Residence Permit in Switzerland

Since 2008 Switzerland has become a part of Schengen area, although it is notably not a member of the European Union.

According to the Swiss immigration legislation, foreign citizens including their immediate family members (spouse and children) may apply for a temporary residence permit in Switzerland through an agreement concluded with the Tax Administration of the Swiss cantons (for nonEU-EFTA nationals): lump-sum taxation; or though company incorporation.

Advantages of a Swiss residence permit:

Possibility to live in an economically stable environment
Pleasant and prestigious lifestyle
Possibility to obtain a residence permit for family members

A Swiss Residence permit through lump-sum taxation

Some cantons may grant residence permit to foreign nationals under an annual fixed tax regime, calculated on the bases of the annual cost of living expended by the taxpayer.

The regime concerns the foreigner and his/her family members (spouse and minor children), who don’t carry out any business activity in Switzerland. The lump-sum taxation on the federal level is CHF 400,000 and cantonal tax rates vary depending on the cantons.

In order to apply for a residency permit under the lump-sum taxation regime, the following documents must be submitted:

  • Valid passport copy
  • Proof of address
  • Certificate of criminal record
  • Valid insurance policy in Switzerland
  • Detailed CV
  • Declaration stating that the applicant will not carry out any business activity in Switzerland
  • Agreement concluded with Tax Administration

Additional documents to be submitted for each of the applicant’s family members:

  • Completed and signed questionnaire
  • Legalized copy of marriage certificate or divorce certificate, if applicable
  • Legalized birth certificates for minor children

A Swiss residence permit through company incorporation

In order to apply for a residence permit through incorporation of a Swiss company, the following criteria shall be met:

  • Incorporation of a Swiss company (SA form)
  • Innovative nature of business and significant investments expected (about CHF 1 to 6 million)
  • Creating of new jobs for local nationals
  • The applicant must be appointed as director of the company and has signed the employment agreement
  • Foreign nationals may be permitted to work only is it is proven that no domestic or EU/EFTA application has been suitable
  • The applicant must possess educational and professional qualifications, work experience, language level and other skills required for the position

The applicant must fill in and submit the necessary application forms to the immigration authorities, accompanied by:

  • Valid passport copy
  • 2 photos (passport format)
  • Detailed CV
  • Valid insurance policy in Switzerland
  • Legal address proof
  • Business plan, description of the company’s activity, estimated company budget
  • Proof of unsuccessful research of employees on the Swiss and European labor markets
  • Copy of employment agreement, of diplomas and certificates proving that the applicant has sufficient education, work experience, skills and qualifications
  • Certificate of criminal record

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