How to obtain a residence permit:

Process guideline

Short-term residence permits, initial residence permits and permanent residence permits in Switzerland.

How to obtain a residence permit:

Short-term residence permits

(EC/EFTA Permit L): The term of validity of this permit is determined by the length of the employment contract. It may be issued for a total duration of 12 months and is granted to persons whose limited employment relationship lasts less than one year. Job-seekers also receive an EC/EFTA Permit L after three months. The place of residence and work may be changed freely.

Initial residence permit

(EC/EFTA Permit B): This initial residence permit is granted to persons submitting an employment declaration issued by the employer or a confirmation of employment for an unlimited employment relationship or one lasting at least 12 months. The initial residence permit has a term of validity of five years. It is extended by five years without any further formalities.

Permanent residence permit

(EC/EFTA Permit C): Nationals from EU-17 and EFTA countries receive this unlimited residence permit after a regular and uninterrupted stay of five years in Switzerland. Nationals from the other EU countries may, as a rule, only be granted a permanent residence permit after a regular and uninterrupted stay of ten years. The cantons have the authority to issue permits.

Family reunion

EU/EFTA nationals who have been granted the right to stay in Switzerland are allowed to send for the members of their family in a direct line and for whom they provide maintenance.

Short-term residence permits

(EC/EFTA Permit L): The term of validity of this permit is determined by the length of the employment contract. It may be issued for a total duration of 12 months and is granted to persons whose limited employment relationship lasts less than one year. Job-seekers also receive an EC/EFTA Permit L after three months. The place of residence and work may be changed freely.

Initial residence permit

(EC/EFTA Permit B): This initial residence permit is granted to persons submitting an employment declaration issued by the employer or a confirmation of employment for an unlimited employment relationship or one lasting at least 12 months. The initial residence permit has a term of validity of five years. It is extended by five years without any further formalities.

Permanent residence permit

(EC/EFTA Permit C): Nationals from EU-17 and EFTA countries receive this unlimited residence permit after a regular and uninterrupted stay of five years in Switzerland. Nationals from the other EU countries may, as a rule, only be granted a permanent residence permit after a regular and uninterrupted stay of ten years. The cantons have the authority to issue permits.

Family reunion

EU/EFTA nationals who have been granted the right to stay in Switzerland are allowed to send for the members of their family in a direct line and for whom they provide maintenance.

Further reading

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