The Agreement on the Free Movement of persons (AFMP) continues to apply to the United Kingdom (UK) between 1 February 2020 and 31 December 2020.
Following this period, Switzerland and the UK will apply an agreement guaranteeing citizens’ acquired rights and rights currently in the process of being acquired with regard to the mutual recognition of professional qualifications. Switzerland and the UK will continue to apply the AFMP during a transition period, which is due to last until 31 December 2020. A new agreement may well be concluded at a future date; however, it is not currently possible to say if this will be the case.
The UK-Swiss agreement concerning citizens’ acquired rights safeguards the following rights with regard to the recognition of professional qualifications:
- A recognition decision made before 1 February 2020 is permanently valid.
- Applications for recognition made before 1 February 2020 will still be handled in accordance with the AFMP.
- Persons who have not yet made an application or who are still studying have until 31 December 2024 to apply for their qualifications to be recognised. Any applications will be dealt with according to AFMP criteria. Until 31 December 2024, Swiss applicants wishing to have their Swiss qualifications recognised in the UK so that they can work there do not have to be resident in the country in order to apply for recognition of their qualifications.
- After 31 December 2024 deadline, the system for recognising qualifications will be governed by national law or by a future agreement, should one be concluded.
To sum up, in the short term the situation for Swiss and UK nationals remains as it was before Brexit. It should be noted that the agreement between Switzerland and the UK only applies to Swiss and UK nationals.
For more information, please see FAQs provided by the State Secretariat of Migration.