Working abroad

In almost every country in the world, foreign nationals who want to live and work there have to obtain a work permit. As a rule, a work permit will only be issued if an employment contract has been concluded and the employer can demonstrate that it has not been possible to fill the vacancy via the domestic labour market. However, for Swiss citizens this does not apply within the EU thanks to the conclusion of the bilateral agreements.

You will find below comprehensive information that is intended to help you look for and take up gainful employment abroad. 

Looking for work 

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) maintains a central database of job vacancies together with the cantonal employment offices. As well as a tool for jobseekers, the system also collects labour market statistics. 

Looking for work in an EU/EFTA country

Working opportunities abroad 

There are various ways you can look for a job abroad. Information on traineeships, voluntary work, working while studying, and working on a self-employed basis. 

Employment contracts

As in Switzerland, any employment contract for a job abroad must set out the employees' rights and obligations. Some things you need to be aware of in relation to foreign employment contracts are set out below.

A man cuts metal with a circular saw.
Working abroad usually places additional demands on employees. © Unsplash

Working hours 

Information and rules on working hours, which may differ from Swiss rules in certain countries, are provided below.

Termination of employment


Your employment contract must include precise terms governing financial matters such as salary, travel and other expenses, and payment. Further information is set out below. 


Social security

It is also essential to consider social security benefits and provisions governing social security should be included in the contract. General information on pensions, health insurance and accident insurance is provided below. 

Recognition of qualifications 

EU Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons