Seeking employment in Switzerland

Working in Switzerland as a citizen of an EU/EFTA member state

As a citizen of an EU/EFTA member state, you may enter, live and work in Switzerland. Special restrictions apply to citizens of EU-8 member states and from the 1st of June 2013 to the citizens of EU-17 (safeguard clause) as well as to Bulgarian and Romanian nationals.

Working in Switzerland as a citizen of an EU/EFTA member state

Minimum wage and average earnings in Switzerland

Swiss law does not specify any minimum wage or average earnings. In most cases, pay levels are agreed between the employer and the employee during the recruitment process.

Minimum wage and average earnings in Switzerland

AHV for returnees

I worked in Switzerland. Am I entitled to a refund or a pension after my departure?

AHV for returnees

Social insurance for foreign nationals

Social insurance in Switzerland: as a foreign national, what do I need to know about state pensions, maternity leave, invalidity benefits, unemployment benefits, etc.?

Social insurance for foreign nationals

Foreign nationals unemployed in Switzerland

As a foreign national working in Switzerland, you do not need to immediately leave Switzerland if you lose your job or if your employment contract expires.

Foreign nationals unemployed in Switzerland

Self-employment

Here you will find information on the steps that you need to take in order to become self-employed.

Self-employment

Information about work visa

The issuance of work permits for Switzerland is regulated by the cantonal migration authorities and varies depending on each canton. It is your future employer’s duty to contact the responsible authority in Switzerland. If you are informed to apply for a visa at a Swiss representation in the United States, please follow the guidelines in the information leaflets on the right.

After arrival, every person must register with the immigration authority not longer than 14 days after arrival in Switzerland and, in all cases, before starting work.

Visa for which an authorization has been given directly in Switzerland

If your employer/school/family member has applied for your permit in Switzerland and it has been granted, you still must apply for a visa to enter Switzerland with the competent Swiss representation abroad.

To apply for the visa, you must submit the following documents to the competent Swiss representation:

  1. One Schengen visa application form (for stays up to 3 months or authorizations for a 120 day visa ) fully completed and signed by the applicant. No application form is necessary for long-term stays.
  2. One passport photo per applicant (very strict requirements, please consult the details on the webpage)
  3. Applicant’s valid original passport, plus a copy
  4. If applicable, proof of residency in the USA, e.g. a valid permanent residence card (green card), H1B visa, F-1 visa (plus copy of I-20), etc. Notarized copy if applying by mail
  5. Copy of authorization form
  6. Visa fee
  7. If applying by mail: one prepaid, self-addressed, return envelope with a tracking number