Select Page

1998: Switzerland drops its “three circles” policy on admission priority (Europe, North America/Japan, rest of the world).

1999: Signature of Bilateral Agreements I (including the AFMP).

1 June 2002: Implementation of the AFMP in the EU-15 states (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom). Cyprus and Malta are integrated into this group, which then becomes the EU-17 at a later date.

2004: Signature of the Bilateral Agreements II (including Schengen/Dublin).

1 April 2006: Implementation of the AFMP in the EU-8 states (Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia), with a transitional regime until 1 May 2011.

1 January 2008: Implementation of the new Foreign Nationals Act, which replaces existing legislation.

1 June 2009: Implementation of the AFMP for the EU-2 states (Bulgaria and Romania), under a transitional regime set to expire on 1 June 2016.

9 February 2014: The Swiss people and cantons adopt the “against mass immigration” initiative. During the three following years, quotas are applied for all types of stays. It appears that this option has now been discarded and that the use of quotas for student residence permits is no longer on the agenda, as the law implementing this initiative does not, in the end, envisage any generalised quotas.

1 January 2017: Entry into force of the AFMP for Croatia. Croatian students are treated in the same way as students from other EU / EFTA member states. However, restrictions still apply to Croatian students wishing to work during their studies (source:

January1 2019: The Foreign Nationals Act (FNA) is partially modified. From this date on, it is called the “Foreign Nationals and Integration Act of 16 December 2005” (FNIA).

January1 2021: The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union comes into effect.