Switzerland – Updates on Work Permits for UK Nationals in No-Deal BREXIT Scenario

What has changed

On March 30, 2019, the Swiss Federal Council will allocate a separate work permit quota (separate from the Non-EU nationals quota) to British citizens in case of a no-deal Brexit. The quarterly released quota would apply between March 30 and December 31 of 2019, and would include 2100 B long-term permits and 1400 L short-term permits.

Who is affected

All clients with headquarters or branches located in Switzerland who intend to hire or transfer British citizens to Switzerland. This quota does not apply to British citizens already legally residing in Switzerland. These individuals are protected by the citizens’ rights agreement.

What to expect

If No-Deal BREXIT Immigration Arrangements are Made Between Switzerland and The UK:

If the UK opts for a disorderly withdrawal from the EU, the Agreement on Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) would no longer apply between Switzerland and the UK effective March 30, 2019. In case of a no-deal Brexit, British citizens will have separate work permit quotas and the hiring of British citizens would mainly depend on the availability of work permit quotas.


British citizens who are relocating to Switzerland for the first time (with the intention to work in Switzerland) would be subject to strict admittance criteria from the Act on Foreign Nationals and Integration (which mainly governs the admission of Non-EU/EFTA nationals).


If An Withdrawal Agreement for BREXIT is Made Between Switzerland and The UK:

If the UK leaves the EU based on a withdrawal agreement, the AFMP would continue to apply between Switzerland and the UK during a transitional period (normally until the end of 2020). In this situation, Swiss-based employers would be able to continue hiring British citizens without restrictions. During the transitional period, Switzerland and the UK would discuss new bilateral agreements in order to facilitate their respective immigration admission procedures.

Emigra Worldwide will keep clients informed about updates related to new procedures and their impact on ongoing and upcoming assignments.

What you need to do

Emigra Worldwide can provide assistance on advising for the timing of hiring British citizens based on quarterly quota release data and suggest alternatives (e.g. short-term authorization, trainee exchange program authorization, etc.)

Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.