders

The cantonal authorities may approve your application for family reunification, provided you meet the conditions of the Foreign Nationals Act (Art. 44).

Please contact Atlas Immigration Specialist for assistance. immigration@atlas-movers.com

Copies of the standard immigration documents have to be certified and translated to Swiss language.

  • Birth certificates and marriage certificates
  • Work contract, or for students, a confirmation of admission to a higher education institution
  • Swiss lease contract or rental agreement
  • Do not pack your immigration documents with your household goods shipment as you will need them upon arrival

Your own relocation coordinator

Atlas International Movers guides your move from door to door. If you have any questions during the relocation process, please contact your personal relocation coordinator. This person can answer all your questions about the move. This way you can prepare for your life in Switzerland without any problems. We will help you with the different permits in Switzerland.

If you, like us, like to prepare for a relocation then you may find our checklist very helpful. It gives a timeline with tips on how to prepare yourself for your relocation! Download our checklist at the bottom of this page!

If you are moving to Switzerland and you want to make an appointment with us or one of our partners, please feel free to contact us or view our website! If you would like storage for your household effects before, during or after moving to Switzerland, this is also possible. Click here for more information about inventory storage at Atlas. If you have any more questions about permits in Switzerland, give us a call.

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