Posted: 22 Nov. 2022

Swiss Immigration Update - Switzerland and United Kingdom Extend the Services Mobility Agreement (SMA)

Switzerland and the United Kingdom (UK) have jointly agreed to extend the terms and conditions outlined in the Services Mobility Agreement (SMA) for another three- years until December 31st, 2025. UK-based companies can therefore continue to make use of the online notification procedure and obtain short-term work permits to post service providers to Switzerland.

Background

As part of the “Mind the Gap” strategy following Brexit, Switzerland and the UK signed the SMA in December 2020. The purpose of the agreement is to facilitate market access for UK service providers in Switzerland and at the same time regulate Swiss service providers in the UK market. Originally, the terms and conditions of the bilateral agreement were limited to an initial two years and were due to expire by the end of December 2022.

Since the agreement entered into force in January 2021, over 4,000 UK service providers¹ have made use of the SMA and provided services to Swiss businesses. Both countries have agreed to extend the provisions for an additional three years, beginning 1 January 2023.

Going Forward

UK-based companies that want to provide services in the Swiss market temporarily can continue to make use of the online notification procedure for a maximum period of 90 days per calendar year and obtain Swiss work authorisation for their posted employees through that online system. UK nationals wishing to take up employment in Switzerland based on a Swiss employment contract cannot make use of the online notification procedure. In their case the regular work permit process and labour market testing applies.

Deloitte’s view

With the extension of the SMA it is expected that UK-based companies will continue to make use of the online notification procedure at least as frequently as before. The advantages of this system are the straightforward set-up and short processing time. The activity must be notified by the sending company via the online notification tool at least 8 days prior to the anticipated first day of work in Switzerland. With a processing time of 1-2 working days, UK-based companies will be able to continue to provide services in Switzerland in a timely manner.

All requirements and regulations concerning social security, labour law and Swiss minimum wages continue to apply as before.

Please reach out to our key contacts below for any questions or further information on how we can best support you.

¹ Hauert, E (2022, 21. November) Schweiz – Vereinigtes Königreich: Verlängerung des Abkommens über die Mobilität von Dienstleistungserbringern [Pressemeldung]. Schweiz – Vereinigtes Königreich: Verlängerung des Abkommens über die Mobilität von Dienstleistungserbringern (admin.ch)

Key contacts

Stefanie Bieberstein

Senior Consultant, Immigration

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Jehona Islami

Director, Immigration

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Aysun Inceleme

Manager, Immigration

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