Work permits

Work permits are mandatory not only for employees with foreign nationality, but also for working at night or on Sundays.

Individuals with foreign nationality require a permit to work for a company in Switzerland. It is the responsibility of employers to file permit applications, except for nationals of the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), who must declare themselves to the relevant employment and migration offices.

With regard to working at night, on Sundays or on public holidays, an employer who cannot run its business during these periods must make inquiries about the laws on the protection of workers and ensure that its company complies with these laws. It can then file a permit application. See also:

Free movement between Switzerland and the European Union

Thanks to bilateral agreements, nationals from EU and EFTA countries are, in principle, able to freely choose their places of residence and of work. However, they must declare themselves to the relevant authorities in order to be able to then look for work. After a three-month period, a residence permit is necessary to stay in Switzerland and work.

The situation could change after acceptance by the Swiss people on February 9, 2014 of the initiative aimed at reintroducing immigration quotas, not yet applied (as of February 2015).

Workers from outside the EU

Nationals of countries not members of the EU or EFTA require an employment contract and permit to be able to work on Swiss territory.


Portal of authorisations and regulated professions

If you wish to exercise a professional activity in Switzerland and you don't know if a federal, cantonal or municipal authorization is necessary? You are at the good address!

Authorizations for risk activities

Risk activities on rivers and streams are subject to the Risk Activities Act. Legal regulations must be observed. Commercial providers need a permit. Further information can be found under the following link:


Last modification 27.02.2020

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