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Work

In the field of asylum, employment possibilities depend on the status of the individual (i.e. the permit they have been given).

Asylum Seekers (N Permit)

Asylum seekers are not permitted to work for the first three to six months after claiming asylum. After this period, asylum seekers can look for work in certain industries where there is a labour shortage: agriculture, construction, the hotel industry, or care work in residential homes and hospitals. An asylum seeker may obtain an authorisation to work if no qualified Swiss or foreigner with a B or C permit applied for the job within a 30 day period. 
 
The same conditions apply for asylum seekers who wish to enter into a contract for vocational training (apprenticeship).

Special tax for asylum seekers and temporarily admitted foreign nationals.

Asylum seekersAsylum seekers are required to pay (for a period of up to ten years) a special tax of approximately 10% of their earnings; this is intended to cover the overall costs of their asylum procedure, social assistance and, where necessary, their removal. The money is paid onto a blocked account with the federal government. Payment is made directly by the employer, and the relevant rules are laid down when the work permit is granted.

Temporarily admitted foreign nationals: foreigners who have been temporarily admitted are required to pay for up to three years of the temporary admission period but for no more than seven years dating from their entry into Switzerland, a special tax of approximately 10% of their earnings; this is intended to cover the overall costs of their asylum procedure, social assistance and, where necessary, their removal. The money is paid onto a blocked account with the federal government. Payment is made directly by the employer, and the relevant rules are laid down when the work permit is granted.

Refugees (B Permit)

Refugees may work in any industry or position, either as a self-employed person or as an employee, depending on authorisation.
 

Temporary Admission (F Permit)

Cantons are free to grant a work permit (to work as an employee) to those temporarily admitted to Switzerland.

However, self-employment is only permitted if it meets the general economic interests of the canton and if the person concerned has sufficient financial means and the required professional qualifications to work in the desired area.

Tax and Social Insurance Contributions

All persons in paid employment must pay tax and social insurance contributions. This is no different for asylum seekers, who must pay income tax as well as contributions to retirement pension, unemployment and invalidity benefits. They are also obliged to repay the social assistance that they have received.

 

In this section: Work, Accommodation, Residence Permits, Family Reunion, Marriage, Education and Training, Health

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