SWITZERLAND: End of Work Permit Quotas for Bulgarian and Romanian Nationals

May 16, 2019

Effective 1 June 2019, the safeguard clause imposing quotas on residence permits for nationals of Bulgaria and Romania (EU2) will no longer apply.

At a meeting on 15 May 2019, the Swiss Federal Council legislated to remove the quotas.


From 1 June 2016, the Swiss government lifted the immigration restrictions on nationals of Bulgarian and Romania, in accordance with the bilateral Agreement on Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) with the EU. On 10 May 2017, the Swiss Federal Council announced that it would impose quotas, invoking the safeguard clause provided for in the AFMP.

According to the safeguard clause (Art. 10 Abs. 4c of the AFMP), the Swiss government is, until 31 May 2019, entitled to impose quotas, if immigration from Bulgaria and Romania surpasses by 10% or more the median of the previous three years.

For EU nationals, no prior work permit approval is required to work in Switzerland with a Swiss local employment contract, only a simple registration at the local residence office of the municipality of residence.

Switzerland will maintain, until at least 31 December 2021, transitional provisions allowing Croatian nationals to work only if a labour market test is in place and subject to quotas.

Our Advice

Employers who may be affected are encouraged to contact their Newland Chase immigration specialist for case-specific advice.

For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to Switzerland, please contact us.