Essential employment paperwork in Switzerland



With its dynamic economy and reputation as a global leader in the finance industry, its no doubt that many expats fall in love with the idea of working in Switzerland.

Foreign nationals coming from the European Union and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) face easier process when it comes to obtaining a valid work permit for Switzerland since they are under the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons which allows them to reside or seek employment in member states without restrictions. The type B Permit for the citizens of the EU and EFTA is valid for five years and is renewable for another five years.

The employment process for expats coming from non-EU/EFTA countries is much longer and tedious since a company may only employ someone from a Third State Country if they can prove that the applicants from the EU and EFTA are not sufficient or fit to fill the job post/s. They need to submit a document to the regional authorities in Zurich which states all the number of vacancies and provide reasons for rejecting applicants from the EU/EFTA. Those who will be able to secure a job contract must also provide necessary employment paperwork or residence permits such as:


The Aufenthaltsbewilligung (B Permit)

This type of permit is issued to foreign assignees that have a minimum of 12 months or unlimited duration of contract and is valid for one year. Type B permit allows the holder to work in the country for the whole duration of its validity and may only be subject to renewal if there is a shortage of qualified locals or citizens of the EU and EFTA to fill the post/s.

The Kurzaufenthaltsbewilligung EG (L Permit)

Kurzaufenthaltsbewilligung Also referred to as the ‘short-term’ residence permit, the L visa is linked only to a particular work and employer and will not be renewed if the expat changes his/her company or job. L permit holders are allowed to work in Switzerland for one year and can be renewed for a total of fewer than 12 months. Keep in mind that workers who have the L permit will are not eligible for the Swiss social insurance.

Business Visa

A business or self-employed visa is only issued to foreign nationals who are married to a Swiss citizen or to a C permit holder and those from the EU or EFTA countries that have B permit.

Those who have work contracts that are less than three months are not subject to any permit. However, all expats who have gainful employment (more than three months) and are applying for the type B or L permit must report to the nearest registry office in their area of residence at least 8-14 days upon arrival in Switzerland. Here are some of the documents that the applicant must secure for to obtain a valid Swiss residency/work permit:

  • Valid Passport
  • Passport Photo (at least 2)
  • Employment Contract
  • Proof of Residence or Copy of Rental Agreement
  • Proof of having a valid compulsory insurance from a Swiss Health insurer

Expats can keep in touch with the local Swiss embassy in their home country a few weeks before relocating to know more about the residence permit procedure and requirements. Instructions are also available in the website of the Swiss Federal Office for Migration .


Foreign assignees that are holders of permanent residence or have been working in Switzerland for more than 30 days are subject to submit their income tax returns. Each 26 cantons in Switzerland have its taxation procedures and calculation.

For single taxpayers:

Taxable Income in Swiss Franc or CHF

Tax Rate (%)

























254,900 and above