GENEVA (AP) — The Swiss government says up to 3,500 migrants from Britain will be given permits to live and work in the Alpine nation next year, when Britain’s post-Brexit transition with the European Union expires.
Britain’s departure from the EU means that it isn’t covered by Switzerland’s freedom of movement agreements with the 27-nation bloc.
The Swiss government said Wednesday up to 2,100 British citizens will receive long-term residency permits. A further quota of up to 1,400 short-term residency permits valid for up to one year will also be made available. The plan does not affect Britons who already have permits to live in Switzerland.
The permits will be divided among Switzerland’s 26 cantons (states) and released in quarterly batches, meaning that most regions will only be able to issue a few dozen each month.
The government said the measure is necessary to “ensure necessary flexibility for the Swiss economy.”
It said that the quota of residency permits reserved for British migrants may be included in the general quota of 8,500 for third-country citizens from 2022 unless a bilateral agreement with London is signed by then.