Connecticut, US

Oct 03 2018

Work Permit Quotas for 2019 Increase


The situation

Swiss authorities have published the work permit quotas for 2019, shifting quota allocations from short-term to long-term permits.

A closer look

Quota numbers will be as follows as of January 1, 2019:

  • Non-EU/European Economic Area (EEA) nationals, issued annually:
    • 4,500 long-term B permits (up from 3,500);
    • 4,000 short-term L permits (down from 4,500);

  • EU/EEA nationals, issued quarterly:
    • 3,000 short-term L permits (unchanged);
    • 500 long-term B permits (unchanged).

  • Croatian nationals:
    • 953 short-term L Permits (up from 748);
    • 103 long-term B permits (up from 78).

  • Romanian and Bulgarian nationals: 996 long-term B permits (unchanged). This quota is released on a quarterly basis and will apply until May 2019.


Though employers should benefit from the increased quota numbers, they should submit work permit applications early to avoid rejections due to the quotas being filled.


Switzerland restricts the number of work permits that can be issued to foreign workers, both for EU/EEA and other nationals. Spots are released on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. Once the quotas are filled, no further permits can be granted until the next quotas are available.

Switzerland significantly reduced quota numbers in 2015. It increased the numbers again for non-EU nationals in 2017. It increased the numbers for both EU and non-EU nationals for 2018 in response to pressure from business and cantons.

Looking ahead

The additional 1,000 B permit spots for non-EU/EEA nationals will be allocated to the federal quota instead of being distributed among the cantons. Cantons can request allocation of quota spots from this pool once they have used up their own quotas. This allows the federal government more flexibly to allocate quotas based on regional needs.

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].