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More permits released for foreign workers

Switzerland is to grant more work permits to non-Europeans after some companies complained tighter quotas were choking them.

This content was published on April 28, 2010 - 15:58

An extra 5,500 work permits are to be made available to workers coming from countries outside the European Union and the European Free Trade Association in the second half of 2010, the Migration Office announced on Wednesday.

Acting on fears of rising unemployment, the government in December 2009 halved the number of so-called B and L permits, which are typically granted to workers who come into the country to provide short-term expertise before leaving again. Students and au pairs also receive these permits.

Companies with offices in Switzerland, like Google and IBM, had worried publicly that the tighter quotas were making it difficult for them to bring in the short-term specialists needed even in a lacklustre economy.

In announcing the increased quota, the government said the economy is rebounding faster than expected.

The total number of B and L permits to be issued in 2010 now stands at 11,000, the same as in previous years but with slightly more L permits and fewer B ones.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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