swiss residencyShort Swiss residence permit (Swiss visa): For citizens of those states who can enter into Switzerland without a visa 90 days of stay is allowed after which the visitor has to leave the country.

The most commonly used Swiss temporary residence permits are the “120 day” permit, the A, B or C type permits, the “financial agreement” permit and the permits issued to political refugees.

The “A” (the so called blue collar worker permit) and the political refugee permits will not be detailed here. The rest of the permits except the “120 day” permit are based on quota. However for the EU citizens owing to the treaty the quota system has practically lost its significance.

The “120 day” Swiss residence permit:

This enables the managers or specialists of companies to spend 120 at most in a certain location. The rotation between several people is not permitted.

Type “B” Swiss residence permit:

This is the most commonly issued permit, the Swiss residence and work permit With this in hand professionals, managers and self-employed entrepreneurs (who start a private business) and people who are wealthy enough to pay the related costs can reside in Switzerland.

Characteristics of the B type permit:

  • Normally it is valid for one year;
  • If it was applied for employment then the applicant must have a Swiss employer.
  • The issuing of the permit cannot have an effect on other Swiss citizens becoming unemployed. The trade unions are extremely strong in Switzerland; hence it is possible that the permit is not issued due to the union’s intervention;
  • The fact that the applicant does or does not speak the languages used in Switzerland does not affect the evaluation of the residencepermit;
  • It takes three months to issue a residence permit.

The Swiss government rejected a proposal to hand out 10 000 type B permits to IT professionals. According to congressmen this would have created new firms in Switzerland. According to the proposal the permits would have been handed out by the central government not the cantons which are usually responsible for handing out work permits. The central government stated that it was statistically proven that there is no shortage in IT professionals in Switzerland.

Type “C” Swiss residence permit:

This residence permit allows for a longer stay, it provides almost identical rights to Swiss citizens and grants the holder rights to buy property. In order to apply for a type “C” permit the applicant must hold a type “B” permit for 5 to 10 years (depending on the applicants country of origin).

The “financial agreement” permanent residence permit: The permit with this peculiar name is handed out to private persons who wish to reside in Switzerland but their income comes from external sources (for eg.: tennis stars, formula one pilots) who do not want or do not need to undertake work locally. The requirements of obtaining the permit include proving a net worth of two million Swiss Francs and spending 180 days per year in the country. The holder of the permit pays less tax on its earnings than the total income would require, the income tax is based not on the real income but on a nominal amount. The amount of tax payable depends on the private agreement with the canton. Switzerland counts as a low tax environment but with the “financial agreement” permit even less tax needs to be paid. The acquisition of the residence permit takes three months.

Naturally Swiss citizens do not need resident permits or property investment permits. Obtaining a Swiss citizenship takes fairly long time; the proceedings take place on federal, cantonal and on community level. Who wants to become a Swiss citizen and is not a direct descendant of a local need to fulfill the following requirements.

Swiss history and culture exam;

Long term residency and type “B” or “financial agreement” permit;
The applicant must obtain a type “C” permit and reside for several years in the country.

Related articles:

Swiss residency: Opportunities and Rules