Yesterday, Switzerland’s Federal Council decided that it would continue to allow UK citizens to come to work in Switzerland after 30 March 2019 in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
A government press release stated there would be a separate quota of permits available to UK citizens. The temporary quota would allow 3,500 UK citizens to come to work in Switzerland in 2019. The quota includes 2,100 residence permits (B) and 1,400 short-stay permits (L).
The agreement, which will be drafted before the end of March, would replace the EU Agreement on Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) in the in the event of the United Kingdom’s disorderly withdrawal from the EU. If Brexit is postponed the existing rules will continue to apply.
Currently, the requirements for admission to take up employment are set out in the Foreign Nationals and Integration Act (FNIA) and by default these rules would apply to UK nationals after Brexit. However, talks are under way on a possible bilateral agreement between Switzerland and the UK that would differ from the admission requirements contained in the FNIA.
According to the press release, the cantons will be notified on a quarterly basis of the maximum number of UK citizens they are allowed to admit during 2019. Initially, permits for UK citizens would not be subject to a federal consent procedure and would be issued directly by the cantons.
In December 2018, The Federal Council, announced a deal safeguarding the rights of UK citizens already resident in Switzerland.