Residence Program Switzerland "Qualified Self-employed Manager"

CH.1: Switzerland " Qualified Self-employed Manager "


Swiss residence permit for investment

Foreigner's Permit Type B and C

Switzerland welcomes investors, who invest in real economic activities and useful projects. If your investment is regarded as being of "special economic benefit", you can even expect active support from the Swiss authorities, both for the project itself and for your residence application. Economically useful investment projects start at about 10 Mio. Euros. By this you will not only get a permanent resident permit for you and your family, but also long-term profits in the world's undisputed top safe-haven destination.


Program Features

  • Minimum Investment Amount: 10 million Swiss Francs ( 10 Mio. Euro )

  • Return on Investment: Long-term. Investment must be profitable and shall generate jobs and taxes.

  • Visa-free Schengen: Unrestricted travel inside the European Schengen area

  • Relocation to Switzerland: Required, but very generous rules for out-of-country stays

  • Tax residence in Switzerland: Yes, it's one of the main advantages!

  • Right to work: Business, employment and study for all family

  • For the whole family: Spouse, children and parents

  • Processing time: average 5 to 8 months

  • Unlimited validity: After 10 years, no renewal necessary, valid "forever"

  • Citizenship: Possibility to obtain a Swiss passport after 12 years

  • Social security: Whole family will be covered by Swiss medical insurance and pension fund

  • Quality of Life: Safe living, healthy climate, high-class lifestyle in the heart of Europe

Official Links (Laws, English):





A foreign investor may get a residence permit in Switzerland, if "this is in the interests of the economy as a whole" (AIG Chapter 5, Section 1, Article 19.a literally), and the person is an investor or entrepreneur "who maintain existing jobs or create new jobs" (AIG Chapter 5, Section 1, Article 23.3.a). The investment should be not only simply profitable, but improve the economic structure of the region and provide long-term benefits for the region.

There are no strict numbers on the exact amount of investment or the number of jobs which must be created. However, our experience shows that meaningful projects under this program require at least an investment of 10 Mio. Swiss Francs.

To be a self-employed manager in the sense of this program does not mean that you have to engage in the daily business operations of the company of your investment. It is enough that you carry the economic risk of your investment, and that you control the strategy and the major decisions of it, for instance as a supervisory member of the board.

The residence permit type B ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung") is first issued for a period of one year and then prolonged for each 2 years. After 10 years of residence in Switzerland, the investor and his family may apply for a residence permit type C ("Niederlassungsbewilligung"), which does not need any more prolongations and will be valid "forever".

In addition to this, the family will be integrated into the Swiss social security system of world-class medical insurance and pension funds.

This program is the favourite tool for wealthly non-European foreigners planning to relocate to Switzerland, as the chances for success are very high and there is an excellent state support, if the investment project is really interesting. It is in existence since 2008.

Russian foreign direct investment in Switzerland (2018): 29 billion Swiss Francs ( 28 billion Euro). Data source: SNB Swiss National Bank.

Permits Issued (2018): approx. 15.000 Russian citizens lived in Switzerland with residence permit type B or C, of this about 30% under the investor's program.

Data source: BFS Swiss Federal Office of Statistics.

Success of application: If project is carefully planned and supported by a Swiss investment company, almost 100%.


Investment Options

  • Private Equity

    • 10 Mio. Swiss Francs

    • Buying a controlling majority of an already existing Swiss corporation and by this ensure the continuation and/or expansion of its business.

    • Medium risk investment

  • Commercial Real-Estate

    • 20 Mio. Swiss Francs

    • Buying or building a commercially active real-estate property, which maintains or creates jobs and is of regional economic importance. Typically, these are hotels or similar touristic properties like chalet resorts.

    • Low risk investment

  • Start-Up Business

    • 10 Mio. Swiss Francs

    • Founding and/or financing a start-up business in special sectors like IT, bioscience, pharmaceutics, artificial intelligence, precision engineering and so on. Typcial venture capital financing.

    • High risk investment, but also extraordinary chances for profit.

Important Note: Buying residential real-estate, no matter how valuable, buying Swiss securities or simply depositing money at a Swiss bank will not qualify for this program!


Family Members' Permit

These relatives may also get a residence permit:

  • Spouse, married or in officially registered partnership

  • Spouse will also get permit to work in Switzerland, either employed or self-employed

  • Children up to the age of 21. Above this age, if they are studying and economically supported by their parents.

  • Parents of both sides, if they are economically supported by the investor.


Investor Requirements

  • Must present an investment project, which is "in the interests of the economy as a whole"

  • Has the necessary financial funds for the investment

  • Proof that the necessary "operational requirements are fulfilled" (AIG Chapter 5, Section 1, Article 19.b). This means that the investor himself has the necessary know-how, management experience and business infrastructure to set up the investment project and make it operational, or he secured the services of a specialized Swiss investment consulting firm for this purpose.

  • No criminal record

  • Knowledge of local language not required, if working with Swiss consulting firm




  • Valid passport

  • Valid visa for Switzerland, normally a Schengen area visa.

  • 2 Passport photos

  • Proof of appropriate accomodation in Switzerland, e.g. a rental contract for a flat

  • Certificate of clean criminal record, from the country of last residence

Family Members

  • Valid passport

  • Valid visa for Switzerland, normally a Schengen area visa.

  • 2 Passport photos

  • Certificate of clean criminal record, from the country of last residence, for each adult member of family

  • For spouse: certificate of marriage or registered partnership

  • For children: birth certificate

  • For parents: certificates of birth for investor and spouse

  • Proof of appropriate accomodation in Switzerland, e.g. a rental contract for a flat

  • Proof of sufficient continous income to economically support the family members

Funds/Investment Project

  • Detailed business plan, showing the economic benefits, the number of jobs created or maintained and the expected profitabilty of the investment project.

  • Company agreement of the corporation, which will be founded.

  • Any type of legal entity possible, but most common is Aktiengesellschaft (AG, joint stock company), comparable to Russian OAO.

  • Shareholders may be natural persons (e.g. the investor himself) or legal entities (e.g. holding structures like Liechtenstein Stiftung), which allows for tax optimization.

  • Proof of investment funds by liquid assets. either at a Swiss bank or at an internationally recognized major bank.

  • Proof of legal ownership of the investment funds. This will be required by law for the compliance check (KYC-check) at the Swiss bank handling the financial transactions.

  • Curriculum Vitae, which shows the investor's ability to perform the necessary management tasks, or contract with an investment consulting firm.


1.) Switzerland is a multi-lingual country. Depending on the region of your planned residence, foreign language documents must be translated either into German, French or Italian language. Official documents from non-EU countries must be certified by apostil.

2.) There is no formal requirement for a knowledge in any of the 4 official languages of Switzerland for residents under this program. However, it is strongly recommended to aquire at least basic skills of the local language on a voluntary base, especially when relocating to Switzerland with children.


Additional Expenses

  • Cantonal processing fee for residence permit, for each applicant: ca. 100,- CHF, varies from canton to canton.

  • Document translation fees Russian -> German: ca. 1.500,- to 3.000,- CHF, depending on the amount of documents. Translations must be done by a state-certified translator. Approx. 250,- CHF per page. English language documents, e.g. from foreign banks or law firms, are generally accepted.

  • Legal fees and costs for company incorporation: 5.000,- to 15.000,- CHF, depending on the complexity of the legal structure (Holding companies yes/no, international beneficiaries etc.)

  • Laywer fees, tax counselling and consulting fees for development and writing of the business plan, negotiations with state authorities, handling of paperwork, general project mangement: from 25.000,- CHF for simple standard projects to 250.000,- CHF for complex, large-scale private equity investments.


Rights and Obligations

  • Permit type B to take residence in Switzerland, which must be prolonged every two years. However, this is normally a pure formality, if the investment works as planned.

  • Option to apply for an unlimited residence permit type C after 10 years of uninterrupted residence, which will be valid "forever".

  • Citizenship: After 12 years of living in Switzerland, the investor and his family may apply for Swiss Citizenship. However, this procedure is quite strict and requires good knowledge of the local language, Swiss culture and traditions, and a perfect integration into Swiss social life.

  • Right to work in Switzerland for the investor and the spouse, employed or self-employed.

  • For children below 18 years: Right and obligation to visit kindergarden and school in Switzerland.

  • For grown-up children: Right to study at one of Switzerland's world-class public universities, free of tuition fees.

  • Free travel inside the Schengen area.

  • Up to 180 days stay in any country of the Schengen zone within a year. For instance, you might spend the summer months at your villa at the Côte d'Azur in France, if you really want.

  • Right to buy two real-estate properties in Switzerland for personal residential use. This is normally not allowed for non-resident foreigners ("Lex Koller").

  • Full benefits from the Swiss medical insurance with world-wide coverage for all members of the family.

  • Benefits from the Swiss state pension fund ("AHV") after retirement age (65 years men, 64 years women) for the investor and spouse, according to the payments made during active business life.

  • Obligation to implement the investment project, as outlined in the business plan, and keep it operative.

  • Obligation to keep an active residence in Switzerland, where you spend at least six months per year.

  • Obligation to pay contributions to the Swiss social security insurance: Medical insurance for each member of your family, pension fund insurance for each adult member below age of 65.


Procedure Steps and Timetable






2 weeks

Apply for a Schengen business visa at a Swiss Consulate (if necessary)


1 to 2 months

Decide on type and amount of investment, and in which Canton (= region) of Switzerland you want to settle. Note: In Switzerland, residence permits are granted by the individual Cantons, not by the Swiss conferderate state!


2 to 4 months

Preparation of business plan, negotiations with cantonal authorities etc., preparation of organisational structures, preparation of all documents. In case of private equity investments, merger and aquisition negotiations with corporate shareholders etc.


1 week

Obtain a "Ruling", a so-called "binding preliminary decision", from the cantonal authorities whether your investment will be considered as being "in the interests of the economy as a whole". If yes, all following steps will be mere formalities.


1 day

File your application for residence permit at the cantonal "Office for Migration" ("Amt für Migration").


4 to 8 weeks

Processing of your application. Important Note: From the day your application has been accepted by the Office for Migration for processing, you have the preliminary right to stay in Switzerland without any more visa, and you can start your business!


1 day

Pick up your Swiss residence permit type B at the Office for Migration. This document, which has the size of a credit card, is automatically also your visa for all other Schengen states.



The residence permit is issued to the investor on a "bona-fide" basis. He has now approx. 1 year time to implement and complete the investment, depending on the scale and complexity of the project. This will be checked by the Canton's economic and fiscal departments.