Amidst the wake of tougher regimes for non European workers entering the European Union, Switzerland announced relief by saying it would issue an extra 1,000 work permits to outside EU immigrants. It also further added, that a total of 7,500 B and L permits will be made available to non European workers, from the year 2017 onwards.
This announcement was a serious relief for organizations, that are heavily reliant upon such specialist non-EU workers, and following a work permit shortage, businesses were unable to offer work permits to such highly deserving non European Specialists. In 2015, the number of total B and L work permits came down to 6,500 after the anti-immigration rules came into force, compared to the total of 8,500 in 2014.
The biggest setback due to such anti-immigration rules, was felt by Geneva and other major cities of Switzerland. These major hubs are home to many Multi-National Companies, which require specialized knowledge in the fields of pharmaceutical research and IT. Johann Schnieder-Ammann, Swiss President and Economics Minister, supported the lobby, to increase the quota of work permits. In August 2016, many heads of businesses expressed their concern to Simonetta Sommaruga, Justice Minister of Switzerland, saying that they were ‘extremely worried’, due to lack of specialized native workers and non-issuance of work permits to non European workers.
The Federal Council agreed to the fact that it would be beneficial to the general economy of the country, and issued 1,000 more work permits to non European workers. Such issuance of additional permits, will resolve the skill deficit of the Swiss. But many critics say, that this “light” solution will only favor native Swiss Workers over EU workers.
A leaked document issued by the European Union, sent to a local broadcaster, SRF, revealed, that the European Union has questioned the legality of such “light” solution from the Swiss Parliament.