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Swiss B-Permit 2021: What are the requirements?

Have you ever thought of living abroad in Switzerland?

Or did you even already make the move?

Switzerland is a beautiful country with iconic natural scenery. It is a very versatile place where you can enjoy panoramic mountain views & skiing in the winter, as well as wonderful lakes in summer. Not to forget the delicious cheese and tasty chocolate. 

But first things first…

Before you can enjoy everything that Switzerland has to offer, as an expat you will need your B-Permit. Or maybe you are already living in Switzerland since five years, in which case, you will need your B-permit renewal. 

If you are an EU-citizen you will be able to apply for your B-Permit even without any language skills. However, as a non-EU citizen you will have to prove that you have A1 speaking & A1 writing skills in German (this is only applicable for the German speaking part of Switzerland). The same conditions apply if you need to renew your B-permit. If you are looking for more detailed information on Swiss work & residence permits check out my last blog article.


So now you might wonder…

How can I reach my A1 German skills as fast and efficient as possible?

The best and fastest way to go about it – book yourself into a German language course! Not only is a teacher vital for a deeper and better understanding of grammar and language composition, you will also reach your goal a lot faster.

How long will it take me to reach A1 skills in both speaking & writing?

If you decide to visit a regular language course which usually takes place 2x per week for 1.5 hours each lesson (so 3 hours per week in total) it will take you 4 months to reach the A1 level.  

If you wish to reach the A1 level faster there are also intensive courses which will help you to speed up the language learning process. 

However, everybody’s language learning journey is different and depending on your pace of learning and motivation it might take you more or less time. 


What do you have to know at A1 level?

When reaching the A1 level you will be able to use some very basic grammatical constructions and communicate in simple ways. Some relevant topics for A1 are: 

  • Introducing yourself and others
  • Saying where you live 
  • Ordering food & drinks 
  • Having simple interactions when shopping


What is the structure of the exam?

Telc test structure A1

What is expected from you when taking the telc test?

The best way to get a detailed insight into the telc test before you sit your exam is to do a mock exam beforehand. This will give you a good understanding of how the telc test looks like and exactly what is expected from you. Not only will this boost your confidence when taking the real test, but also accelerate your performance. 

Download the telc A1 mock exam here and the related listening audio text here.


Where & when can I take the telc test?

There are many language schools in Zurich that are certified to administer telc exams. You can find the whole list in one of my recent blog articles on the telc test.


Can I repeat the telc test?

Yes, the A1 exam can be repeated as many times as you wish.

Thank you for reading my article! Drop a comment if you liked it or if you still have a question.

Hear you soon,


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