Anyone residing in Switzerland at a given time, but who does not have Swiss nationality is defined as a foreign national. The permanent foreign resident population is the reference population in population statistics. It includes all foreign nationals who hold a residence permit for a minimum duration of 12 months or who have resided in Switzerland for 12 months (Permit B/C/L/F or FDFA permit - international civil servants, diplomats and members of their family).
The majority of foreigners residing permanently in Switzerland are European and mainly come from EU/EFTA member states. Italian, German, Portuguese and French nationals comprise the majority of foreigners from an EU/EFTA member state, as well as of all foreigners residing permanently in Switzerland.