Amendment of the Aliens Act

SWITZERLAND - Amendment of the Aliens Act

February 2019

Since January 2019, the Federal Act on Foreign Nationals (AuG) has been renamed the Federal Act on Foreign Nationals and Integration (AIG). The new AIG is intended to promote the integration of foreign nationals by facilitating the approach and aim for an independent commitment to integration. Through giving more rights to foreigners, there will be a higher level of initiative and integration.

The essentials in brief:

  • Integration criteria: In addition to the integration criteria currently in force, language skills have been defined, which are required for the granting and extension of a permit.
  • Recognised refugees and provisionally admitted persons: A work permit is no longer required and they can now exercise self-employment or employment throughout Switzerland after registering with the labour market authority. This will only come into effect if the customary wage and working conditions  in the locality, profession and industry are observed.
  • Permanent residence permit C: If the integration criteria are not met, the long-term settlement permit can be revoked and replaced by a residence permit (downgrading). The downgrading is linked to conditions for which the continued residence in Switzerland is subject. After a downgrading, the settlement permit can only be reconsidered after a minimum period of five years.
  • Family reunion: Spouses of persons with a permanent residence permit C or a residence permit B must be able to communicate in the national language spoken at their place of residence. A level of A1 for oral language skills will be required. If proof of the required language skills cannot be provided, an application for a language course must be submitted. 

BDO comment

BDO in Switzerland may support you in applying for work and residence permits for Switzerland and consult you on the changing legislation. 

Stephanie Müller