Questions & Answers for Graduates
What is the so-called "facilitated admission for graduates" for obtaining a Swiss work permit?

Generally, the facilitated admission for graduates means that the employer does not have to prove the priority for nationals.

Is there way to prepare a document that explains to employers the facilitated admission for graduates of Swiss universities could be applied?

Yes, A-Link can help you with this. We offer the service of a Consultation session, after which we issue an Engagement Letter. The Engagement Letter explains to your potential employers that a facilitated work permit procedure could be applied to your case. You can send this letter together with your job application documents.

An employer is offering me a job contract and would like to secure a work permit for me. What are the next steps for me? How can I help them? Does the employer have to prove the priority of nationals? 

If you have recently obtained a Swiss diploma, a facilitated work permit procedure could be applied. This procedure at a high-level consists of compiling the work permit application, which is then processed by cantonal and federal authorities. You can help your employer by referring a professional services company such as A-Link. A-Link can assist your employer from start to end of the procedure. 

Does having a PhD degree from EPFL or ETH Zurich give any benefit in terms of obtaining a work permit?

Holding a Swiss university-level diploma gives the opportunity to apply for a work permit through facilitated admission. After obtaining the diploma, graduates can apply for an extension of the stay in Switzerland for six more months in order to find an employment.

Can I extend my stay in Switzerland after graduation to look for a job?

After obtaining your Swiss university-level diploma, you can apply for an extension of  your stay in Switzerland for six more months in order to find an employment. To do this, you need to apply for such permit at your Gemeinde / city. 

I am doing a PhD in Switzerland and have a B permit for this. Is my permit considered as a work permit? Can I take this permit to another employer?

A PhD is considered to be education by the Swiss authorities. In order to start working outside of academia, your potential employer will need to apply for a work permit.  

I have a B permit as a student. Can I work full-time? Part-time?

A student B permit does not allow starting a full-time job. As a student, you are allowed to work 15 hours per week during the semester and full-time during semester breaks. In this case, the employer will still need to apply for the work permit. 

Is the process of obtaining a Swiss work permit the same in all cantons?

Generally, the procedure is the same in all cantons. The same law applies to all cantons, however the application is initially processed by the cantonal authorities, so the procedure forms may be different.

Is the annual quota applied to Non-EU graduates with Swiss university diplomas?

Annual quotas for Non-EU nationals apply to work permits for graduates.

Can an employer get a work permit for me after my exchange semester at a Swiss university?

An employer can apply for your work permit, but without a Swiss diploma the procedure will not be facilitated. This generally means the employer has to prove the priority for nationals.

I have been in total for 4 years in Switzerland as a Master student and now a PhD candidate. Would I qualify for a C permit after 5 years through a simplified procedure? 

As a student, you are not eligible for a C permit. However, the years of studying in Switzerland could be counted towards required years for a C permit in the future, when you are working in Switzerland. 

As a non-EU/EFTA student, can I do an internship in Switzerland?

Permits for internships are possible if the university confirms that the internship is required and an integral part of the course. Note that for some courses, an internship  is a mandatory requirement, while for others it is just recommended. 

Can I switch jobs within Switzerland after I get a Swiss work permit?

The answer depends on the particular permit you are issued. Some permits have restrictions on switching jobs, in which case a request to change jobs needs to be submitted.