Short News february 16, 2023


Relaxations for work permits

As of February 1, 2023, there have been various relaxations in the Swiss permit area. By means of directives, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) has clarified the proof of priority in professions with a pronounced shortage of skilled workers (STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). In addition, highly qualified and indispensable specialists are now also included in the management transfer under the GATS.


Automatic extension of residence permits until December 31, 2023

Due to the shortage of appointments, the Portuguese government decided to automatically extend all residence permits until December 31, 2023. The affected foreign citizens whose residence permits are about to expire and who want to continue to stay in Portugal, however, have to keep trying to book dates for the extension.


Lottery to start on March 1, 2023 for H-1B visa for 2024

The USCIS announced the lottery start date for H-1B Caps as of March 1, 2023 for the year 2024. Applications may be filed through March 17, 2023. By March 31, 2023, applicants will be notified if they have received a quota. This means that employers can already register potential employees for H-1B visas. The H-1B visa is available to highly qualified professionals with academic degrees.

Global Mobility Insights News Letter Winter 2022/2023

Best Practice

Case study: Project "cable-crash" in Zurich and Geneva

HichTech AG, based in Zurich, urgently needs a new network infrastructure due to the new tech-products and machines they have purchased from a British company. Their branch office in Geneva is also affected. The work includes all kinds of patching, provision-ing of circuits and rebuilding, disconnection / reconnection of desktops and network equipment. Due to the fact that the employees of HichTech AG have to continue working during the day, the British electricians are also required to work in the evening or at night as well as on weekends for up to 2 weeks.


1. Work permit: Who needs to do what for the electricians to be allowed to work in Switzerland?

2. What other aspects have to be taken into account?

Possible solutions:

Work permit:

The British electricians must be registered by the British employer for employment in Switzerland in the online notification procedure so that they are entitled to carry out the work at HichTech AG in Switzerland. The online notification procedure is available to British service providers since January 1, 2021. This allows British electricians to carry out the project in Switzerland for up to 90 days per calendar year.

The notification of the electricians is the responsibility of the employers abroad. A copy of the notification must be forwarded to the electricians for the border crossing (even if British citizens are visa-exempt) as well as to the responsible HR officer of the HichTech AG for compliance purposes. It is very important for the notification procedure to observe the pre-filing deadline of 8 days before the start of work and to notify the different work locations separately. Each assignment in Zurich and Geneva must be reported separately, as a notification can only be made for a single assignment location.

Key points of the reporting procedure:

  • 90 available days per calendar year
  • Notification must be made online on behalf of the foreign employer, i.e. the days reported in the notification procedure count mainly for the posting branch abroad.
  • Pre-filing deadline of 8 days
  • Each place of employment must be reported separately
  • Salary must be guaranteed in line with local and industry standards (or lower quartile in the salary scale).
  • Posting allowances for travel, board and lodging must be paid by the employer abroad.

Best Practice

Working time permit:

The electricians do not intend to disturb the daily business of the HichTech AG. Therefore, they will work at night and / or also on weekends. The time between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. (Monday to Saturday) is considered as working time without a permit. Working at night and on Sundays is generally prohibited. For compelling or urgent reasons, a so-called "working time permit" can be requested for work at night or on Sundays.

For work in Zurich from Monday to Saturday, the electricians require the online notification procedure as well as an additional working time permit for work at night. If they would also work on Sunday, a working time permit for work on Sunday would also have to be approved by the Zurich City Police.

For work in Geneva from Monday to Saturday, possibly Sunday, the online notification procedure and an additional working time permit (Demande de dérogation d'horaire) must be obtained from the "Conférence Paritaire de la Métallurgie du Bâtiment" in Geneva. The employment office in Geneva "l'OCIRT" then issues a second approval.


Electricians are a regulated and protected profession in Switzerland, which is why the service providers must comply with the minimum regulations regarding remuneration in accordance with cantonal, generally binding collective labor agreements. Usually and in practice, these hurdles are lower than the minimum wages calculated by the National Wage Calculator (lower quartile for the reporting procedure) ( For work at night or on weekends, a wage supplement of 25% to 50% is to be expected.

Labor market control:

50% of the companies in Switzerland are being inspected by the labor market authority. Within the framework of these inspections, work permits, wage documents, work reports, expense receipts, and accounting documents are checked for the purpose of transactions of expense allowances. Furthermore, the A1 certificate on social security is always a must for compliance with Swiss law on international postings.

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.