© 2017 The Authors. International Migration © 2017 IOM Using the 1980 Census and 2010-2011 Structural Survey, we compare the socio-demographic profile and the occupational incorporation of Italian and Spanish immigrants arriving in Switzerland between 1976 and 1980 with those arriving during the second half of the 2000s. We find evidence that the traditional over-representation of Italian and Spanish immigrants among the lower strata of the occupational hierarchy at the end of the guest worker period is explained by their negative selection in terms of education and host language proficiency, corroborating the human capital hypothesis. However, the results also show the persistence of occupational disadvantages for these immigrants after controlling for human capital characteristics, indicating the existence of segmentation dynamics in the Swiss labour market. In contrast, recent cohorts of immigrants from Italy and Spain have definitively joined the collective of highly skilled foreign workers correctly matched in the Swiss labour market in accordance with their positive skill-selectivity.