Below you will find information and useful links regarding registration and authorisation requirements, minimum and average wages, self-employment, social services and unemployment among foreign nationals living in Switzerland.
Seeking employment in Switzerland
Working in Switzerland as a citizen of an EU/EFTA member state
As a citizen of an EU/EFTA member state, you may enter, live and work in Switzerland. Special restrictions apply to citizens of EU-8 member states and from the 1st of June 2013 to the citizens of EU-17 (safeguard clause) as well as to Bulgarian and Romanian nationals.
Working in Switzerland as third-country nationals
Here you will find information about the requirements that must be met in order to work in Switzerland for third-country nationals.
Minimum wage and average earnings in Switzerland
Swiss law does not specify any minimum wage or average earnings. In most cases, pay levels are agreed between the employer and the employee during the recruitment process.
AHV for returnees
I worked in Switzerland. Am I entitled to a refund or a pension after my departure?
Social insurance for foreign nationals
Social insurance in Switzerland: as a foreign national, what do I need to know about state pensions, maternity leave, invalidity benefits, unemployment benefits, etc.?
Foreign nationals unemployed in Switzerland
As a foreign national working in Switzerland, you do not need to immediately leave Switzerland if you lose your job or if your employment contract expires.
Here you will find information on the steps that you need to take in order to become self-employed.
Information about work visa
The issuance of work permits for Switzerland is regulated by the cantonal migration authorities and varies depending on each canton. It is your future employer’s duty to contact the responsible authority in Switzerland. If you are informed to apply for a visa at a Swiss representation in the United States, please follow the guidelines in the information leaflets on the right.
After arrival, every person must register with the immigration authority not longer than 14 days after arrival in Switzerland and, in all cases, before starting work.
Visa for which an authorization has been given directly in Switzerland
If your employer/school/family member has applied for your permit in Switzerland and it has been granted, you still must apply for a visa to enter Switzerland with the competent Swiss representation abroad.
To apply for the visa, you must submit the following documents to the competent Swiss representation:
- One Schengen visa application form (for stays up to 3 months or authorizations for a 120 day visa ) fully completed and signed by the applicant. No application form is necessary for long-term stays.
- One passport photo per applicant (very strict requirements, please consult the details on the webpage)
- Applicant’s valid original passport, plus a copy
- If applicable, proof of residency in the USA, e.g. a valid permanent residence card (green card), H1B visa, F-1 visa (plus copy of I-20), etc. Notarized copy if applying by mail
- Copy of authorization form
- Visa fee
- If applying by mail: one prepaid, self-addressed, return envelope with a tracking number