Non-EU Permit B without free movement

Hello, Urgent suggestions needed

I am a non-eu citizen and I have work permit B which doesn’t allow free movement for employment.

My permit B is valid until April 2025, I have paid all taxes and unemployment insurance.

I have lost my job with 3 month notice and I am unemployed from 01/July/2024. I have contacted Geneva unemployment association and the unemployment benefit has been rejected because my permit B is associated with employer and doesn’t allow to move free. After losing job from 01/July/2024, I don’t have any authorization to work. I need find job/employer who can sponsor.

Now, big question comes for me:

  1. Do i need leave the country ?
  2. After losing my job, how long I can stay and look for job?
  3. Can any suggest me for legal help?
  4. If stay away for Switzerland 3 months, What should I do with health insurance? Do i still need pay or can request them for a pause since unemployed/no funds?

Your Response is highly appreciated


Your permit B is valid until April 2025, then you definitely can stay until April 2025. Sorry I could be wrong. In this swissinfo article it actually says

According to the State Secretariat for Migration, non-EU citizens can stay in the country for 30 days after the authorities receive information about the person’s dismissal even if the permit indicates that it is valid for longer. This can be extended with permission from cantonal authorities and often is if the person is receiving unemployment benefits.

Try to find a job before that time. I have been in your situation. You still have a much better chance than those who are not yet reside in Switzerland. In my view, super big international companies and super small startup can get you work permit.

Btw, it seems very odd to me that your employer can inform you last week and from this week you are already unemployed. Shouldn’t be an at least three month notice period?


That’s weird, are you sure about that? I thought being employed for >1y was sufficient.

From what I can tell, you need to ask to extend your permit (but it’s typically not an issue if you’re able to register with RAV).

Indemnités chômage en Suisse : règles pour les étrangers has quite a lot of detail

@nabalzbhf sorry for confusion. I have 3 month notice and finished end of june.

You’re definitely supposed to register with RAV before your last day, was there an issue with that?

(I’m still fairly sure that if you worked >1y on a B permit you should get unemployment, all the official sites seem to say that, it shouldn’t matter whether the permit is linked or not)

Hi @nabalzbhf

I have worked for more than 3 years in Geneva and I have registered for unemployment benefit and it was rejected because I don’t have authorization.

Neither Droit aux indemnités de chômage : conditions d'obtention | nor Comment et où s’inscrire au chômage en Suisse mentions any conditions on the type of B permit.

I’d definitely ask for more details as to why this was rejected. If you don’t speak french, ask someone who does to come with you.

Not necessarily, the legal notice period is 1, 2, 3 months for 1, 2-9, 9+ years’ employment respectively. There could be a longer notice period if agreed on the contract. Some of the large companies are more generous, however I hear that increasingly most companies stick to the legal minimum.

Some companies fire people at 17:00, last working day of the month, as the notice (of resignation or dismissal) starts counting from the last day of the month it was handed.

An employer-linked aka „Closed B“ does not allow you to find another Swiss employer. If you want to continue work in Switzerland, your future employer needs to sponsor a new closed B permit - aka an exception approval and and thereby proof that they can’t recruit adequate resources from within Switzerland or the EU. That is very unlikely to happen.

To make things even worse - closed B‘s can only be renewed after a „cool-down period“ of 12 months. So the new employer would first need to recruit you outside of Switzerland. From there, you could then after 6 months or so come to extended business travel to Switzerland and after 1 year return. This as such employment outside of Switzerland would then allow for a re-transfer back to Switzerland (and a new Closed B), on the grounds that you were a critical Manager (expert likely won‘t work). Have seen such cases but they generally only work out if your new employer poaches you from your current employer. Chances to engineer this once fired are virtually zero - unless your client internalizes you (assuming you work in the IT services industry).

I am afraid but the brutal truth is that you probably need to Pack up stuff and leave to a European Country or even back home. Poland is probably a good country for such cases I understand. To make it even worse - no Visa that allows to work in Switzerland means no possibility to find new job in Switzerland and based on this no entitlement to unemployment benefits as you can’t be re-employed by RAV…

All my Personal understanding. Have worked in this industry for a long time so I trust my understanding should still be 80% correct. But given the negative impact, I would recommend to re-confirm it with your former employers HR and/or RAV. Long term learning: never ever again accept a Closed B visa, unless they are willing to (and have an audit trail of) successfully sponsoring closed B to open B permits. But given closes B is close to slavery and gives employers material monetary and sanctionary benefits - you won‘t find many employers that are willing to do so I am afraid so next time, I would carefully think before taking up such offer the next time.


Do you know why it’s not mentioned on any of the easy to find websites? I would have hoped they mention those :confused:


For instance it also implies that linked B permit should still get unemployment (and are usually renewed while receiving the benefits but it needs to be asked for)

I wonder if the issue with OP is that they didn’t apply for unemployment before the end of the contract?

It’s a IT company, but the company never shared any information about closed Permit B and it that employer responsibility to share restriction on close permit B information?

leave Switzerland or European country? they both are different


Can you give me any reference or anything official information on government websites? Where all the list of condition specified?

My employer never told any information about my permit? Do you think is intentionally they hide ? If I know these conditions I would have rejected it.

It was certainly not helpful that the colleague didn’t apply for unemployment benefits in time. I think however that it would not have materially changed the outcome.

Let me put it this way: If you are a Google Engineer specialized in AI and you make 250k+. Even if (due to whathever reason) you had a Closed B Permit (such should directly be an Open B)… the RAV will fast conclude that you are employable. Meaning that you will both i) find a new employer that can demonstrate they don’t find this skill on the open market and that was willing to sponsor a visa and ii) the cantonal authorities would likely support such new visa and grant you one from the quota. This particularely as it was in the economic interest of the canton/switzerland to keep you in the country.

If you are however employed with the Infosys, Tata, Wipro, HCL and Cognizants of this world - the RAV will upon a 30 secs check of both your current salary and CV conclude that you might potentially find an employer but that the employer under no circumstances could proof that they can’t find this skill on the CH/EU/EFTA labour market. Meaning that you would not qualify the condition to apply for a new B permit, especially as there is no econimic interest anymore. Therefore, they probably consider you non-employable and reject any benefits.

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You use a Work Visa where a quota system applies and that is capped to 5 years max. The visa that was intended for highly skilled employees that can not be recruited within Switzerland, the EU and EFTA area. It further depends on an economic interest aka benefit to Switzerland. The Visa is linked to the Canton where you work, your employer and the specific project/function you work on. If either (Canton, Employer or Project/Function changes), your Visa expires in 30 days. The cantons have a (by capita) distributed total quota of 1’250 such Visa they can grant and the federal administration can top this number up (based on economic demand) by another 3250. So there is limmitted supply:
Quotas 2024 | Kanton Zürich (
some more detail on the eligibility criteria is listed here:

Your visa does not qualify for residency in Switzerland, please find a list of Visas granted to Non-EU/EFTA citicens that qualify for residency:
Residence permits for non-EU/EFTA nationals (

You can find information on your visa under the “Work” section of the list of Visa granted by the Federal Administration (not under the residency section):
Non-EU/EFTA nationals (

The rules that you need to leave Switzerland once the basis for your work visa expired (which is your employment contract) is probably hidden somewhere deep down in operating procedures employed by the administration. Don’t think you will find any reference here. Same applies with the rules how they apply re-applications (and the cool-off period employed).

With regard to unemployment, the problem is trully that unemplyoment benefits are paid if “employability” was given. If you are in a situation where you can’t take on rightful work in Switzerland (as you don’t have a work visa)… employability is technically not granted and you don’t qualify for unemployment benefits.

In practice, there are three kinds of employers that use this visa:
i) India based IT Services Companies: There it is legally questionable why the authorities even grant such permit as technically, these employees violate the conditions but this is some kind of indirect subsidy to the banking and pharma sector. These employers generally send people back after 5 years and I trust that everyone working for such employer will know what they signed up to, latest after a year or so
ii) FANG like Tech Companies: They clearly have a basis to request such Visa and there, it is generally no problem as the Authorities likely just grant a non-restricted B permit (it is in the economic interest to keep such employees in the labor market) or the employees simply apply for open B after 5 years (which will be granted). These employees generally have international mobility and either just move to a job lets say in the US… and if they want to return from there then come back to Switzerland after the cool-down period.
iii) Senior Management Expats sent from/to Headquarters. Similar situation there than FANG like companies, they will likely just get an Open B permit in the beginning and/or they just go for another station (lets say in the US) and if they want to return, they are back after 6+ months cool down period

The problem is trully with the IT Services employers as they technically never qualified for the Visa.

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Is RAV allowed to make that decision rather than at least let you try? All the online information doesn’t seem to differentiate on the type of permit to apply to RAV, just that the permit needs to be valid.

So couldn’t the issue be more that the permit had lapsed by the time they applied to RAV?

(the usual way would be to apply to RAV ASAP while still being employed so the permit is still valid, then apply to a permit extension due to being on RAV, which is usually granted for the duration of RAV benefits)

The normal condition for RAV is that you are able to/available for work. So if you look after a kid and don’t have childcare or are full-time self-employed, you don’t qualify. I guess, likewise, if you have no work permit, you are not available for work.

Kinda brutal, esp. as I guess the OP still had to contribute his 1% insurance while never being able to benefit from it.


Thanks a lot for sharing your experience.

But having 30 days to find a new employer is difficult.

but do you think do I need to leave the country if don’t find any employer. I have not received any official confirmation from canton or no where I can find this information.

Also, when I am discussing with unemployment they I can stay until my validity to find a job.

Its a brutal situation but you need to see it the other way around:

  • The employee has no (longer valid) work permit in Switzerland (it has gone on 30 June)
  • The employee (after 30 days; 30 July) has no valid visa and thereafter can’t even interview
  • The employee will highly likely not get another work permit, given:
    • you can recruit the skillset within CH/EU/EFTA
    • the employee doesn’t have managerial / specialist track tenure within an organization; that justified a re-deployment to the Swiss legal entity (no employer = no internal re-deployment)
    • there is no national, economic interest in giving the employee a work permit
  • Prospect employers will not even bother to attempt applying for a work permit, given very low chances and as they can simply recruit another CH/EU/EFTA employee

Is it fair? No its not, but unfortunately it is how it is. The problem in my view resulted when the employee was (for shady reasons) given a restricted B permit once he started with his current employer. This was technically bending the laws and now the poor employee suffers the consequences from this: Zero employability means no entitlement to unemployment benefits.

I suggest you talk to your Gemeinde and get some information. They can tell you exactly how many days you have to find a job.

The issue is not about your residence permit. Your issue is your work permit

For non-EU citizens, the residence permit is only granted for few reasons

  • family unification
  • valid work permit and job
  • studies
  • asylum etc

You got your B permit because you had a work permit (this document in German side is called Stellenantritt). Most likely you don’t realise this but your employer was renewing the work permit in background every year. Work permit for non-EU is typically granted for 2 years and then extended by another 2 years (with paperwork from employer) and then at some point the employer link is removed.

Now your work permit is not valid because it was approved on request by your employer proving that they need you in CH. Now that job is gone, work permit is gone and with that even the residence permit would be gone. The validity on the card means nothing. Gemeinde will cancel the card on their will, so please talk to them and understand your options

If you really want to stay in CH, then you might need to consider other options like - Studies. Perhaps that can give you a right to stay. But not sure if there is time for even that now.

Regarding RAV- I am a bit surprised why they don’t support you. What happened to the money you paid as unemployment insurance every year? What was that for? Did you check with your HR?

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