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

The Swiss authorities are working to make it possible for third-country nationals who have obtained a master’s or doctorate degree from one of the universities in the country to be eligible to work in Switzerland after their graduation.

The Federal Council of Switzerland has announced the move through a press release issued on October 27, further explaining that it wants to create legal perquisites for foreigners who have obtained a degree in areas with a shortage of skilled workers to stay and work.

In order to meet this requirement, they should be excluded from the maximum annual number of residence permits if their employment is of high scientific or economic interest,” the press release explains, further noting that the consultation process has been opened at a meeting of the Federal Council on Wednesday.

Throughout the meeting, the Parliament criticized the fact that the young specialists from third countries trained in Switzerland have to leave the country as the country’s laws do not permit hiring foreign students, even in cases when they graduate from a field in which there is a shortage of skilled workers in the country.

If Switzerland trains expensive specialists, they should also be able to work here,” member of the Council Marcel Dobler said during the meeting.

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

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

Moreover, only highly qualified foreigners like managers, specialists or other skilled professionals, who have a university or an institution of higher education degree, as well as a number of years of professional work experience, can apply for these work permits.

Other criteria as professional and social adaptability, language skills and age are also taken into account.

Last week, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that Switzerland had finally decided to permit Croatian nationals to work in Switzerland under the same rights as the rest of the EU/EFTA nationals, starting from January 1, 2022.

The decision was taken after an evaluation of the Council that there is no significant imbalance in the labour market in both countries.

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