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Swiss foreign work permit quotas maintained for 2020

Every year, Switzerland sets quotas for the number of work visas it issues to citizens outside the EU and EFTA.

This week the government announced it would maintain the quota of 8,500 permits that was in place in 2018.

In addition, it confirmed an earlier deal it struck with the UK to issue up to 3,500 work visas to British citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The 8,500 quota is made up of 4,500 B-permits for stays over one year, and 4,000 short-term L-permits for short term contracts between 3 and 12 months.

The quota for British citizens is comprised of 2,100 B-permits and 1,400 short-term L-permits.

Limiting the number of non-EU and EFTA workers been a political hot potato in recent years. Following a successful referendum on 9 February 2014 to curb the rate of immigration into Switzerland, the annual quota was reduced to 6,500. After political push back from cantons that are home to large numbers of multinational companies, the government raised the quotas back to their pre-referendum level of 8,500.

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