Recently, Federal Counselor Beat Jans gave an interview to the NZZ newspaper. During the conversation, he spoke about a solution the government could introduce to increase the integration of Ukrainians into the labor market.


 The minister proposes to change the S protection status to B residence status for those Ukrainians who have stayed in the country for 2 years and are employed officially. This way, employers will have clear legal boundaries, and refugees will be more motivated to find employment.


Why is it important to change the S status? 

  1. It was designed for Ukrainians to return home after the war in the near future. But circumstances have changed.
  2. Many territories are completely destroyed, and people simply have nowhere to return.
  3. Currently, the status is valid until March 2025, so companies do not want to waste time adapting employees to complex production processes.


 What are the current conditions for obtaining B status?

It can be held by those foreigners who have been in Switzerland for up to 5 years and have:

- official employment with appropriate qualifications, a university degree and experience in the industry;

- salary on a par with that of Swiss and EU citizens;

- housing (owned or rented) and insurance.


Other conditions include doing business in the country, significant investments in the economy, obtaining education in local universities, having family ties with Swiss citizens etc.


 What could prevent these changes?

People from non-EU countries receive work permits based on a quota set by the Federal Council. The Swiss Association of Employers fears that Ukrainians will exhaust the quota and compete with specialists from other countries who are also needed here.


So we will wait for official decisions. What is clear is that the government will look for ways to increase employment among refugees. The only question is how to meet the needs of both sides.

April 22, 2024