Non-European nationals

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.


Requests for work permits for nationals who are not from EU or EFTA countries are subject to a special procedure. Before making a request, 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 for 21 days before submitting a permit request for a non-European national. A request for a non-European can only be submitted when the Swiss and European markets have been canvassed without success.

The procedure for work permits for other countries can be found on the website of theService de la main d'œuvre étrangère.


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. You can consult the online salary calculator for Geneva from Observatoire genevois du marché du travail.

Application form

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