Only a limited number of British expats will be allowed to live and work in Switzerland should the UK leave the EU with a non-deal.
The Swiss government has announced it will look to implement the same immigration quotas that currently apply to non-EU citizens. According to the Swiss Federal Council this means that a total of just 3,500 British expats would be allowed into the country to either work or live.
Although Switzerland isn’t actually a member of the European Union, it has a freedom of movement deal in place which affords EU citizens the right to live in Switzerland, and Swiss citizens to live the EU countries.
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, this agreement on free movement will no longer apply to British expats, meaning that British nationals seeking to enter the country to work for the first time will be treated in the same manner as visa applicants from non-EU countries.
The Swiss Federal Council have suggested that 2,100 residency permits and 1,400 short-stay permits will be allocated to Britons wishing to enter Switzerland for work purposes. However, the 42,000 British expats who are estimated to already live in Switzerland will not be affected by the new ruling.
The government said the decision was based on Swiss economic and local interests in the case of an abrupt change in the status of British citizens and potential “undesirable” competition for jobs between British citizens and other third-country nationals.
Article published 15th February 2019