Legal requirements for the integration of foreigners

Anyone who wants to work or live in Switzerland for more than three months will need a short-stay permit, a residence permit or a permanent residence permit. The cantonal migration authorities are responsible for granting, renewing and revoking these permits. In making their decisions, they consider public interests, as well as the personal circumstances and the degree of integration of the applicants. They base their decisions on the four integration criteria defined in the Foreign Nationals and Integration Act (Art. 58a FNA):

  • Respect for public safety, security and order
  • Respect for the values of the Federal Constitution
  • Language skills
  • Participation in working life or efforts to acquire an education..

More information on permits in accordance with the Foreign Nationals Act

Integration agreements

The cantons may require migrants to conclude an integration agreement, showing them what is expected of them, such as learning the local national language. The cantons can make integration recommendations to family members moving in with Swiss relatives and persons from EU/EFTA countries.

Find out more about this in the following document: 
Was sind Integrationsvereinbarungen und Integrationsempfehlungen? (PDF, 211 kB, 17.11.2020) 
(This document is not available in English)

Last modification 16.12.2020

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