EU/EFTA nationals

EU/EFTA nationals

This page provides information about residence and working permits for EU/EFTA nationals who want to work and live in Switzerland.

Who can stay in Switzerland?

  • To live in Switzerland, you need a job. You can also live in Switzerland without being gainfully employed. However, you will then need proof of sufficient financial means or, if you wish to study, confirmation that you have been admitted to study at an educational institution.
  • EU/EFTA citizens have the subjective right to live and work in Switzerland under the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons. A residence and work permit is issued if the required conditions are met. See information from the State Secretariat for Migration SEM.

  • Since January 1, 2022, the same conditions apply to all nationals of EU/EFTA countries including Croatia.
  • The work and residence permit is valid for the whole of Switzerland, so it is not tied to a specific canton or employer. No permission is required to change employers. Only a change of residence must be reported to the authorities. There are different types of residence permits with different periods of validity.

Looking for a job...

  • Job seekers do not need a permit for their stay in Switzerland for a stay of up to three months.

  • If the job search lasts more than three months, job seekers must register with the competent authority. You will receive a short stay permit EU/EFTA, which is limited to three months. The prerequisite for this short-term residence permit is sufficient financial means.

  • The permit can be extended for up to one year if the jobseekers provide proof that they are still looking for a job and that there is a reasonable prospect that they will find employment.

Can I start a business in Switzerland?

If you want to become self-employed in Switzerland, you can apply for a B permit from the cantonal authorities (valid for 5 years). You must prove that you are building your self-employment on a solid basis. The documents you need to submit vary from canton to canton, but are usually a business plan, curriculum vitae, proof of sufficient assets, etc.

Key words

You can find all official documents and detailed information on entry and stay, working permits, rights and obbigations, as weel as the agreements between EU and Swiss and Federal Act on Foreign Nationals, etc., published by the Swiss Federal Office for Migration and by the Federal Council (on the portal of the Swiss gouvernament).