Connecticut, US

May 01 2018

Work and Residence Permit Quota Extended for Bulgarian and Romanian Nationals


The situation

The Federal Council has extended the yearly quota of 966 spots for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals applying for Category B EU/European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Work and Residence Permits until the end of May 2019. The quota was implemented June 1, 2017.

A closer look

Bulgarian and Romanian nationals applying for a Category B EU/EFTA Work and Residence Permit can only apply if there is an open quota spot. To determine this, the Swiss employer must file a quota application and await approval prior to filing for the work permit. The Swiss government can take up to six weeks to process a quota application.


An annual quota of 966 spots is released on a quarterly basis and applies to the following Bulgarian and Romanian nationals seeking B-Permits:

  • Those with a Swiss employment contract of unlimited duration or validity of more than one year; or

  • Self-employed persons intending to work and reside in Switzerland.


Bulgarian and Romanian nationals will again be subject to a quota until the end of May 2019 and should initiate their applications for B-Permits as early as possible to increase their chances of having an available position within the quota restrictions. 

If the quota is reached, immigration officials may reject B-Permit applications, in which case the worker can either leave Switzerland or instead apply for an L-Permit. Some Cantons may decide to automatically issue L-Permits once the quota has been reached.

Looking ahead

Starting June 2019, Bulgarian and Romanian nationals will no longer face a quota when seeking entry into Switzerland.


This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].