Service ONG

NGO Service



NGOs established in the canton of Geneva who wish to recruit a foreign national must contact the "Office cantonal de la Population et des Migrations (OCPM)" in order to obtain a residence permit for this person.

The application process to obtain a work permit differs depending on whether the applicant is a national of a European Union & European Free Trade Association (EU/EFTA) country or not.



Consult the work permit procedure that applies to the duration of the work contract on the website of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.

Application forms

All applications must be sent to the "Office cantonal de la Population et des Migrations (OCPM)":

  • If you are a cross-border commuter, you must apply online.
  • If you are a European / EFTA citizen living in Geneva, you must fill in and send the form M.


Specific needs

Taking into account the goals of the NGO and the languages or specializations that may be required, NGOs may have no choice but to hire non-European nationals with specific skills. The NGO Service may be asked to certify the authenticity of the arguments advanced.


Applications for work permits for nationals who are not from EU or EFTA countries are subject to a specific procedure:

  • The employer will have to demonstrate that it is impossible to find, in the local labour market, anyone with the required skills.
  • This means that beforehand, the Swiss and European labour markets will have to be explored, notably by way of advertising (news media, employment agencies, etc.).
  • The job must also be notified online to the Job-Room platform, for 21 days before submitting a permit request for a non-European national.

A request for a third-country national can only be submitted when the Swiss and European markets have been canvassed without success.

Consult the work permit procedure for third-country nationals on the website of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.


Salaries paid by NGOs must correspond to Swiss standards for identical functions. Salaries cannot be based on the salary scale of a foreign country, even if funding comes from a country where standards are lower. This condition is not negotiable, notably in the procedure of a request for a work permit.

As a reminder, there is a minimum wage in Geneva of CHF 23.00 per hour since 1 November 2020.

Consult the National Wage Calculator.

Application form

Each application must be sent to the Office cantonal de la population et des migrations (OCPM) by the employer with the filled, dated and signed form M.


Depending on your nationality, a visa and other documents may be required to enter Switzerland. Foreign nationals who need a visa to enter Switzerland should consult the website of the Swiss Representation in their place of residence in order to obtain further information.



Procédure Visa
See " Planning your trip" page for more information

Case postale 2652
1211 Genève 2

information in French (.pdf)

Conséquences pour les titres de séjour et les permis de travail en Suisse (OCPM),
Admission de nouveaux ressortissants britanniques en Suisse (OCIRT)
Brexit UNToday article
Brexit – quel impact sur les entités de la Genève internationale
(UNToday magazine, April 2021)

Work permits, legal criteria, required documents (.pdf)