Relocation & Recruitment Advice

AP Executive has been recruiting trust professionals for Zurich jobs, Geneva jobs and many other cantons from administrator to board level for a number of years. We recruit Swiss nationals and existing permit holders as well as expatriates and our client list includes some of the leading fiduciary groups and private banks in the world. As regular visitors to the country and with a successful track record of placing quality candidates, we are in a unique position to offer expatriate candidates advice on relocation and what they can expect living and working in this beautiful country. 

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Switzerland is a mountainous central European country with a population of approximately 8 million (2014 estimate). With a robust economy and business-friendly environment, Switzerland enjoys being an attractive destination for international investors and professionals. Besides being a haven for tourists, this small landlocked country has every reason to be happy. Switzerland ranks high in several indicators of national performance, including government transparency, economic competitiveness, human development, quality of life and per-capita GDP.  All this and much more make Switzerland the “happiest country” in the world. Banking and finance are the two key drivers of the Swiss economy and are highly competitive, dynamic, innovative and technologically sound. The finance sector is well-diversified and employs nearly 6% of the total Swiss workforce.


Switzerland is widely regarded as a business-friendly country, with a strong economy, high-quality infrastructure, low tax system and well-regulated financial sector.  Very few countries offer the quality of life that Switzerland does. With low unemployment rate and competitive salaries, Swiss population enjoys a high standard of living. The country provides excellent healthcare facility, quality education, efficient public services and a safe and clean environment to work and live. It also boasts the latest technology, modern infrastructure and highly-skilled human resource. 


Setting up a business in Switzerland follows an elaborate procedure. Therefore, it is important to decide whether you want to set up the company as a sole trader or as part of a group or as a limited company. Each business structure has separate regulations and procedures, and it is necessary to evaluate the risks and benefits of each type of business structure. Only Swiss citizens, EU/EFTA citizens and holders of either a B-permit or a C-permit are allowed to set up a business in Switzerland.


Please click on the links below for additional information:

Swiss Embassy

Swiss Info

Swiss Tourist Board

Although EU/EFTA citizens do not require a visa, those who wish to stay in Zurich for more than three months need to apply for a Swiss residence permit. There are no separate work permits, but the residence permit may depend on the kind of work contract offered by the employer. It is easier for EU/EFTA nationals to obtain a residence permit.

There are three types of residence permits.

  • Permit B (Initial Residence Permit): This permit is valid for five years and can be renewed for another five years. It is applicable to those who have a valid work contract spanning more than a year; who can show enough funds to be able to live in Switzerland without employment, or those who are self-employed and can earn enough to live in Switzerland. 

  • Permit C (Permanent Residence Permit): This is only for citizens of the EFTA and original 15 EU member states who have completed their initial five years residence in Switzerland.

  • Permit L (Short-Term): This is granted to applicants having a short-term employment contract for less than one year.

Acquiring a work offer is important for non-EU nationals prior to relocating to Zurich. The employer must first attempt to fill in the vacancy with a Swiss, EU or EFTA national.

The Company which sponsors a non-EU/EFTA national has to apply for a residence permit for the employee. 

There are three categories of permits depending on the work contract.

  • Type B (Initial Residence Permits): This is applicable to individuals with a local employment contract of one year or more. The permit is valid for a year and can be renewed.

  • Type L (Short-Term Residence Permits): This is granted to individuals with a work contract for less than a year. It is renewable.

  • Type C (Permanent Residence Permit): This permit is for expats who have lived in Switzerland for a continuous period of ten years (or five years for citizens of the US or Canada). Holders of type C Permit can freely change their employers and cantons/states, but type B and type L holders cannot.

Considering the importance of acquiring a job offer prior to relocation, AP Executive helps candidates get the right job in Switzerland.