The Federal Council recently decided on how to implement a new admission system to exercise immigration control without conflicting with the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons between Switzerland and the European Union. The new regulations introduce a job registration requirement for job types in which the unemployment rate throughout Switzerland has reached a specific threshold. The change aims to optimise and exploit the potential of national workers.
The Federal Council has announced that the total number of work permits submitted to quotas for 2018 will be increased from 9,750 (in 2017) to 11,500 (in 2018). The decision follows political debate and aims to allow Switzerland to hire enough qualified workers and specialists from both the EU and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) market and the non-EU and non-EFTA market.
The Federal Council recently invoked the safeguard clause contained in the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons between the European Union and Switzerland. This clause allows Switzerland to implement unilaterally a quota system for Romanian and Bulgarian nationals from June 1 2017 to May 31 2018.
In February 2014 the Swiss people adopted a popular initiative aimed at stopping mass immigration. The new constitutional text requires the Federal Council and Parliament to introduce a new admission system for all foreign nationals within three years that restricts immigration by means of quantitative limits and quotas (and gives priority to local workers). Parliament recently voted on the law's final draft.
Switzerland recently ratified Protocol III, which extends the Agreement on Free Movement of Persons to Croatia. Croatian nationals now have restricted access to the Swiss labour market. Priority will be given to local workers, and the checking of work and salary conditions as well as quotas will apply up to December 31 2023. Croatian nationals can now also apply for a border commuter permit in Switzerland, provided that the work location in Switzerland is within the Swiss border zone.