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New to Switzerland?

Parliament building, Bern, Switzerland

Living and working in Switzerland

New arrivals to Switzerland can visit the website of the Swiss Integration Office which provides lots of information on daily life in the country. We advise to visit the site regularly.

Irish nationals who intend to live and work in Switzerland should notify the Commune/Gemeinde in which they intend to reside within fourteen days of their arrival in Switzerland and before starting employment.

Irish citizens who do not intend to work or live permanently in Switzerland may stay for up to three months without notifying the Commune/Gemeinde.

Residence permit

There are three main types of residence permit issued to EU citizens in Switzerland

Short-term permit (EC/EFTA Permit L):

The term of validity of this permit is determined by the length of the employment contract. It may be extended for a maximum period of up to one year. EC/EFTA nationals are entitled to a short-term permit provided the conditions governing the labour market are respected and in stays lasting 4 months or longer. The permit may be extended after a maximum of one year without EU/EFTA nationals having to interrupt their stay in Switzerland.

Initial residence permit (EC/EFTA Permit B):

For nationals from EU/EFTA countries, the residence permit has a period of validity of five years and is granted on the presentation of a declaration of engagement by the employer or a confirmation of employment for an in-definite period, or at least twelve months. This permit will be automatically extended for five years without any other formalities if the conditions are fulfilled. However, the first extension may be limited to one year if the person is involuntarily unemployed for longer than twelve consecutive months.

Permanent residence permit (EC/EFTA Permit C):

EU/EFTA nationals obtain this permit, of indefinite length, after a regular and uninterrupted stay of five years in Switzerland.

Work Permit

Full freedom of movement has been extended to EU Nationals. This means that EU citizens may take up employment and reside in Switzerland without the need for a work permit.