Switzerland: Work Permit Requirements for Highly Skilled Third-Country Nationals 

Last Updated on April 20, 2023

Key Points

  • Switzerland has relaxed several requirements related to the work permit application process issued to nationals from countries located outside of the European Union


Switzerland’s government updated work permit requirements for highly skilled foreign nationals from countries outside of the European Union (EU) (third-country nationals), and they will implement the following changes:

  • Employers hiring skilled third-country nationals in an occupation listed on the skills shortage list will no longer be required to conduct a labor market test.
  • The labor market test can be required at the discretion of the cantonal authorities, but they may remove certain specific search conditions.
  • A work permit may be granted to a highly skilled third-country national hired to an occupation on the skills shortage list without holding specific university degree requirements. However, the applicant must hold at least a vocational training qualification or at least five years of related work experience.

Potential occupations in which this will apply include the following:

  • Managers and executive positions in information and communication technology, management consulting, finance and insurance, mechanical, electrical, metal industries, pharmaceuticals and food production.
  • Engineering occupations, scientists and researchers in mathematics, scientific and technical fields and specialized information and communications technology professionals.
  • Health care professions: medical specialists, medical residents, specialized nursing personnel (e.g., surgical nursing, acute and emergency care), and radiology assistants.
  • Teachers at university.

What are the Changes?

The government of Switzerland has updated its work permit application requirements for permits issued to third-country nationals in order to relieve labor market shortages in the country, according to the government announcement.

Looking Ahead

Continue to check the government of Switzerland’s website and Envoy’s website for the latest updates and information.

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Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.