Brexit and residence in Switzerland

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On 1 January 2021, the United Kingdom will formally cease to be part of the European Union. The Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (FMPA) within the EU, in which Switzerland participates, will therefore no longer apply to British nationals applying for a residence permit.

Acquired rights for people living in Switzerland

However, British nationals with a residence or work permit before 1 January 2021 will retain them: rights obtained before that date are considered acquired.
(NB: people who move to Switzerland to work will have to have started their professional activity in Switzerland before 1 January 2021 to benefit from acquired rights).

New arrivals after 1 January 2021

From 1 January 2021, applications for residence permits for British citizens will be processed under the Aliens and Integration Act (AIA) rather than under the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (FMPA) in force within the EU and EFTA.

Thus, employers wishing to hire a British national will have to demonstrate that they were unable to find someone qualified for the position in the Swiss labour market and in the EU and EFTA countries.

The granting of residence permits will again be restricted for British nationals. A specific quota for British nationals will nevertheless be defined and allocated to the cantons by the Confederation.

Information from the Confederation

The Confederation has announced that it will specify the modalities in the course of December 2020.


Link to the Confederation's information on Brexit


FAQ on Brexit on the Confederation's website

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