FAQ – SIA Placement of Ukrainian Professionals

Questions about the legal situation relating to the right of residence/protection status S

To what extent are people in need of protection from Ukraine permitted to stay in Switzerland?
Ukrainians can stay in the Schengen area for 90 days without a visa. Commencing work during this period of stay requires obtaining a visa in advance. If the cantonal authorities have approved an applica-tion for protection status S, immediate commencement of work is possible.

What does protection status S mean and what does it include?
With protection status S, the persons concerned receive a permit S, which is limited to a maximum of one year but can be extended. After at least five years, persons in need of protection are granted a B residence permit, which is limited to the time until the temporary protection is revoked. Persons grant-ed protection status S may travel abroad and return to Switzerland without a travel permit. They are immediately allowed to work (including self-employment). There are no quotas for protection status S.
For further information: https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home.html

As an affected party, what must I do if I want to apply for protection status S?
Every person seeking protection registers at one of the Federal Asylum Centres (FAC). Every application is subjected to a security check and the decision is made whether protection status S can be granted. After registration, the person is assigned to a canton that decides whether the person seeking protection will be housed in a cantonal accommodation or whether housing with private persons will be organised in cooperation with the Swiss Refugee Council (SRC).
Important: Applicants do not have to register within the first few days of arriving in Switzerland. They have up to 90 days to do so.
The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) recommends that all protection seekers submit an applica-tion as a first step as quickly as possible. This can be done here online.

Questions about the SIA placement procedure

How does the SIA get involved?
The SIA builds bridges between affected professionals from Ukraine who are already in Switzerland and are looking for work, as well as potential employers. For this purpose, affected parties and companies can contact the SIA by telephone, 044 283 15 01 or using the contact form. A match, that is, a possible correlation between supply and demand, will be communicated to both parties for the purpose of possibly concluding an employment contract – in an unbureaucratic manner and free of charge.

Who is considered a professional?
Qualified professionals eligible for placement are natural persons who have obtained a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree from a university or a university of applied sciences in the fields of con-struction, technology and the environment, or who are completing such a degree when they apply for placement (students).

How are the matches determined?
A match exists when supply and demand are matched in terms of time, subject matter and location. It is therefore necessary to review the place of residence/possible place of deployment, time availability, the professional competencies of a professional, and the expertise exercised by a potential employer.

I would like to offer work to an affected professional and thus be a potential employer. What should I do?
If you are interested in the SIA placement procedure, please contact us by telephone, 058 283 15 01, or using the contact form.

Can I offer an internship to a professional who is matched?
In principle, the purpose of an internship is to learn something, gain practical experience and apply theoretical knowledge. An internship makes sense particularly for someone who has previously only had theoretical knowledge, is changing jobs, or wants to change careers. Consequently, when as-sessing whether an internship is justified, it is necessary to consider the academic degree as well as theoretical and practical professional knowledge. A lack of language skills is fundamentally not a rea-son to offer an internship to a well-trained professional with work experience. The SIA placement service is not intended to provide cheap labour.

What type of employment contract is suitable for a professional?
Since protection status S is limited to a maximum of one year but may be extended, a fixed-term em-ployment contract should be suitable. An open-ended contract is of course also possible.
The SIA Legal Service will be happy to provide assistance with any questions about employment law or contract law.

What happens after a placement match?
The SIA merely establishes contact between the professional and the potential employer. The parties must agree independently and bilaterally on the terms and conditions of employment.

What needs to be done after the contract is concluded?
The employer must submit an application for permission for gainful employment for the professional to the cantonal labour market authority (in the canton of employment).

What rules must be complied with regarding working conditions if I want to employ someone at my office?
In order to be permitted to have gainful employment, the salary and employment conditions customary for the location and industry must be complied with. The conditions must correspond to the qualifica-tion and job profile. Particular attention must be paid to minimum wages, collective agreements, etc. Further information can be found here:

Does the SIA make recommendations regarding working conditions?
No. The SIA Legal Service points out the minimum working conditions that must be complied with. The SIA clearly distances itself from wage dumping.

What documents do I need to obtain approval from the employment office?
The cantonal employment offices will draw up appropriate regulations for this purpose. Normally, the following must be submitted:

  • Copy of the residence permit for foreign nationals (permit S)
  • Copy of passport
  • Employment contract signed by both parties
  • Any cantonal “employment start-up” form (Formular “Stellenantritt”), if applicable

The relevant cantonal websites, e.g. that of the Canton of Zurich, provide information on this: https://www.zh.ch/de/migration-integration/ukrainehilfe/erwerbstaetigkeit.html

What happens to my data (data protection)?
Placement applications and the related personal data are treated as confidential and are only used internally to achieve the project objective, namely the placement of professionals. In no case will the data be passed on to third parties. Applications and any documents are temporarily stored electronically. Once the placement has been successful, all stored data will be permanently deleted. If an ap-plication for placement is unsuccessful, it will be deleted after no more than one year or at any time upon request.

Further Information:


SIA Head Office
Laurène Kröpfli
Selnaustrasse 16
CH-8027 Zurich

t +41 44 283 15 14