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Switzerland: New language requirements for residence permits

New measures will be put in place from 1st January 2019 where foreign nationals applying for residence permits will need to sign a cultural integration agreement and show a level of language knowledge. The new requirements will affect applicants for temporary residence permits (B Type) and permanent residence permits (C Type). The changes will not apply for foreign nationals on short stay L Permits and 120 day permits.

When signing the cultural integration agreement the foreign national must adhere to the below:

  • Must observe public safety and order
  • Must respect the values of the Swiss Federal Constitution
  • Must demonstrate language skills
  • Must show a willingness to take part in economic life or partake in education
  • Must mention concrete goals to improve their language skills or knowledge of Switzerland to east the foreign nationals integration

The language skills required will vary for different immigration categories:

Permanent Residence (based on 10 years): For foreign nationals who have resided in Switzerland for 10 years, the applicant must demonstrate an oral language skill of Level A2 and a written language skill of A1

Permanent Residence (based on 5 years): For foreign nationals who have resided in Switzerland for five years, the applicants must demonstrate an oral language skill of Level B2 and a written language skill of A1

Temporary Residence Permits (B type): For an extension of the temporary residence permit the applicant must demonstrate an oral language skill level of A1. Alternatively, the applicant can show evidence of their registration on a language course which will lead to attaining the A1 level

If a foreign national does not adhere to the requirements outlined above, they could face a downgrade of their current immigration status or have their permits revoked.

More information

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our Immigration team at immigration@sterling.com or call +44(0)20 8836 3359.

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