To make it easier for family members to approach potential employers, FDFA Protocol can provide them with an attestation concerning the issuance of an authorisation for a residence permit with gainful employment (Ci permit).
Upon presentation of an employment contract, job offer or a declaration of intention to work in a self-employed capacity including a description of the self-employed activity (including business plan), the person may request a Ci permit in exchange for their legitimation card from the resident's registration office of their canton of residence. A fee will be charged for the Ci permit.
The person can start working as soon as they have submitted their application to the residents' registration office of their canton of residence. Depending on the occupation however, the work may only be carried out if the permit holder has obtained – if necessary and in advance – any licences that may be required to practise the profession or self-employed activity from the competent Swiss authorities (e.g. for certain business or health-related activities). Please refer to SERI’s list of regulated professional activities in Switzerland.
List of regulated professional activities in Switzerland, State Secretariat for Education, Innovation and Research (SERI)
In the canton of Bern, self-employed persons who are not EU/EFTA nationals must also obtain a permit from the cantonal Office for Economy and Labour before taking up their activity.
EU/EFTA nationals may apply for an ordinary permit (B permit) instead of a Ci permit under the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons.
Agreement between the European Community and its Members States, of the one part, and the Swiss Confederation, of the other, on the free movement of persons (de)
A Ci permit is valid only in the canton which has issued it. However, Ci permits for EU/EFTA nationals are valid throughout Switzerland. If the person changes jobs while their Ci permit is still valid, they must first notify their cantonal/communal residents' registration office in order to have the permit changed.
Ci permits are issued for the duration of the contract or self-employed activity up to a maximum of two years, provided that this does not exceed the duration of the official duties of the principal holder. Permit holders must contact the residents' registration office of their canton of residence to renew their Ci permit when it expires.
A person may retain their Ci permit as long as the principal beneficiary remains in office. They may keep using it for as long as they are gainfully employed or, if they stop working, for as long as they are receiving unemployment benefits. The Ci permit becomes invalid once the main beneficiary is no longer entitled to a legitimation card.
Attestation request for Ci permit (PDF, 1 Page, 184.2 kB, English)