• Adrian Tüscher, Partner |

In 2022, changes regarding immigration have come into effect. In this blog we cover the introduction of border control technology at Schengen's external borders, the visa waiver program for Australian nationals and the types of occupation subject to registration in Switzerland.

Modern technology for controlling the external borders of the Schengen area

2022, a Europe-wide information system will be introduced (Entry/Exit System, "EES"). ESS enables to electronically record the data of third-country nationals entering the Schengen area for a short stay. In Switzerland, as part of the Schengen area, the EES will be used at airports as well as by immigration and police authorities

The EES's aim is to further strengthen controls at the external borders to increase security in the Schengen area. The automation of numerous processes also aims at making border control more efficient. Once implemented, it is also intended that travelers will have the possibility to check the remaining number of days online that they are allowed to stay in the Schengen area according to the 90 days rule. Currently, it is in the responsibility of each traveler to keep track on the allowed days based on the entry and exit stamps in their passports. The online tool shall further facilitate to reduce Schengen overstays to a minimum.

In order to create the legal basis for the introduction of the EES, the Swiss Federal Council issued corresponding ordinances. The necessary amendments to the Foreign Nationals and Integration Act will come into force on 1 May 2022.

Apart from the data collection (traveler's name, travel document, biometric data, and place of entry and exit), there will be no additional requirements for third-country nationals entering the Schengen external borders from a Swiss perspective. Countries, however, may impose their own requirements. So it is advisable to check this before travelling.

The full implementation of the EES is foreseen to be completed until July 2022.

Australian nationals exempted from visa requirement

Up to now, Australian nationals needed a visa to enter Switzerland for short stays with the purpose of work or for stays of more than 90 days.

As of 1 January 2022, an entry visa will no longer be required for Australian nationals, regardless of the stay’s purpose and duration.  A work and residence permit for Australian nationals can be obtained in approx. 1 week. With the amendment, Australian nationals can enter Switzerland and get registered upon receipt of the final authorization issued by the Swiss migration office. Furthermore, Australian nationals are considered as third-country nationals and therefore their data will be electronically recorded within the EES when entering the Schengen area for a short stay (see above). The EES system will record travel data of Australian nationals when entering Switzerland or the Schengen area. 

In exchange for the visa exemption in Switzerland, Australia grants Swiss citizens between 18- and 30-years access to Australia’s Working Holiday Maker program from 1 January 2022. This program allows young adults to apply for a one-year stay in Australia while undertaking short-term work and study.

Types of occupation subject to registration in 2022

Every year, the Swiss Federal Council updates the list of occupations that are subject to registration. This list contains every occupation in Switzerland with an unemployment rate exceeding 5%. Swiss employers are obliged to register open positions of listed jobs at the local unemployment office. In addition, they are not allowed to publicly advertise open positions within five working days after their registration. The regulation aims at making jobs in areas with higher unemployment rate available exclusively to Swiss nationals before offering them to EU/EFTA and third country nationals

The updated list of job openings which are subject to registration from 1 January 2022  can be accessedvia  this link

The list already reflectes the rise in unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, all jobs that had to be registered in 2021 will continue to be subject to the job posting requirement in 2022. In addition, the following five job categories will be subject to registration from 1 January 2022:

  • Salespersons in retail shops ("Verkäufer/innen in Handelsgeschäften")
  • Marketing and advertising specialists ("Fachkräfte in Marketing und Werbung")
  • Graphic and multimedia designers ("Grafik- und Multimediadesigner/innen")
  • Painters and related professions ("Lackierer/innen und verwandte Berufe")
  • Travel agents ("Reiseverkehrsfachkräfte")

The job registration requirement provides priority for Swiss citizens over EU citizens for a limited period of time. In case of hiring a third-country national, however, the requirement still applies that a Swiss employer needs to run authentic recruitment efforts before a candidate from a non-EU country is considered for the role.

The KPMG immigration team will make sure to share any future immigration-related changes on the different media channels (Flash Alerts, Social Media, Client Mailing). In case you have a general query or even a specific case, do not hesitate to contact your immigration expert at KPMG.