Priority is given to - Swiss citizens, foreign nationals with a long-term residence permit or a residence permit allowing employment, as well as all citizens from those countries with which Switzerland has concluded the Free Movement of Persons Agreement (at present, the EU and EFTA states) are given priority.
Third state nationals may only be admitted if a person cannot be recruited from the labour market of Switzerland or another EU/EFTA member state. Once the work permit is issued the applicant has to file for Resident Permit.
Employers must prove that they have not been able to recruit a suitable employee from this priority category, despite intensive efforts.
Vacant positions must be registered with the Regional Employment Offices (RAV) together with a request to register the vacancy in the European Employment System (EURES = the European Union's Employment Services cooperation network). Once a potential employee has been put in contact with the employer and subsequently turned down, the employers generally receive a questionnaire in which they can state the reasons the potential employee was not hired.
The employer must explain to the authorities why the search for a suitable candidate was not successful through the recruitment channels used in the specific industry, such as specialist journals, employment agencies, online job listings or corporate websites, etc. Suitable proof includes job advertisements in newspapers, written confirmation from employment agencies, or other kinds of documentation. Often it is helpful for authorities if the employer submits a brief overview of all candidates with a short explanation of which qualifications for a particular job were lacking. In special cases, the authorities can request an employer to intensify his recruitment efforts.
When submitting an application, the employer must enclose a contract of employment that has been signed both by the employer and the employee and that contains a note reading "contract only valid on condition that the authorities grant a work permit". This provides both contracting parties with legal certainty. It is helpful for the Swiss authorities if the employing business enterprise uses a contract of employment that is customary to the particular sector of industry.
Employer has to file for work permit in Switzerland itself, for the employee. Employee once granted work permit has to file for work visa from home country.
Anyone who works during his/her stay in Switzerland or who remains in Switzerland for longer than three months requires a permit. Residence permits are issued by the Cantonal Migration Offices. A distinction is made between short-term residence permits (less than 1 year), annual residence permits (limited) and permanent residence permits (unlimited).
Stay or residence permits are issued to persons resident in Switzerland for a long period for a certain purpose with or without any employment. These permits are generally issued for a period of 1 year and renewed on annual basis unless there is reason against its renewal.
The period of validity of residence permit is limited to one year when the permit is granted for the first time. First-time permit for paid employment may only be issued within the limits of the ceilings and in compliance with Arts. A legal entitlement to the renewal of an annual permit only exists in certain cases. In practice, an annual permit is normally renewed.
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