The Swiss Federal Council has decided to increase the work permit quotas for 2018.

Which work permits are affected?

The quotas are imposed on a national, rather than per-company, basis, on long-term B permits and short-term L permits. B permits are valid for up to five years and are renewable. Once the B permit quotas are reached, applicants are issued with L permits instead – valid for up to 12 months and convertible into a B permit after two years.

Non-EU/EFTA Nationals

  • In 2018, a total of 8000 specialists may be recruited from non-EU/EFTA states. This is an increase of 500, which will go towards long-term B permits, making the total number of B permits 3500.
  • The number of short-term L permits for non-EU/EFTA nationals will remain unchanged at 4500.

The 500 extra B permits will be allocated to the federal quota, rather than directly to the cantons, to enable the federal government to flexibly manage the additional need in the various cantons on request.

EU/EFTA Nationals

  • For 2018, the authorities will grant 500 long-term B permits, an increase of 250 compared to this year’s quota.
  • The authorities will also allow 3000 short-term L permits – an increase of 1000 compared to 2017.These quotas will be allocated to the cantons on a quarterly basis, as before.

Employers should take note of the quotas for 2018 and plan, as always, to submit work permit applications in good time to avoid issues.


Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.