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Residence & Work Permit Issuance Simplified for High Skilled Workers in Switzerland

Due to an increased demand for high skilled workers in Switzerland, the Swiss government has implemented three measures to make it easier for third-country nationals to become workers and residents in Switzerland, which had a GDP per capita of €86,130 in 2021.

The first measure, according to a press release issued by the Federal Council, aims to make it easier for high skilled workers in Switzerland  to apply for Swiss work permits. Because of the country’s greater need for workers, job applications in industries with a serious shortage of high skilled workers in Switzerland would not be reviewed in individual cases under these changes.

The other measure allows residents with work permits to go into business for themselves. Furthermore, people in qualified jobs with a demonstrated shortage of high skilled workers in Switzerland should be able to obtain a residence permit even if they do not have an academic education, according to a third measure introduced by Swiss authorities. Only people with specific professional knowledge have been able to do so thus far.

Work Permit Issuance Simplified for High Skilled Workers in Switzerland

Although some measures will take effect right away, others will be reviewed by the Council. The changes will be implemented in areas where there is a proven shortage of high skilled workers in Switzerland by the end of 2022 in general.

“This consultation showed that the current system is not being questioned in its basic features. However, selective optimizations are desired in order to further increase the level of certainty of expectations for the economy in the medium term and to simplify processes. Therefore, the report proposes possible adjustments that meet both the concerns of the various stakeholders and the constitutional mandate in relation to immigration management,” according to the Council’s press release, which also emphasizes the importance of keeping immigration socially acceptable.

The Swiss government had previously made strong statements on migration, announcing that it would leave the Schengen Area, a passport-free travel zone.

Last month, Swiss Federal Councilor Karin Keller-Sutter warned that if the Swiss population votes against strengthening Frontex, the EU Agency Border, in a referendum scheduled for May, her government may leave the Area.

“If there is a no to Frontex, it is clear that we will have to leave the Schengen-Dublin area. A refusal to strengthen Frontex would indeed lead to an almost inevitable withdrawal of Switzerland from the agency,” Councilor Keller-Sutter has said.

Since 2009, the country has contributed to Frontex, but the EU has increased the agency’s budget from €364 million in 2020 to €754 million in 2022.

Work Permit Issuance Simplified for High Skilled Workers in Switzerland

High skilled workers in Switzerland for expats

These are the jobs for high skilled workers in Switzerland where expats have the highest chances of getting hired:

  • Various engineers
  • Technicians
  • Software developers and other IT related jobs
  • Technical specialists
  • Lawyers
  • Accountants
  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Other medical staff
  • Technical draughting jobs
  • Chemical and plastics processing jobs
  • Metalworking and mechanical engineering jobs
  • Skilled construction workers
  • Hospitality and housekeeping jobs

These skilled jobs are also in demand in Switzerland, although they offer expats with lower chances of getting hired:

  • Advertising, marketing, and tourism jobs
  • Postal and telecommunications
  • Food and luxury food manufacturing and processing jobs
  • Electrical engineering and electronics jobs, watchmaking industry jobs
  • Vehicle and appliance engineering and maintenance jobs
  • Wood processing and paper manufacturing and processing jobs
  • Social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences jobs
  • Teaching and educational jobs
  • Machinists
  • Banking
  • Insurance sector jobs
  • Media professionals and related jobs
  • Public order and security jobs
  • Educational and pastoral jobs
  • Transportation and logistics jobs
  • Textile processing, printing, and warehouse
  • Trade and retail jobs
  • Commercial and administrative jobs
  • Cleaning, sanitation and personal care jobs

By far the best chance of finding a job in Switzerland with no qualifications is in tourism. Hospitality and tourism are two of the country’s most important industries, employing a large number of foreign workers.

As a result, tourism provides numerous job opportunities for both Swiss citizens and foreign workers, often with no qualifications required. The majority of these positions are temporary or seasonal. Seasonal workers in Switzerland are usually granted a three- or six-month work permit. In comparison to regular full-time jobs, obtaining a visa and a work permit is also simple.

For example, one might be able to find work in bars, restaurants, and hotels, as well as in one of the many Alps ski resorts that frequently hire seasonal workers. You could also teach winter sports if you speak English. English-speaking ski and snowboard instructors are in high demand. As a result, knowing English and one of Switzerland’s official languages will be extremely beneficial.

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