The new Foreign Nationals and Integration Act will come into force on 1 January 2019. The revision of the law aims to improve the professional and social integration of foreign nationals living in Switzerland, through clear integration requirements and positive incentives.
The Swiss Foreign Nationals Act (FNA) and the corresponding ordinances are currently under revision. One part of the revision affects the integration of foreign nationals in Switzerland.
In a whole, the revision aims to improve the professional and social integration of foreign nationals living in Switzerland, through clear integration requirements and positive incentives.
This revision was split in two packages. The first package entered into force on 1 January 2018 and aimed to remove administrative hurdles related to the employment of certain categories of foreigners. The second package - the subject of this News Alert - was approved in August 2018 by the Federal Council and will come into force on 1 January 2019.
MAIN CHANGES - WHAT IS NEW
NEW TITLE OF THE LAW
The title of the Foreign Nationals Act will change. The Foreign Nationals Act will become the Foreign Nationals and Integration Act - FNIA (Ausländer- und Integrationsgesetz - AIG / Loi sur les étrangers et l'intégration - LEI).
ACCESS TO THE SWISS LABOUR MARKET FOR TEMPORARILY ADMITTED FOREIGNERS AND RECOGNIZED REFUGEES
The access to the Swiss labour market will be facilitated for temporarily admitted foreigners, for recognized refugees who were granted asylum and for recognized refugees who have been temporarily admitted. These three categories of foreigners will be allowed to work in Switzerland once the employer (or the self-employed person) has notified the gainful activity to the competent authorities via an online notification procedure. This means that the filing of a complete work permit application will not be necessary anymore.
Under the new law, the immigration authorities will have to take into account the integration level (or the chances of integration) of foreign nationals in order to grant or extend a residence permit (B permit) or a permanent residence permit (C permit).
The integration criteria to be used by the authorities in the evaluation of the integration level of a foreign national will be defined in the law and are according to art. 58a FNIA as follows:
Compliance with public security and order; Compliance with the values of the Swiss Federal...