A popular initiative in support of regulating future immigration to Switzerland was accepted by the electorate in 2014. Assuming that the initiative acted as an exclusionary threat for current immigrants of Switzerland, we conducted an online survey among a sample of highly-skilled German-speaking immigrants (“expats”). Participants reported having experienced negative affect following the vote. Moreover, having a more left-wing orientation, living in a political constituency that had voted pro-regulation and having proportionally few Swiss friends positively predicted negative affect following the vote. Negative affect was associated with a reported negative change in one’s attitudes towards Switzerland, increased considerations to leave the country, and impaired satisfaction with life. In sum, the results suggest that a powerful exclusionary threat such as a national vote may be experienced as distressful by highly-skilled immigrants currently living in the country.