Looking for apprenticeships and work


As a teenager without a residence permit you can, under certain (strict) conditions, complete an apprenticeship which will allow you to obtain a permit. This form  gives you the most important information.

The advice centers for Sans-Papiers will support you in this process (see the Advice section for the address). Even if you do not completely fulfil the criteria for starting an apprenticeship – you should approach the contact point or simply call into a Speak out! workshop.

Hardship permit

In the case of hardship, you can make an individual application for a residence permit. The authorities consider each application individually. Time spent in Switzerland, work, integration, children’s schooling, health and other issues are important criteria.

Rejected asylum seekers also have the option of making a hardship application after 5 or 10 years. The practice here varies depending on the canton. The best thing to do is to contact an advice center.

Rejected asylum seekers who have gone underground will find it even more difficult: In principle there is no possibility of a new process, not even for a hardship application.


Everyone has the right to marry. In practice, this is not that easy for Sans-Papiers, because they do not have a residence permit. But it is quite possible and not uncommon.

However, if the couple split within the first three years of marriage, there is a threat that they will lose the residence permit. In special cases, the residence permit can be withdrawn even later. This is not always the case, however.

Always get advice from an advice center about the best procedure and let us accompany you through the process.

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