On 27 October 2021, the Federal Council put forward a plan to change the rules around foreign students working in Switzerland upon completing study at a Swiss university.
The proposed rules would allow those graduating from Swiss universities with masters or doctorates in fields with a shortage of workers to work in Switzerland more easily. The changes would reduce the administrative requirements for obtaining a Swiss work permit. However, a maximum annual number of such permits would be set.
It is hoped the plan will relieve labour shortages in key areas. Some in parliament complained that Switzerland was paying for expensive training of specialists that it cannot employ when their training is completed.
Current rules allow companies to hire foreigners graduating from Swiss universities without offering priority to Swiss candidates if the work is of overriding scientific or economic importance.
The proposed change would replace the current test and make it easier to employ Swiss-trained foreigners in fields suffering from a shortage of qualified workers.
The proposal will now be discussed until 10 February 2022.