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Switzerland releases quotas applicable for non-EU, EU seconded employees and UK nationals

On 24 November 2021, the Swiss Federal Council took a decision about the quotas applicable for the year 2022 for EU nationals on secondment, non-EU nationals as well as UK nationals. The maximum number of workers will remain the same as in 2021. Swiss employers will be able to further recruit highly skilled profiles coming from the EU and abroad.

After reviewing the economic needs of the different cantons and consulting social partners, the authorities decided to keep the same quota amounts as in 2021. This decision aims to further support the Swiss economy and minimise the impact of COVID-19.

As of 2022, recruiters will be able to hire a total of 8500 new qualified workers from non-EU countries. The split will be 4500 B-permits (long-term residence permits) and 4000 L-permits (short-term permits).

The quotas for non-EU nationals is released for the full year for the whole of Switzerland and are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Quotas for EU and EFTA nationals on secondments

EU and EFTA nationals on secondment do not benefit from the Agreement on Free Movement concluded between Switzerland and the European Union. As a consequence, they are subject to quotas when performing work beyond 90, respectively 120 days, per year (depending on conditions) in Switzerland.

Quotas applicable for EU/EFTA service providers on a secondment basis will also remain unchanged. The Federal Council has agreed to grant during 2022 a maximum of 3000 L-permits and 500 B-permits.

As in the past, quotas for EU nationals on secondment will be released on a quarterly basis.

Quotas for UK nationals following Brexit

The Agreement on Free Movement between Switzerland and the EU ceased to apply for UK nationals after Brexit.

Since 1 January 2021, UK nationals are no longer considered as EU nationals and non-EU admission rules apply. However, since the UK is an important commercial partner for Switzerland, the Swiss authorities have decided to grant a separate bucket of quotas for UK nationals. This approach is a temporary solution until further developments on potential preferred agreement between the countries arise.

As of 2022, up to 3500 UK workers will be granted new work permits. Authorities have decided to grant 2100 B-permits and 1400 L-permits for the whole of Switzerland and year.

The allocation of these quotas will be done on a quarterly basis and in the sole competence of cantonal authorities. They are not subject to federal approval.


The decision of Swiss authorities to keep quotas steady for 2022 is a positive sign for the economy and companies based in the Switzerland. It will allow Swiss employers to further recruit highly skilled profiles coming from the EU and abroad.

As a general rule, recommendation is to hire profiles rather at the beginning of the year to ensure sufficient quotas are available since the principle of quota allocation remains on first come, first served basis.

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Alessia Randazzo

Alessia Randazzo

Manager, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 18 41

Kornel Wick

Kornel Wick

Director, Private Clients – Executive Advisory, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 42 48