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I'm looking for a new job in Switzerland. (I reside in Germany near the border.) I found a good prospect in canton Zug, but I was surprised to discover that they don't grant G permits, as Zug doesn't actually share a border with another country. I hadn't realized this differs by canton.

Where can I find a list of which cantons in Switzerland grant G permits?

(Is it as simple as looking at a map to see which cantons border another country?)

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  • What is your nationality? The rules are different for EU/EEA citizens. Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 12:41
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    I'm not Swiss or EU. Does that matter in terms of whether a canton grants G permits, though? Do some cantons only grant them to EU citizens? I know about the quotas, but I'm not asking about that.
    – Kyralessa
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 13:01

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G permits are governed by the cross-border commuter worker agreements with each neighbouring country. There is a difference between EU/EEA and third country citizens; in the case of non-EU/EEA citizens, they are only valid for the areas defined in each specific agreement (EU/EEA nationals can work anywhere in Switzerland with a G permit).

From this official page: "G-permits are usually valid for one year, and are limited to the border zone of the issuing canton." If Zug doesn't have a 'border zone' with Germany, it stands to reason that they won't give you a G Permit.

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    Ah, so there is a difference for non EU/EEA citizens. This page gives the difference for EU/EEA: sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home/themen/aufenthalt/eu_efta/… "These persons may live anywhere in the EU/EFTA region and work anywhere in Switzerland provided that they return to their place of residence abroad once a week." That's good to know. So it sounds like if I were EU/EEA then I could work in Zug with my G permit, but as a third-party national I can't.
    – Kyralessa
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 13:58
  • But...is there a list somewhere of which cantons grant G permits under these rules to third-party nationals?
    – Kyralessa
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 14:00
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    Those depend on each bilateral agreement. I would expect bordering Cantons (that's how it works with Italy) but without seeing the agreement with the other countries I can't be certain. Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 16:35
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    @Kyralessa Geneva unsurprisingly grants them, but the list of places of residence where applicants may live includes only municipalities in France. It seems therefore that you really want to be asking "Which Swiss cantons grant G (cross-border) work permits to third-country nationals who live in [your town]?" But I couldn't find any actual bilateral agreements to see the actual lists.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 21:58
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    @phoog The Swiss-Italian bilateral agreement specifies the three bordering cantons (Valais, Ticino and The Grisons) on the Swiss side and a place of residence at most 20Km from the border on the Italian side. It is from 1972, long before the common market, so I guess each bordering country will have different rules depending on what was negotiated at the time. Commented Sep 8, 2021 at 5:12

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