Switzerland: Work permit quotas remain unchanged for 2016

The Swiss Federal Council has announced that quotas for B- and L-Permit for foreign nationals from non-EU/European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries or Croatia and EU/EFTA nationals on assignment will remain unchanged from 2015. 

Quota Summaries

The quotas for nationals from non-EU/EFTA countries will be:

  • For B-Permits, cap of 2,500.
  • For L-Permits, cap of 4,000.

The quotas for EU/EFTA nationals on assignment will be:

  • For B-Permit, cap of 250.
  • For L-Permits, cap of 2,000.

The quotas for Croatian nationals will be:

  • For B-permits, cap of 50.
  • For L-permits, cap of 450.


B-Permits are for stays over one year, and L-permits are for initial stays between four months and one year. Quotas apply to first-time applicants and those converting an L-Permit into a B-Permit only. Applicants renewing their work permits are not subject to the quotas.

Quota Exhaustion Expectations

The quota numbers for non-EU/EFTA nationals and Croatian nationals will be released in January 2016 and will be available until December 31, 2016. The quota for non-EU/EFTA nationals will likely be exhausted by the end of the third or beginning of the fourth quarter, and the quota for Croatian nationals will likely not be exhausted before the end of 2016.

Quotas for EU/EFTA nationals on assignment will be released on a quarterly basis starting January 1, 2016 and will likely be exhausted within one and half months of each release.

What This Means for Foreign Nationals

Foreign nationals should submit work permit applications for work planned in 2016 as soon as possible to avoid rejections due to the quota.