From 11th May the moratorium (caused by COVID-19 measures) on processing applications by foreigners to work or return to Switzerland to rejoin families will be gradually lifted.
The measures imposed in Switzerland (and faithfully implemented by the population) since March have paid off: the death- and infection rates have dropped to levels seen at the beginning of March, and the government is executing an exit plan to gradually bring life back to normal as far and as soon as possible whilst avoiding a second pandemic peak. Included in this plan is a relaxation of rules in foreigners entering the country. Whilst cross-border controls will remain in place, the following relaxations are planned.
From 11th May
Applications that were submitted before 25th March, for foreigners from EU/EFTA returning to families, or wishing to work in Switzerland (including cross-border workers) will be processed to clear the backlog. Non-EFTA foreigners who applied for employment or visas before 19th March will also be processed.
From 8th June
From this date all applications from nationals of EU/EFTA member states to work in Switzerland will be processed.
This will be implemented by agreement with the cantons and the trade unions. The obligation to advertise vacancies at local unemployment offices before the foreign worker is employed, to give locals who are out of work the chance to apply, will also be reinstated.
Those entering for work of “national importance” under “emergency measures” will continue to be treated exceptionally as is currently the case. The employer has to seek this permission from the Immigration Office and ensure the incoming workers have the necessary paperwork on arriving at the Swiss border.
Those entering Switzerland by plane must do so at the airports in Zürich Kloten, Geneva Cointrin or Basel-Mulhouse.
For more official information, FAQs and a travel administration application please refer to the Federal Office of Public Health Covid-19 page.
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