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Old 04.09.2021, 12:54
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Permits for British citizens post-Brexit

I thought it would be useful to write a short summary of the various treaties and legislation that applies to British citizens in Switzerland post-Brexit.

If you were registered as resident in Switzerland before the end of 2020:
You should be covered by the UK-CH Citizens' Right Agreement, which is equivalent (but not identical) to the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement.

To all intents and purposes, you continue to be treated as a quasi-EU citizen with geographic and occupational mobility (including self-employment), entitled to a C permit after 5 years, recognition of qualifications up to 4 years after 31 Dec 2020 and family reunification rights (children unlimited, ascending line only if dependent, new spouses up to 5 years after 31 Dec 2020).

Frontier workers (G-permit holders) are also covered by the CRA as long as they remain in their existing jobs and, I believe, if they change job in Switzerland with no break between the old job and the new one.

There is no need to change your existing physical permit, but when you get a new one (renewal, upgrade, house move etc.), you will get a plastic credit-card format permit which will be marked with the wording "in accordance with the agreement of 25 February 2019" in the local language. This wording proves you are a beneficiary of the CRA.

The full text of the CRA is attached to this post.
It also references the CH-EU agreement on the Free Movement of People (FMOPA):
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ...801%29:EN:HTML

The new language requirements still apply, see this FAQ:
https://www.eda.admin.ch/dam/countri...achweis_EN.pdf

If you move to Switzerland after 1 January 2021:
You count as an ordinary third-country national and are therefore subject to the provisions of the Foreign Nationals Integration Act (FNIA) and its associated directives.

In short, to move to Switzerland from 2021 onwards, you must hold a firm job offer (self-employment no longer possible for the main permit-holder without a C permit), and your prospective employer must prove that they were unable to find a "domestic" (including existing permit-holders) or EU employee to fill the vacancy. You will also be subject to permit quotas, which for 2021 are set at 2100 B permits and 1400 L permits ring-fenced for British citizens.

If you want to work as a frontier worker, this is only possible if:
a) the job is in a designated frontier area of Switzerland
b) you live within a designated frontier area of a surrounding country and
c) you have already lived there for at least 6 months.

The English text of the Foreign Nationals Integration Act is here:
https://www.fedlex.admin.ch/eli/cc/2007/758/en

The second directive, relating to Chapter 4 of the act, is relevant, particularly section 4.4.1. Available here in DE, FR and IT:
https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/de/home...aetigkeit.html

Service provision:
There is also a services mobility agreement between the UK and CH, but it doesn't really apply to people living in Switzerland as they already have the right to provide services in both countries (except post-2020 new arrivals who are the main permit-holder). If you live somewhere other than the UK or CH, however, you are no longer permitted to provide services into Switzerland as a UK citizen.
Here is the text:
https://www.newsd.admin.ch/newsd/mes...ents/64471.pdf

If you are living in Switzerland and have been providing services into EU countries, the situation is anything but clear as the British diaspora has been somewhat overlooked in the negotiations.
British service providers - and posted workers - may be covered by the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, but nobody seems to know. The text (all 1200 pages) is here:
https://assets.publishing.service.go...24.12.2020.pdf

As you can see, there are a number of treaties and agreements that apply to British citizens now, and it's not always clear which takes precedence if they contradict one another.

Volunteer organisations of interest/use to British citizens living in Switzerland (and frontier workers):
British in Switzerland (the Swiss branch of British in Europe):
https://www.facebook.com/groups/548706488973971
Cross-Border Services Group
https://crossborder-services.org

This is of necessity only a very brief summary; you should read the primary texts for yourselves and take professional advice for your own situation.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf abkommen-ch-uk-brexit-e.pdf (446.7 KB, 28 views)

Last edited by eng_ch; 15.11.2021 at 10:55.
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  #2  
Old 05.09.2021, 11:26
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Re: Permits for British citizens post-Brexit

One comment: I would amend the C permit part from ‘entitlement after 5 years’ to ‘ordinary deadline for C permit eligibility continues to be 5 years and all requirements of the FNIA continue to apply’.
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Old 05.09.2021, 12:26
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Re: Permits for British citizens post-Brexit

From the CRA (my bold):

Article 14 Permanent residence status
1. For the purposes of determining eligibility for permanent residence status under national law, the Parties shall not require Swiss nationals or United Kingdom nationals who fall under Article 10(1)(a), (b) or (e), (2) or (3) of this Agreement to have resided legally for a continuous period of more than 5 years.


Article 58 of FNIA on integration (e.g. language requirements) applies in the same way it applies to EU citizens not covered by one of the other agreements waiving the language requirement.

My post is intended to be a brief summary and to all intents and purposes, the criteria for British citizens resident before the end of 2020 to get a C permit are the same now as they were before (with effect from 1 January 2019 under the revised FNIA).

Last edited by eng_ch; 05.09.2021 at 12:45.
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Old 05.09.2021, 18:26
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Re: Permits for British citizens post-Brexit

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[i]Article 14 Permanent residence status
1. For the purposes of determining eligibility for permanent residence status under national law
Being eligible doesn't make it a right.
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Old 05.09.2021, 18:38
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Re: Permits for British citizens post-Brexit

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Being eligible doesn't make it a right.
Thank you. That is what I was about to mention as well.
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Old 05.09.2021, 19:06
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Re: Permits for British citizens post-Brexit

The point is they cannot require e.g. a 10-year period as for other TCNs; it remains 5 years as before.
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Old 14.11.2021, 21:40
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Re: Permits for British citizens post-Brexit

Hi,

I arrived in Jan 2016 and renewed my Permit B in Dec 20, i asked for a C but they said no because i had no A2 German, (i am zurich based) from what i read above i still believe i could have had a C but there you go they wouldnt.

I arrived on UK passport, but i also have an Irish one which may have been better to use. I also have a swiss partner and a 6 month old baby(swiss passport too) Does any of this mean i could now upgrade to a C especially as I have a swiss national dependant on me? Tks
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Old 14.11.2021, 21:49
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Re: Permits for British citizens post-Brexit

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Hi,

I arrived in Jan 2016 and renewed my Permit B in Dec 20, i asked for a C but they said no because i had no A2 German, (i am zurich based) from what i read above i still believe i could have had a C but there you go they wouldnt.

I arrived on UK passport, but i also have an Irish one which may have been better to use. I also have a swiss partner and a 6 month old baby(swiss passport too) Does any of this mean i could now upgrade to a C especially as I have a swiss national dependant on me? Tks
Learn German, or move to Suisse Romande and learn French or to Ticino and learn Italian.
Itís now a Permit C requirement to learn one of the national languages.
It has nothing to do with the country of origin of the requester.
The Swiss have been lenient up until now.. no other country allows for a permanent residency without knowing the language.
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Old 14.11.2021, 21:58
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Re: Permits for British citizens post-Brexit

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Learn German, or move to Suisse Romande and learn French or to Ticino and learn Italian.
It’s now a Permit C requirement to learn one of the national languages.
It has nothing to do with the country of origin of the requester.
The Swiss have been lenient up until now.. no other country allows for a permanent residency without knowing the language.
US does ...

somewhere 2001 when visiting Boston I got USA Today to my hotel doors - and bottom corner front page I read "68% US residents speak foreign language ..",
I thought 'Wow , that's impressiove' and I read second line - smaller print
"52% doesn't speak English"..
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Old 14.11.2021, 23:34
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Re: Permits for British citizens post-Brexit

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The Swiss have been lenient up until now.. no other country allows for a permanent residency without knowing the language.
There seem to be seven or eight EU states that don't have such a requirement.
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Old 15.11.2021, 00:31
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Re: Permits for British citizens post-Brexit

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Hi,

I arrived in Jan 2016 and renewed my Permit B in Dec 20, i asked for a C but they said no because i had no A2 German, (i am zurich based) from what i read above i still believe i could have had a C but there you go they wouldnt.

I arrived on UK passport, but i also have an Irish one which may have been better to use. I also have a swiss partner and a 6 month old baby(swiss passport too) Does any of this mean i could now upgrade to a C especially as I have a swiss national dependant on me? Tks
Donít know if youíd get a C, but you should definitely change your permit, so itís based on your Irish nationality and therefore an EU permit.
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Old 15.11.2021, 00:42
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Re: Permits for British citizens post-Brexit

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Donít know if youíd get a C, but you should definitely change your permit, so itís based on your Irish nationality and therefore an EU permit.
She could switch to the Irish nationality to dupport her permit, but she doesnít need to. She arrived in 2016 thus she has acquired and can exercise her treaty rights as per the UK - CH agreement.
In fact that might even be beneficial.

@Jim2007, which ones?
It seems to me that France, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Italy (for starters) have language requirements for a permanent permit, or is that a misreading?
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Old 15.11.2021, 10:53
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Re: Permits for British citizens post-Brexit

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Hi,

I arrived in Jan 2016 and renewed my Permit B in Dec 20, i asked for a C but they said no because i had no A2 German, (i am zurich based) from what i read above i still believe i could have had a C but there you go they wouldnt.

I arrived on UK passport, but i also have an Irish one which may have been better to use. I also have a swiss partner and a 6 month old baby(swiss passport too) Does any of this mean i could now upgrade to a C especially as I have a swiss national dependant on me? Tks
No, I'm afraid the language requirements still apply unless you happen to be a citizen of one of the handful of countries with which CH has a separate agreement (which you are not):

https://www.eda.admin.ch/dam/countri...achweis_EN.pdf

I've added the link to the OP
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