Immigrants from EU reach record numbers

The number of foreigners in Switzerland has reached a record level, accounting for 21.1 per cent of the resident population.

This content was published on June 25, 2008 - 14:00

The Federal Migration Office said it had recorded a 7.7 per cent increase in immigrants from countries of the European Union and the European Free Trade Association (Efta) over the past 12 months.

Most came from Germany, Portugal, France, and Britain.

Immigrants from other countries were only up by 0.5 per cent.

The Migration Office said the increase was in line with the government's immigration policy which gives preference to citizens from Europe, while only highly skilled people from elsewhere qualify for a residence permit.

There were just under 1.6 million foreign residents in Switzerland at the end of April, mainly from Italy, Germany, Portugal and Serbia.

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