Under federal law, a distinction is made between persons whose request for asylum is being considered (asylum seekers) and those who have already been granted the right to stay in Switzerland (recognised refugees, temporarily admitted refugees and temporarily admitted persons). The Federal Council has a declared objective of promoting the professional integration of people with a right of residence in Switzerland.
The Federal Council has a declared objective of promoting the professional integration of people with a right of residence in Switzerland.
Chapter 4.8.5 of the SEM directives relating to foreign nationals sets out the conditions under which persons who are seeking or have been granted asylum may take up work (only available in German, French and Italian):
Recognised refugees (B permit), temporarily admitted refugees and temporarily admitted persons (F permit)
Temporarily admitted persons and refugees are allowed to work. Since 1 January 2019, persons in these categories simply need to give notice that they have found a job, primarily so that they can quickly get on with working. The authorisation procedure no longer applies. The foreign nationals in question may also take part in employment and integration schemes, which also aim to facilitate their integration into working life and society.
Form for giving notice of the start or end of employment
You will find the form for giving notice that you are starting or ending employment if you are a recognised refugee (B permit), temporarily admitted refugee (F permit) or other type of temporarily admitted person (F permit) here (available in German, French and Italian):
If you are unable to send the completed form by clicking on ‘Übermittlung’, you can do one of the following:
- Convert the form into a PDF and send it to the local cantonal authority at the place of work (see list of addresses).
- Only if you cannot send the form by email, print it out and post it to the local cantonal authority at the place of work (see list of addresses).
NB: Please do NOT send the form to the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM). Send it to your local cantonal authority.
The email and postal addresses of the cantonal authorities can be found here:
Asylum seekers (N permit)
Asylum seekers require authorisation before they can work. They cannot simply give notice that they have found a job. An application for authorisation for an asylum seeker to work may be made to the cantonal authorities.
Asylum seekers may work while they are in a federal asylum centre. Authorisation for temporary employment can be granted once an asylum seeker has been allocated to a canton and is subject to certain conditions: the economic and employment market situation must allow it, wage and working conditions must be respected, and priority must be given to workers already entitled to work in Switzerland.
In the interest of fairness in the job market, the cantons may restrict authorisation to certain sectors only. Almost all the cantons run employment schemes, which aim to provide participants with the basic knowledge they need for everyday life in Switzerland. The cantons also offer the option of participating in not-for-profit programmes. Information on available employment schemes can be obtained from the local cantonal authorities.
Last modification 30.04.2021