seasonal work in Switzerland

Your Guide To Finding The Best Fruit Picking Jobs In Switzerland

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Are you looking for fruit picking jobs in Switzerland so that you can experience working and living in Switzerland?

Switzerland is often rated as one of the best countries to live in and it recently topped the list due to its high living standards and competitive salaries.

This article will provide the information that you need to find the best fruit picking jobs in Switzerland.

Summary Of How To Find The Best Fruit Picking Jobs In Switzerland:

  1. WWOOF Switzerland
  2. Online Job Search Platforms
  1. Contact Employers Directly
  2. Facebook Groups

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How To Find The Best Fruit Picking Jobs In Switzerland?

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1. WWOOF Switzerland

farm jobs in Switzerland for foreigners

If you haven’t heard of WWOOF, it stands for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms. 

It is a platform that links visitors with organic farmers and can be a great opportunity to find fruit farmers that might be looking for workers.

2. Online Job Search Platforms

fruit picking jobs switzerland

Fruit picking jobs in Switzerland can also be found on online job search platforms. 

If you have applied for other jobs using an online job search platform, the process is similar and you will be contacted by the employers if they would like to hire you.

These are some platforms that you can use to search for fruit picking jobs:

3. Contact Employers Directly

fruit picking jobs switzerland

Another method that you could use to find picking jobs in Switzerland is contacting employers directly.

This can be a good way to find job vacancies and will demonstrate initiative to the employer.

Here are some fruit farms and vineyards that might be looking for fruit pickers:

4. Facebook Groups

fruit picking jobs switzerland

You may also be able to look for fruit picking jobs in Switzerland by joining Facebook groups that are related to finding jobs in Switzerland.

You can find posts by employers looking for workers and also make posts saying that you are looking for fruit picking jobs.

These are some Facebook groups to look into: 

What Are The Requirements To Get A Fruit Picking Job In Switzerland? 

Fruit picking jobs in Europe

Before talking about the requirements and visas that are needed for fruit picking jobs in Switzerland, we need to understand a few different terms first:

  • EU – the European Union (EU) is made up of 27 countries in Europe that have come together under shared goals and values. If you are a citizen of an EU country, you can easily move to or work in another EU country. 

  • EFTA – the European Free Trade Association has 4 member countries that promote free trade and economic integration. 

  • Schengen Area – comprises 26 European countries that have common rules for external borders. 

This can be a little confusing to understand but it’s important to know because it will have an impact on the requirements for getting fruit picking jobs in Switzerland.

While Switzerland is not a part of the EU, it is a part of the EFTA and allows citizens from EU/EFTA countries the freedom to enter and look for work without a visa.

The process for getting a fruit picking job in Switzerland will depend on whether you are a citizen of an EU/EFTA country or not.

If You Are A Citizen Of An EU/EFTA Country

You do not need any visa to enter Switzerland and look for a fruit picking job. 

You can also live and work in Switzerland for up to 90 days (3 months). If you are planning to work in Switzerland for more than 90 days, you will need to apply for a residence permit.

These are the 2 most common residence permits that you would need for a fruit picking job in Switzerland:

Important: EU/EFTA residents do not need a residence permit if they will be working in Switzerland for less than 3 months.

If You Are Not A Citizen Of An EU/EFTA Country

Fruit picking and farm jobs in Switzerland for foreigners who aren’t from the EU/EFTA countries can be quite challenging to find but it is not impossible.

The main difference is that you will need to find a job and have a job offer before you can apply for a visa to enter Switzerland.

Getting seasonal jobs in Switzerland is a little different than in other countries because there isn’t a special visa just for seasonal work in Switzerland.

Instead, you will need to apply for the Schengen category D visa which is for all foreign nationals who want to move to Switzerland to work, study, or be with family members.

Apart from a work visa, you will also need a work permit (which also serves as your residence permit). Your employer will apply for this for you. 

Depending on the situation, you will either receive Permit L or Permit B.

Permit L: Short-term residence permit that allows foreigners to stay for up to a year in Switzerland. It is tied to your employment contract and may be extended for another year if you are still working for the same employer.

Permit B: Initial residence permit is normally renewed yearly. There are limited numbers and they are also tied to quotas. It is tied to your employer and limits where you can live.

Some Special Situations:

  • Student Visas

If you are in Switzerland on a student visa, you can work up to 15 hours a week during term time. You will need to wait for 6 months after arriving in Switzerland and your employer will need to get a work permit for you.

  • Family Visas

Family members of C Settlement Permits can work in Switzerland.

Language

The main languages that are spoken in Switzerland are German, French, and Italian with German spoken by over 60% of the population. 

While Swiss German is primarily used in Switzerland, if you already know Standard German, you will be able to pick up the dialect the more you hear it being spoken.

It would be helpful for you to have at least a basic level of understanding and speaking one of these languages so that you can communicate better during your job search and with your employer.

What Is Fruit Picking In Switzerland?

Fruit picking jobs in Europe

Switzerland is well-known for growing fruits like apples, pears, apricots, berries, and grapes.

During the harvest season, farmers rely on seasonal workers to pick the fruits while they are ripe and before they can rot.

If the fruits are not picked at the right time, farmers will not have enough produce to sell and this will limit their livelihood for the year.

Switzerland is made up of 26 cantons, which are similar to states in other countries.

These are the most common cantons to find fruit picking jobs in Switzerland:

  • Basel
  • Bern 
  • Geneva
  • Lausanne
  • Lucerne
  • St. Gallen
  • Valais
  • Zurich

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Why Should You Look For Fruit Picking Jobs In Switzerland?

Switzerland looks like something out of a fairy tale and getting a fruit picking job in Switzerland will allow you to experience this magical country.

1. Gain Overseas Work Experience

Fruit picking jobs in Europe and Switzerland will allow you to gain valuable overseas work experience. You can use this experience to gain better opportunities in the future.

2. Learn New Languages

If you have Switzerland seasonal jobs, you will be able to learn languages like German, French, and Italian if you don’t already know them.

3. Explore Attractions In Switzerland

If you have the opportunity to get a fruit picking job in Switzerland, you will be able to spend some time exploring attractions in Switzerland. 

Here are some of the best things to see and do in Switzerland that you should check out if you can:

1. GoldenPass Line

Switzerland seasonal jobs

The GoldenPass Line is a scenic train journey from Lucerne to Montreux (or Montreux to Lucerne). 

It will take you through 3 mountain passes, past 8 lakes, and amazing scenery of mountains, valleys, and gorgeous views of Swiss chalets.

Tickets cost around CHF 25 (US$27) and the trip takes between 5-6 hours.

2. Swiss National Park

Switzerland seasonal jobs

The Swiss National Park is located in the east of Switzerland. There are many walking trails and guided walks that you can take to explore the park.

If you are an animal lover, you will have the opportunity to catch sight of various animals in their natural habitat. Keep an eye out for ibex, bearded vultures, lynx, chamois, and many more. 

3. CERN

farm jobs in Switzerland for foreigners

If you are interested in science, you need to pay a visit to CERN, the home of the Large Hadron Collider.

You can take a free guided tour and visit the Microcosm exhibition space.

4. Swiss Alps

farm jobs in Switzerland for foreigners

While you are in Switzerland, you should take the opportunity to hike the Swiss Alps. 

You can find a variety of trails that will take you through the beautiful mountains and you will be able to explore the many summits and valleys throughout the Alps.

5. Lake Geneva

farm jobs in Switzerland for foreigners

Lake Geneva is the largest lake in Central Europe. It is a great destination if you love sports like windsurfing and kayaking.

You can also take a relaxing summer cruise on the lake if you are looking for a calmer way to enjoy the lake.

How Much Do Fruit Pickers Get Paid In Switzerland?

The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss franc which is often abbreviated as CHF (Confoederatio Helvetica franc) or Fr.

On average, fruit pickers in Switzerland are between CHF 14-20 (US$15-22) an hour.

 The exact figure will depend on the type of fruit and the region in which you can find a fruit picking job in Switzerland.

What Types Of Fruits Can You Pick In Switzerland?

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Apples

seasonal jobs in Switzerland

Many varieties of apples are grown on over 1,000 hectares of land in Switzerland.

Picking apple jobs in Switzerland make up most of the fruit picking jobs here as apples are one of the main fruits produced in Switzerland. 

Pears

seasonal work in Switzerland

Switzerland is well-known for the pears that are grown here. There are several different types of pears such as Kaiser Alexander, Williams, Gute Luise, and Conference that are grown in different regions of Switzerland. 

One of the types of pears that are grown in Switzerland is Williams pears that are grown in Valais and are used to make pear brandy.

Apricots

seasonal jobs in Switzerland

Apricots are a part of the cultural heritage of the Valais canton. 

There are over 50 varieties of apricots that are grown in Switzerland and you can often find fresh apricots sold along the roads during the summer.

Berries

seasonal jobs in Switzerland

There is a very high demand for berries like strawberries and blueberries due to their reputation as superfoods.

Some other berries that are grown in Switzerland are raspberries, currants, blackberries, and gooseberries

Grapes

seasonal work in Switzerland

There are over 200 varieties of grapes that are grown in Switzerland on over 15,000 hectares of land. 

The two most popular varieties of grapes that are grown are Chasselas and Pinot Noir. 

These are some of the grape-growing regions: Valais, Vaud, Geneva, and Ticino.

When Is The Fruit Picking Season In Switzerland?

Different fruits grow well in different seasons and each of them will have its picking season. 

Summer and autumn tend to be the seasons when the most fruit picking in Switzerland happens. This is why fruit picking jobs are one of the most popular Switzerland summer jobs.

You can find the specific months for each fruit here:

  • Apple: July to October
  • Pears: August to October
  • Apricot: June to September
  • Strawberries: May to September
  • Grape: August to October

Best Fruit Picking Jobs In Switzerland FAQs

farm jobs in Switzerland for foreigners

Here are some frequently asked questions about working in Switzerland:

What Jobs Are In Demand In Switzerland?

Areas that have a skill shortage and need more workers include jobs like engineering, auditors, banking, and healthcare specialists. 

How Can A Foreigner Get A Job In Switzerland?

If you are a citizen from an EU/EFTA country, you can enter Switzerland and work freely in Switzerland. You will need to get a residence permit.

If you are not a citizen from an EU/EFTA country, you will need to have a job offer from an employer before you can get the work visa and permit that you need to work in Switzerland.

Conclusion

Finding a fruit picking job in Switzerland can be a great experience and you will be able to get a lot of benefits.

All the best with your job search and I hope you will find the fruit picking jobs in Switzerland that are right for you!

Your Guide To Finding The Best Fruit Picking Jobs In Switzerland

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