Almost 10% of eligible Ukrainian refugees in Switzerland have a job

© Keystone / Ti-press / Gabriele Putzu

A total of 9.4% of adults in possession of a special “S” permit are in work, with most employed in the restaurant sector.

This content was published on August 4, 2022 - 15:29

Overall, 3,130 Ukrainian refugees have found employment thanks to the special S protection status that allows them to live and work in Switzerland for a year. Nearly a quarter of them (23%) are active in the restaurant industry, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) said on Thursday. In addition, 17% work in the “planning, consulting, IT” sector. Agriculture and education each account for 8% of those with the S status.

A total of 33,379 beneficiaries of this protection status were of working age in the week of August 1, according to the SEM. The share of working refugees is therefore 9.4%. However, the number of work permits issued is actually higher, as they are only registered with a delay, says the SEM.

According to the latest figures published Thursday on Twitter by the State Secretariat, 61,424 Ukrainian refugees have been registered in Switzerland since the beginning of the war; 59,411 of them have obtained the S permit.

The protection status “S” was created following the Balkan conflicts in the 1990s but it was never used until now. It allows refugees to live and work in Switzerland for a year with an option to extend if necessary.  

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