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Will Swiss Immigration Cap vote affect border entrance from EU countries?

Part of my trip this year involves several days in Switzerland; will the new immigration cap law re-establish border controls when crossing into the country? I'm just trying to figure out if I need to account for time delays; can't believe this won't cause backups. Thanks!
Bob

Posted by
6235 posts

I don't see how this is going to affect travelers going in and out of Switzerland, only people trying to emigrate to Switzerland. Switzerland is still a member of the EU so, at least for now, it's not going to affect border crossings.

Posted by
12040 posts

"Switzerland is still a member of the EU" Switzerland is many things, but a member of the EU is not one of them. They do, however, have a bilateral agreement with the EU on freedom of movement (which involves far more than just travel). I haven't seen exactly how this will affect Swiss borders, but I doubt the country will re-institute passport checks. It will have more effect on the people trying to immigrate from the EU into Switzerland.

Posted by
6235 posts

Oops, you're right Tom, caught me on that one. I knew that about Switzerland not being part of the EU. I guess I was trying to say they are part of the Schengen agreement regarding border controls and free movement. Sorry for the misstatement.

Posted by
3318 posts

This law is only going to apply to people attempting to obtain permission to live in Switzerland, not tourists. Believe me, they want your money.

Posted by
15742 posts

Now I know what all those billboards on the platforms at Zurich Hbf meant. One was a figure chopping down an apple tree, caption "Vote Nein! Feb 9" and another with the same caption where the roots of the apple tree were crushing a map of Switzerland.

Posted by
4513 posts

The answer is likely to be yes according to various EU big-wigs. However, there is still a lot to play out on this one.

Posted by
778 posts

The vote last Sunday has nothing to do with the Schengen agreement, so it will have no immediate impact on tourism. Within the next three years the Swiss government has to do something about immigration as the numbers have doubled over the past few years and and a narrow majority feel this is too much. If that something means that they have to break a bilateral agreement with the EU, then it could have some impact as breaking a bilateral has a domino effect and as the Schengen agreement is a bilateral it may also be considered broken by the EU, only time will tell.

Posted by
4513 posts

It has been reported that the bilaterals between the EU and Switzerland have a guillotine clause which means if one is broken they all are.

Of course the Swiss government itself, who do not agree with quotas, could settle them at some very large number that would have no effect, although the principle might still be a problem.

Posted by
778 posts

The second part of the initative is the more problematic - it requires the Swiss government to renegotiate the bilateral within three years or break it...... And since the EU have said they are not interested in doing this there can only be one outcome!

The EU position is that it takes a lot of effort on their side to get the governments of 28 nations to agree to a change and then after all that work the Swiss concervative party can collect 100K signatures at any time and wipe it out. They are just not willing to commit to such an unstable environment.