Resident foreign nationals are foreign nationals who are resident in Switzerland for a longer period of time for a certain purpose with or without gainful employment.
As a rule, the period of validity of residence permits for third-countrynationals is limited to one year when the permit is granted for the first time. First-time permits for gainful employment may only be issued within the limits of the ceilings and in compliance with Art. 20 of the Aliens Act. Once a permit has been granted, it is normally renewed every year unless there are reasons against a renewal, such as criminal offences, dependence on social security or the labor market. A legal entitlement to the renewal of an annual permit only exists in certain cases. In practice, an annual permit is normally renewed as long as its holder is able to draw a daily allowance from the unemployment insurance. In such cases, however, the holder is not actually entitled to a renewal of the permit.
Settled foreign nationals are foreign nationals who have been granted a settlement permit after five or ten years’ residence in Switzerland. The right to settle in Switzerland is not subject to any restrictions and must not be tied to any conditions. The Federal Office of Migration fixes the earliest date from which the competent national authorities may grant settlement permits.
As a rule, third-country nationals are in a position to be granted a settlement permit after ten years’ regular and uninterrupted residence in Switzerland. US and Canadian nationals are subject to a special regulation. However, third-country nationals have no legal entitlement to settlement permits. Apart from the provisions of settlement treaties, such a claim can only be derived from the Articles 42–43 and from Article 31 of the Aliens Act. Persons who hold a settlement permit are no longer subject to the Limitation Regulation, are free to choose their employers, and are no longer taxed at source.
Permit Ci (residence permit with gainful employment)
The residence permit with gainful employment is intended for members of the families of intergovernmental organisations and for members of foreign representations. This concerns the spouses and children up to 25 years of age. The validity of the permit is limited to the duration of the main holder's function.