The UK and Switzerland have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on mobility and extending cooperation on migration. The MoU underlines the close cooperation between the two countries, the significant volume of trade and the importance of accessing each other’s labour market. The MoU was signed in December 2020 in Berne with HMA Jane Owen representing the UK.
HM Ambassador Jane Owen said:
This Memorandum of Understanding is yet another example of the close relationship and pragmatic cooperation between Switzerland and the UK and builds on our work to bring certainty to citizens and businesses for after the transition period. It will pave the way for further deepening our cooperation in the fields of migration and mobility in the future and is a demonstration of the close ties between our people and our economies.
State Secretary Mario Gattiker said:
Following the end of the transition period on 31 December, the Free Movement of Persons Agreement (FMOPA) between Switzerland and the EU will no longer apply to the UK. The UK is introducing a new global points-based immigration system which will apply to Swiss nationals wishing to come to the UK from 1 January 2021.
For UK nationals arriving in Switzerland from 2021 onwards, those applying for residence permits to work would ordinarily be subject to a global third country quota of around a total of 8500 permits each year. However, on 25 November, the Swiss Federal Council announced a separate quota for UK nationals to facilitate their employment in Switzerland in 2021. Up to 3500 workers from the UK can be recruited in Switzerland, made up of 2100 residence permits (B) and 1400 short-term residence permits (L), released on a quarterly basis. This is a one-year transitional arrangement.
The MoU also provides a foundation for further cooperation on migration and facilitation of the mobility of people and cultural exchange between Switzerland and the UK. Expert groups, information exchange and capacity building will further increase partnership between the two countries.