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Switzerland Wants to Make It Easier for Foreigners With a Swiss University Degree to Work in the Country

Swiss authorities are working to enable third-country nationals who have obtained a master’s or doctoral degree from a university in the country to be eligible to work in Switzerland after they graduate.

The Swiss Federal Council announced the move through a press release on October 27, explaining that it wanted to create legal requirements for foreigners who obtained a degree in regions with a shortage of skilled labor to stay and work.

The press release clarifies that “in order to meet this requirement, they must be excluded from the maximum number of annual residence permits if their employment is of high scientific or economic importance,” further noting that a consultation process was opened at Wednesday’s Federal Council meeting.

During the meeting, Parliament criticized the fact that young specialists from third countries trained in Switzerland are forced to leave the country because the country’s laws do not allow the employment of foreign students, even in cases where they graduate from a field where there is a shortage. of skilled workers in the country.

“If Switzerland trains expensive specialists, they should also be able to work here,” council member Marcel Doppler said during the meeting.

According to the Swiss Federal Statistics Office, there were 191,812 foreign students in Switzerland in the 2019/2020 academic year. Of these students, 83,736 are enrolled in universities of applied sciences, 14,844 are in medicine and pharmacy, and 10,711 are in engineering and architecture, all of these fields of study for which there is a shortage of skilled labor in the country.

Switzerland has very strict rules when it comes to foreign workers, and the country only issues less than ten thousand work permits per year to workers outside the EU/EEA.

Moreover, only highly qualified foreigners such as managers, specialists or other skilled professionals, holding a university degree or a higher educational institution, plus a number of years of professional work experience, can apply for these work permits.

Other criteria such as occupational and social adjustment, language skills and age are also taken into account.

Last week, reported that Switzerland has finally decided to allow Croatian citizens to work in Switzerland under the same rights as other EU/EFTA citizens, starting January 1, 2022.

The decision came after the council assessed that there was no significant imbalance in the labor market in both countries.

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