Lost Job, B permit coming to end, EU, question about permits and Renewals

Dear All,

I am a British National that has been working and Living in Zurich since 4 years (Pre Brexit) hence still have EU rights protected. I have a 5 year B Permit which is due to expire in Sept 2024.

I work in the Banking industry and was affected by layoffs last year and hence have been on RAV for 12 months. My RAV ends in June 2024.

I have a couple of questions regarding Permits and extensions:

What will happen to my Permit if I find a job in the next few months and prior to expiry of my B Permit?

1a. Could I likely get another 5 years B Permit or will this now be limited to 1 year since my unemployment has exceeded 12 months?

1b. Could I transition to C permit assuming I meet all the integration and language criteria

1c. Does the employment contract have to be for a minimum period to get the B permit renewal or C permit? i.e. 6 months, 1 year or permanent.

What will happen to my Permit if I am still unemployed in the next few months, prior to expiry of my B Permit and have savings?

2a. Would I likely still get another 5 year B permit or will this be limited to 1 year visa ?

2b. What is the minimum threshold of savings required to get the permit extension ?

Thank you all for help in advance. Much appreciated.

1a. If you are employed at the renewal point of time of your permit as a UK national with protected rights and you don't apply for C permit, you will get your B permit renewed for another 5 years no issues (assuming open-ended employment contract)

1b. If employed as indicated above yes. Otherwise no

1c. If you provide a contract that is under 1 year duration at permit renewal point of time you risk getting an L permit for the remaining duration of time of your contract. Some cantons systematically issue L permits for holders of triangular contracts with temporary agencies, even if open-ended as these types of interim jobs are considered temporary (e.g. employed by job agency which in turn has a mandate of renting you to another company). If you already have a B/C permit you could perfectly switch to these type of interim contracts whilst remaining on the B/C permit. To keep the B permit however, you would need to switch to an open-ended contract directly with the company you are providing services for at B permit renewal point of time

2a. If you indicate you are unemployed but are receiving unemployment insurance on B permit renewal form, as a UK national with protected rights your B permit will be renewed for 1 year or for however much time you have left on unemployment insurance, whichever longest

2b. To qualify for non lucrative B permit as an EU citizen you must provide proof of sufficient regular income from a state pension that covers basic needs and health insurance which would disqualify you from applying for old age complementary benefits (EL/PC). Each canton applies different thresholds. The agreement for UK nationals resident in Switzerland before Brexit protects the rights they initially acquired, in your case you are allowed to remain resident in Switzerland as a worker. Should you wish to stay in Switzerland with a non lucrative permit you would fall under non-EU entry conditions which, aside from meeting the sufficient income condition mentioned above, includes being of retiring age and, unlike for EU nationals, not benefitting from a legal right to its issuance

Thank you so much for the comprehensive responses, very helpful.

In terms of question 2a. If I am unemployed by the time of my renewal and also have used up all my RAV so no longer claiming unemployment insurance, will I be given any extension even an 1 year L permit (I can provide bank statements that shows that I have enough savings to last more than 1 year independently in Switzerland)? Not sure if they take that into consideration.


Taken from free movement of people guidance document from following link, first PDF (page 46 / 104) and translated to English, emphasis mine:

4.6 Extension of EU/EFTA residence permits

The EU/EFTA residence permit of employees from the EU/EFTA is automatically extended after five years if the requirements for the permit are still met. A declaration of employment or a certificate of employment from the employer is sufficient. If these documents show that the employment relationship lasts less than one year (364 days), a short-term EU/EFTA residence permit will be issued (Section II 4.2.1).

If the right of residence expires before the permit expires due to the applicable time limits following the termination of gainful employment (Art. 61a para. 4 FNIA), the competent cantonal authority will issue a revocation decision stating that the right of residence has expired (Section II 6.3.3).

If the holder of an EU/EFTA residence permit has been involuntarily unemployed for more than twelve consecutive months when the permit is first renewed (Art. 6 para. 1 Annex I AFMP), the permit will be extended for a maximum of one year, provided that he or she continues to have the status of an employee.

In other cases in which the holder of an EU/EFTA residence permit has been involuntarily unemployed for more than twelve consecutive months when the permit expires, the period of validity of the extension shall be determined in accordance with the time limits specified in Article 61a paragraph 4 FNIA.

Article 61a FNIA - Expiry of the right of residence of EU and EFTA citizens:


  1. In the event of involuntary termination of employment following the first twelve months of residence, the right of residence of citizens of EU and EFTA member states with a residence permit expires six months after the termination of their employment. If unemployment benefit continues to be paid on expiry of this six-month period, the right of residence expires six months after the benefit is no longer paid.