Need advice to keep my B permit... :/

Hi everyone,

I’ve just been made redundant from my job.

I’m an EU citizen with a B permit and the immigration office informed me that I will lose my current permit if I don’t find a new job very soon.

Consequently, I should leave the country!!!

  1. If I lose my B permit, can I still keep my apartment in Switzerland while I look for a new job abroad or even in Switzerland?

  2. How would it be possible to temporarily change from a B permit to another permit that would allow me to stay longer?

  3. Can I keep my B permit if I set up a sole proprietorship company?

Any solution? :pleading_face:

Thank you for your help.


How long do you have until you will have to renew your B permit?
A friend of mine was made redundant and she has 18 months allowances to continue her search of a new job. She had a monthly appointment with the unemployment office to prove she was applying to 8 positions a month.
She managed to keep her B permit and her flat during the period.

You should be able to find another position or apply for training.

I have 3 months left.
Yes this is correct but I am not in this situation.

Will you be having unemployement benefits and registered at RAV?

When we had layoffs in our company, external lawyer seem to imply that esp. for EU/EFTA it shouldn’t be a problem if you’re registered at RAV/actively looking/having unemployement benefits.

Would you have enough money to sustain yourself while you’re searching for a job? (iirc you need like >40k in your bank account?)

As EU/EFTA I don’t think they can really refuse a permit if you’re actively looking (due to freedom of movement agreement), you’re generally free to come in Switzerland with the purpose of looking for a job.

Also note that you can stay in Switzerland as long as your application for permit isn’t denied (e.g. it’s being processed/appealed).

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For having a permit without being employed, see FAQ – Free Movement of Persons

That’s definitely an option if you have enough in your bank account (but you’ll probably need to apply for a different kind of permit, and convert it to a work one once you have a job).

edit: it also mentions you can be granted a 3 months (extended up to 1y) permit to find a job:

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Many thanks for your reply Nabal!

Below is the letter I’ve received from the migration office.
After this period of 6 months and if I didn’t find a new job before, then they say I will lose my B permit.

I just want to continue to live in Switzerland while having time to find a new job.

I tried to get more details from the migration office, but they were completely unhelpful and closed the door on me: “maybe”, “no”, “we don’t have time for you”…


Das Aufenthaltsrecht von Staatsangehörigen der Mitgliedstaaten der EU und der EFTA mit einer Aufenthaltsbewilligung EU/EFTA (Ausweis B) erlischt sechs Monate nach unfreiwilliger Beendigung des Arbeitsverhältnisses, wenn dieses vor Ablauf der ersten zwölf Monate des Aufenthalts endet (Art. 61a Abs. 1 des Bundesgesetzes über die Ausländerinnen und Ausländer und über die Integration [AIG]). Wird nach Ablauf der sechs Monate weiterhin Arbeitslosenent-schädigung ausbezahlt, erlischt das Aufenthaltsrecht mit dem Ende der Entschädigung (Art.

61a Abs. 2 AIG). Im Zeitraum von der Beendigung des Arbeitsverhältnisses bis zum Erlöschen des Aufenthaltsrechts besteht kein Anspruch auf Sozialhilfe (Art. 61a Abs. 3 AIG).

Gemäss Art. 24 Abs. 3 des Freizügigkeitsabkommens (FZA) Anhang I dürfen sich Personen die ein Arbeitsverhältnis mit einer Dauer von weniger als einem Jahr im Hoheitsgebiet einer Vertragspartei innehatten, weiterhin dort aufhalten, sofern sie für sich und ihre Familienangehörigen über ausreichende finanzielle Mittel verfügen, sodass sie keine Sozialhilfe in Anspruch nehmen müssen. Zudem müssen die Personen über einen Krankenversicherungsschutz verfü-gen, der sämtliche Risiken abdeckt.

Weiteres Vorgehen

Sollten Sie in den nächsten sechs Monaten eine neue Stelle antreten, bitten wir Sie, uns eine Kopie des Arbeitsvertrages einzureichen. Andernfalls werden wir prüfen, ob Ihr Aufenthalts-recht in der Schweiz erloschen ist oder ob Sie die Voraussetzungen im Sinne von Art. 24 Abs.

3 Anhang I FZA erfüllen.

So it doesn’t seem so dire. From what I understand you have 6 months to find a job, get started on your interviews/search.

(Note : it’s way more generous than non EU folks)

Beyond that either you have enough money to live in Switzerland (then apply for a non working permit, as linked in previous post), or you don’t and then I’m not sure why you’d want to stay anyway.

Thank you for your helpful answer.

If I understand well, after the expiration of my 6 months period of tolerance (in the case I still didn’t find a new job) then I can ask for a EU/EFTA short-term residence permit for job-seekers valid for three months and after ask for a extension up to a maximum of one year? This is correct?

And yes I have enough money > 50k.

I’m just thinking about the worst case scenario.

People who wish to come to Switzerland to look for work do not need a permit if their stay
stay does not exceed three months. If the job search lasts longer than that
or if these people benefit from the export of their unemployment benefits, job-seekers
must declare their stay to the competent authorities and will be issued with a residence
will be issued with an EU/EFTA short-term residence permit valid for three months. A short-term
short-term residence permits for job-seekers are issued if they have the financial
hey have the financial means to support themselves3. *This can be extended
up to a maximum of one year, provided they can prove that they are still
prove that they are continuing to look for work and that there is a real prospect of en-
gagement. Permits for job-seekers are not continu- ing.
gented. Job-seekers are not entitled to state social welfare benefits.
social assistance in the host country.

EU nationals with sufficient financial means (i.e. not taking any social benefits here) can get B permit. I’ve moved to Switzerland based on that. Never worked here, never looked for a job.

So if you stop taking unemployment benefits (if you do) and show sufficient financial means, then there should be no issue keeping your B permit.

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Is it your case?
How long will you be getting unemployment benefits?

Hmm actually the migration office said me that B permit is only for work purpose… so I didn’t get it how did you manage to get it without working?

Yes when I have been fired I was in Switzerland for 11 months and not 12 months…
Until December.

Although I don’t have any advice I have a question: doesn’t the B permit remain valid until its original expiration date for EU citizens? In other words: if you got your permit for five years, in the third year you stop working (for any reason) doesn’t it remain valid uncoditially for the remaining 2 years?
Otherwise, a non-Swiss, but EU citizen, could feel not treated fair by paying unemployment insurance during work and being kicked out from the country once starts profiting from unemployment benefits (and as a consequence of leaving the country losing the benefit eventually).

Please. Do some research. I doubt they said that B permit is only with employment. B EU/EFTA permit (Resident foreign nationals)

In any case, if you’re actually looking for a job I doubt it will take 6 months.

Since you know you’re being let go, you can already contact the RAV. Depending on your situation before moving to Switzerland you might be eligible to unemployment benefits (but usually it requires contributing at least 12 months).

RAV will require you to apply to at least 8 jobs per month. (And I assume the Migrationsamt might use the same criteria).

I kinda doubt if you actually look for a job you’ll be waiting very long to find something.