Non-EU university graduates in Switzerland to be allowed to stay and work

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17 Mar, 2023 Updated Fri 17 Mar 2023 09:37 CEST
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Non-EU nationals can will soon be able to stay to work in Switzerland after graduation. Photo by Redd F on Unsplash

Third country nationals trained at Swiss universities should be able to stay and work in Switzerland, even if they come from a third country, lawmakers decided on Thursday.


Swiss MPs in favour of the move by 135 votes to 51 which will allow those foreign students from outside the EU / European Economic Area to stay on Switzerland and work after they graduate.

“Currently, the employment of third-country nationals is subject to the strict quotas, even if they studied in Switzerland. But this regulation no longer makes sense,” according to deputy Andri Silberschmidt.


The reason, he said, is because Switzerland “pays to train these foreigners and there is no return on investment if they have to leave the country.

The lawmaker also pointed out the relaxation of the reform made sense given there is a shortage of skilled professionals in Switzerland.
Also, someone who studied in Switzerland, no matter the nationality, “is often well integrated and has a well-paid job,” Silberschmidt argued.

Initially the Swiss government only wanted the reform to cover holders of a master's degree or a doctorate obtained in a field suffering from a shortage of workers.

But in the end deputies decided to add graduates holding any tertiary education degree.

"The entire tertiary level has competent specialists that we need," said MP Marco Romano.

The right wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) voted against the move arguing it was against the Swiss constitution to extend immigration in such a way.

The measure still needs to be backed by Switzerland's higher chamber of parliament.






2023/03/17 09:37

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