EU / EFTA

Free Movement of Persons

The Free Movement of Persons Agreement and its additional protocol lift restrictions on EU citizens wishing to live or work in Switzerland. The same rules apply to citizens of EFTA states. The citizens of the founding EU states, including Cyprus and Malta (EU-17), and the citizens of EFTA states have enjoyed free movement rights for several years already. The citizens of the EU-8 state were granted the same unrestricted free movement rights on 1 May 2011. The citizens of Bulgaria and Romania will remain subject to restrictions till 31 May 2016.

Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union (EU) on 1 July 2013. The agreement was extended to Croatia through Protocol III. On 9 February 2014, the Swiss electorate adopted a popular initiative aimed at stopping mass immigration. As a result, the Federal Council was no longer in a position to sign Protocol III in its original version because it violates the new constitutional provisions. From 1 July 2014, Croatian nationals are subject to separate quotas on access to the Swiss labour market. The admission of Croatian nationals to Switzerland is therefore still subject to the provisions of the Foreign Nationals Act (FNA).