B and C Permit Suspension – possibilities and requirements for Swiss permit holders - Tax and Legal blog

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Foreigners in Switzerland who are holders of B or C permits may find themselves obliged to leave the country, whether for a work assignment or personal reasons. In these circumstances it is possible to temporarily suspend B and C permits. This provides permit holders with a solution that protects their immigration rights and permits while they are absent from Switzerland. In this blog post we delve into the requirements for and benefits of this option which makes it easy for individuals to regain their permits and the associated rights upon their return.

Recognising the needs of foreign nationals residing in Switzerland, the Swiss authorities have introduced a practical solution known as permit suspension. This provision allows permit holders to freeze their B or C permits if they intend to leave Switzerland temporarily, ensuring a smooth transition upon their return.

IMPORTANT: While the possibility of freezing a C permit is regulated by law, the option of freezing a B permit is not captured by law at the federal level. However, some cantons have introduced this option as a cantonal practice to accommodate the needs of permit holders as well as their employers. Therefore, we highly recommend checking with the relevant migration authorities in the specific canton to confirm the possibility and requirements for freezing a B permit.

How it works
1. Informing the Authorities

Ideally before leaving Switzerland and, at the latest, within six months of going abroad, permit holders must inform the relevant immigration authorities about their temporary departure and apply for suspension of their permit. The notification should include the intended duration of the absence and the reasons for the departure as well as justification that a return to Switzerland is planned and feasible.

2. Duration of Absence
Permit holders can suspend their permits for a specified period not exceeding four years. The duration is determined based on individual circumstances and is subject to approval by the authorities.

3. Automatic Reinstatement
Upon returning to Switzerland within the approved timeframe, permit holders will automatically have their permits and associated rights reinstated. This means that individuals can quickly regain their resident status, work authorisation and social benefits.

According to Swiss immigration law, permits can only be suspended if the foreigner intends to return to Switzerland within the maximum period of four years. Only stays abroad that are temporary and where the return to Switzerland is foreseeable are to be considered. The specific circumstances of the individual case must therefore be assessed to judge whether the stay abroad meets the relevant requirements.

Benefits and Considerations
The possibility of freezing B and C permits offers considerable flexibility for individuals who need or desire to leave Switzerland temporarily. Whether it is for personal reasons, career opportunities or family matters, permit suspension can ensure that the permit holder’s rights and privileges are protected during their absence. Especially for C permit holders, who have had to fulfil a number of requirements to obtain this permit type – including residing in Switzerland for a minimum of five years and obtaining a certain level of language proficiency – this option provides a unique way of maintaining the rights that accompany a C permit.
One of the major advantages of permit suspension is the seamless reintegration process upon return. Permit holders can resume their lives in Switzerland without the need to go through often lengthy and complex permit application procedures, applicable especially in the case of non-EU nationals.
If you are a B or C permit holder considering a temporary departure from Switzerland, we encourage you to explore this option by contacting the immigration authorities or consulting with our experienced Deloitte team.

Key contacts


Jehona Islami - Director, Immigration

Jehona is a Director at Deloitte and part of the Immigration Team in Switzerland. She started her career in 2008 and has been able to gain extensive experience in the field of immigration throughout her career so far. She has been supporting both, corporates as well as private clients with their immigration needs for Switzerland. In the last few years, her focus has been on immigration advisory services mainly for private clients, but not exclusively, as well as providing support to corporate clients on best practices and compliance in immigration.


Marilisa Favalli - Manager, Immigration

Marilisa is an Immigration Manager within Deloitte’s Global Employer Services. She is responsible for overseeing Immigration work at global level (Latin America, Europe, Africa & Asia). Marilisa has extensive experience in Global Mobility within LATAM and APAC, with a special focus on customer strategies and top-in-class experience.




Anna Cosmo Walter - Senior Consultant, Immigration

Anna is an Immigration Consultant inside Deloitte’s Global Employer Services department. She holds a master’s degree in international legal studies and has started her career with Deloitte in 11/2021. In her daily work, Anna supports multinational clients and their employees with cross-border mobility activities to ensure compliance with Swiss immigration requirements. As an immigration specialist, she truly enjoys working in a global environment and helping businesses to meet their objectives, while also addressing employee needs.



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