How To Get A Permanent Residence Permit In Switzerland?


Citizens of a few countries are allowed to enter Switzerland without obtaining a visa and stay up to ninety days. For example, citizens of the EU and Schengen area can freely enter Switzerland without a visa. Switzerland has also granted visa-free entry to the citizens of a few other countries apart from the EU. Regardless of which country you come from, you need to get a residence permit if you want to stay longer than ninety days in Switzerland. 

A massive number of immigrants from different countries visit Switzerland every year. A significant part of the entire population of Switzerland comprises immigrants.  

The Swiss Permanent Residence Permit (Permit C) is the only residence permit that Switzerland grants to expats. You are not allowed to apply for permanent residency in Switzerland when you enter the country for the first time. There are certain conditions that you need to fulfil. 

Who can get a Permanent Residence Permit?

One needs to fulfil certain conditions to be eligible for a residence permit in Switzerland. One of the conditions to get a permanent residence permit or a settlement permit is the number of years you have stayed in Switzerland. 

When you apply for a residence permit for the first time in Switzerland, you either get a Permit B or Permit L. In the starting, you get both of these permits for a year. You can renew Permit B yearly. However, one can only renew Permit L once. 

Nationals coming from EU/EFTA countries can obtain a permanent residence permit in Switzerland after having lived consecutively for five years in Switzerland. 

People coming from America and Canada too may apply for a C permit after they have lived in Switzerland for five years continuously. 

How to apply for C Permit?

You are allowed to apply for a permanent residence permit in Switzerland after you have lived for five years or a decade, depending on your original nationality. Just like the other kinds of permits, you have to visit your local canton’s immigration office to apply for the C permit. 

There are 26 cantons in Switzerland, and all of them issue residence permits to nationals coming from different countries looking to settle in Switzerland. The first step is to submit the application to obtain Permit C at the canton that you are presently living in. 

The general eligibility rule that all the cantons follow in granting Permit C is that the person must prove that they are familiar with the culture of Switzerland. They must also be well-versed in the official language of that particular canton. You are supposed to attempt a language proficiency exam to prove the same. Other requirements may include proof of a clean criminal record, no bad debts and a record of gainful employment, etc.

However, different cantons may have different requirements and terms to obtain a Swiss Permit C. These terms may also differ depending on your social status and whether you have any kids or financially dependent people. 

You should contact your local canton or the nearest communal office to confirm these terms and know more about the requirements. You will need to fill out an application that states that you want to apply for a Permit C. The authorities will provide you with all the necessary details like the documents you need to submit and the requirements you have to fulfil so they can review your application for obtaining Permit C. 

It is essential to get health insurance to live in Switzerland. It would be best to compare health insurance on PrimApp. It is one of the most popular tools online for health insurance comparison. Comparison on PrimApp is easy as it is available in English, French, and Italian language. 

The advantages of having a C Permit

There are a lot of advantages that you get to enjoy once you have successfully obtained a C permit in Switzerland. You are allowed to work, study and stay anywhere in Switzerland. You are allowed to work in any company or for any employer of your choice. You are allowed to switch jobs without having to take permission. You can even set up an organisation of your own. You can buy a property or real estate anywhere in Switzerland.  

However, there are certain advantages that people who manage to get the citizenship of Switzerland enjoy and not those who only get a residence permit. For example, you get the right to vote in elections. You can even stand for public offices. You can stay out of Switzerland for as long as you want without losing your citizenship status. 

Responsibilities always come along with rights. All the men between the ages of eighteen to thirty-four are supposed to enrol in military service compulsorily. Therefore, if you manage to get citizenship in Switzerland, there are a few obligations that you need to follow. 

Getting citizenship in Switzerland is a lengthy and costly procedure, so most people prefer to obtain a C permit and stay in Switzerland without getting citizenship. 


This article was a detailed guide on getting a permanent residence permit in Switzerland and its advantages.