The quota for L permits for the second quarter of 2016, for short-term assignees from European Union (EU) / European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) countries, has now been filled. This follows the decision by the Swiss government to reduce the quota of permits for 2016 to 500 per quarter, as reported in our November 2015 alert. Subsequently, the quota for the first quarter of this year was also reached prematurely, as reported in our alert in March this year.
A contributing factor to the early exhaustion of the quota is that some cantons allowed EU nationals to begin their assignments prior to the release of the quota for the second quarter, meaning that many L permits were already claimed for prior to the release.
New L permit quotas will now be available for the third quarter from 1st July 2016, for incoming EU/EFTA nationals who are assigned to Switzerland for more than four months, but remain on their foreign employment contracts.
Please note that permits such as the 120 day permit and the 4 month short term permit, are not affected by the quota.
The procedure for dealing with this situation varies between each canton: In Zurich, the authorities will grant a one month permit approval, after which time an individual can request an L permit for the duration of their stay, and should be able to join the application process from 1st July 2016. In Basel and Aargau, the authorities will establish a preliminary decision which will allow assignees to start work, before the quota is issued on 1st July 2016. This issue is still under investigation in all other cantons.
We advise all employers to plan ahead with regards to EU nationals assignments for the third quarter, to help avoid rejections should the quota be reached early. It might also prove valuable to check with the canton that you intend to file with, to see whether it accepts applications prior to the release of quotas.
For further information on the L permit quota, or on Swiss immigration in general, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.