Nationals of EU-2 States

Citizens of Bulgaria and Romania (EU-2)

With the extension of the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (FZA) to include the East European countries Romania and Bulgaria on 1 July 2009, nationals of these countries now have the opportunity to take up residence in Switzerland and pursue gainful employment. The conditions for the foregoing are either that employment can be found or they are able to live on their own means. Coordination of social security measures and recognition of diplomas is also ensured by the FZA. Nationals of the new EU Member States are not subject to the visa requirement.

Restrictions on immigration

Restrictions on immigration for citizens of Bulgaria and Romania may only be maintained until 2016 at the latest. The cantons are responsible for checking whether the priority for nationals principle is respected and to ensure that the local going rates are paid and working conditions are adhered to. Annual quotas will be allotted and contingents will be incremented each year. The safeguard clause also applies for a further three years during this period until 2019.

Priority for nationals and salary controls

With respect to granting priority to nationals, employers in Switzerland have to prove that they have been unsuccessful in recruiting candidates for vacancies on the domestic market and that they have been unable to find appropriate staff (Swiss or foreigners already integrated into the Swiss market).

Salary controls ensure employees from the new EU Member States are offered the same working conditions and salaries as local people. Before issuing a work permit the employment authority checks to see whether the labour contract is in compliance with the main legal provisions.