Swiss vote to end 'mass immigration' Election on 9 February 2014

Swiss voters approved a referendum to curb immigration into the country by the slimmest of margins on Sunday. The 'yes' vote on the popular initiative aimed at stopping 'mass immigration' has placed a strain on Switzerland's relations with the European Union (EU), as it goes against its core principle of the free movement of people.


In practical terms, the result of the referendum will neither bring any immediate changes to the way Swiss immigration applications are processed, nor does it affect existing Swiss work / residence permit holders.

Indeed, the impact of the result is largely unknown. Though the success of the referendum eventually foresees the reintroduction of annual quota limits for nationals of the EU and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) wishing to live and work in Switzerland, the Swiss Parliament will now have to draft and ratify new legislation on how to implement the initiative.


Switzerland will likely need many months to clarify how this initiative affects the bilateral agreements it has in place with the European Union, not to mention the many more months that Swiss lawmakers will require to agree on quota levels and how these will be allocated.

Though Swiss business leaders have reacted with concern to the 'yes' vote, the initiative should be implemented in a manner that supports the overall economic interests of Switzerland and therefore Swiss business.


Packimpex's specialist immigration team is happy to support your company's immigration needs.

Should you have any questions in relation to the information provided, or other Swiss immigration needs, please do not hesitate to contact us on

Author: Aurelie Perrin

Aurélie Perrin, Lead Immigration Consultant at Packimpex, has five years’ experience in Swiss immigration practice. Having worked closely with a number of multinational corporations based throughout Switzerland, Aurélie has extensive experience of advising on Swiss work and residence permit applications across the country. Aurélie has not only forged excellent relationships with the various immigration authorities throughout Switzerland, but also has close contacts in Swiss diplomatic posts overseas. Aurélie provides first class customer service to our diverse clientele. Her specialty areas include applications for service providers, project workers, and detached employees remaining on home country contracts.

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