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Old 09.01.2016, 20:05
dro dro is offline
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Non EU Citizen Planning to obtain MBA in Switzerland

Hello people,

I am new to this forum. My wife and I have a strong desire to move from Los Angeles to Switzerland based on safety, work life balance, child rearing, beauty, cleanliness, and the list goes on and on. I am only 23 years old, but I received a BS in Business Administration from University of California, Riverside in June 2014 and upon graduating, I have been working full time in the IT consulting industry.

Since my wife and I have the desire to move, I figured the best way to do so would be to get an MBA from a Swiss University (IMD or St. Gallen, assuming I get accepted) and to search for employment during my program.

Is anyone here a non EU citizen who went to MBA or grad school and was able to find adequate employment in Switzerland upon graduating?

I did a lot of research on the subject and I know that if companies want to hire a non EU, they have to prove they could not find an EU citizen for the position. However my research has discovered that rule does not apply if you obtain a graduate degree from a Swiss university. You can also get your visa extended 6 months after graduation to find employment in Switzerland.
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Old 09.01.2016, 20:55
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Re: Non EU Citizen Planning to obtain MBA in Switzerland

Welcome to the forum. Firstly, have you ever been to Switzerland or are those just your impressions of the country from what you've seen/read? Because while it is all those things, it's also far more regulated than the States on what you can and cannot do. I suggest that you get hold of a copy of "Living and Working in Switzerland" by David Hampshire. It's full of useful info for both before and after you move. You can order it from your local bookshop or via the Internet.

You are correct that graduating from a Swiss uni will make things a bit easier for you.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...abgaenger.html

Once you graduate you can ask for an L permit so you can seek work here for up to 6 months.

If you don't graduate then the non-EU hiring criteria much more difficult. It's outlined here:

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...zulassung.html

However, the other thing you need to know is that as a US citizen you're required to file US tax returns no matter where you live in the world and could owe the US tax on top of your Swiss ones, once you start earning. Start your reseach on that here:

https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inte...-Aliens-Abroad

You'll also need to sign a W-9 form to allow any Swiss bank to send your account details on to the IRS. And if your bank account/s comes to more than the aggregate figure of $10,000 at any time of the year you'll also need to file a FBAR form, detailing said account/s and the amounts in them.
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Old 09.01.2016, 21:15
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Re: Non EU Citizen Planning to obtain MBA in Switzerland

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Welcome to the forum. Firstly, have you ever been to Switzerland or are those just your impressions of the country from what you've seen/read? Because while it is all those things, it's also far more regulated than the States on what you can and cannot do. I suggest that you get hold of a copy of "Living and Working in Switzerland" by David Hampshire. It's full of useful info for both before and after you move. You can order it from your local bookshop or via the Internet.

You are correct that graduating from a Swiss uni will make things a bit easier for you.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...abgaenger.html

Once you graduate you can ask for an L permit so you can seek work here for up to 6 months.

If you don't graduate then the non-EU hiring criteria much more difficult. It's outlined here:

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...zulassung.html

However, the other thing you need to know is that as a US citizen you're required to file US tax returns no matter where you live in the world and could owe the US tax on top of your Swiss ones, once you start earning. Start your reseach on that here:

https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inte...-Aliens-Abroad

You'll also need to sign a W-9 form to allow any Swiss bank to send your account details on to the IRS. And if your bank account/s comes to more than the aggregate figure of $10,000 at any time of the year you'll also need to file a FBAR form, detailing said account/s and the amounts in them.
Thank you for the reply. Yes my wife and I have been to Switzerland and we both understand it is a different country with a different culture, rules, etc. We actually lived in Italy for a few months so we understand the concept that Switzerland will be completely different from the US. That is what actually is attracting. I have grown tired of living in Los Angeles and I don't consider myself to be fully assimilated into American culture. I would not want to move to a different state or city in the US so really my best and most appealing option is to move to Europe. And the tax code is another reason why I hate the US. That is completely rediculus that citizens have to pay taxes to the US if they don't live or work in that country. I am over the "American Dream" and I am done with this country. We are choosing Switzerland because it is a rich country with high salaries and we've visited and like it.
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Old 09.01.2016, 21:17
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Re: Non EU Citizen Planning to obtain MBA in Switzerland

Are you a non EU citizen? How difficult was it to find employment? I started learning German with the intent to be pretty fluent by the time I get my MBA.
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Old 09.01.2016, 21:59
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Re: Non EU Citizen Planning to obtain MBA in Switzerland

Unfortunately, not liking it won't get you out of the obligation to file. Only renunciation of your US citizenship will do that. Congress has just passed a law that will make renewing your US passport dependent on being tax compliant which will likely come into force in the near future.

Well, technically I was half and half (US/UK), but I entered on my US passport (didn't have a UK one at the time). But I haven't worked here at all, I'm a trailing spouse who came with her British OH who got a job here.

Language skills will obviously help for employment, C permit and naturalisation if that's your long term aim.

Bear in mind though that the Swiss recently voted to curb immigration from the EU. How that's going to work out we don't know yet as the EU has refused to negotiate with Switzerland regarding the Free Movement Agreement. How any of this will knock on to the non-EU side is anyone's guess. But something's got to happen as the referendum specified by 3 years after the vote which was in February 2014.
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Old 09.01.2016, 22:02
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Re: Non EU Citizen Planning to obtain MBA in Switzerland

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And the tax code is another reason why I hate the US. That is completely rediculus that citizens have to pay taxes to the US if they don't live or work in that country. .
While I agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment, realistically a reversal of RBT CBT will never happen. As you plan your future, do be aware of what it means to be a US tax payer resident abroad. Given how expensive Switzerland is, you do need to fully understand how your US tax burden will further impact your cost of living here.

Your tax obligations to the US will continue as long as you hold the blue passport - which will be at least the next 12 years (or 10, if new legislation comes into force) if you are aiming towards Swiss citizenship. And be aware that Swiss citizenship is never a given, you might never be granted it despite fulfilling all the criteria, despite being a good neighbor, villager, and tax payer.

So make your plans with the burden of US taxes in mind.

In addition to Medea's coments, there are some other issues that you should consider. One is the way the US views pension savings, which does not work at all with the way Swiss pensions are set up.

You are young, so perhaps retirement planning isn't even on your radar yet... but do be aware of the difficulties placed on US citizens in Switzerland in this respect. Your pension contributions and those of your employer are taxable in the year of contribution, as income on your US taxes. The amount might not be large cwhen you start out, but as you grow older, and presumably more successful, you will find that US tax on your yearly total pension contribution can be very painful.

And of course tax obligation to the US means that many do not get the benefit of low Swiss taxes. (We pay far more to the US than we do to Switzerland.)

We would have been better off financially had we stayed in the US.

But of course, financial opportunity isn't everything.

There are many other reasons to consider a move to Switzerland. Just do your research, and again, eyes wide open.

Wishing you all the best.

Last edited by meloncollie; 09.01.2016 at 23:41. Reason: correction
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Old 09.01.2016, 22:55
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Re: Non EU Citizen Planning to obtain MBA in Switzerland

Meloncollie means CBT (Citizen based taxation) which is how the Americans do it. The rest of the world base their tax system on RBT (Residence based taxation).
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Old 09.01.2016, 23:38
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Re: Non EU Citizen Planning to obtain MBA in Switzerland

Oops.

Good catch, Medea. CBT.

(Too many TLAs. )
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Old 10.01.2016, 00:34
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Re: Non EU Citizen Planning to obtain MBA in Switzerland

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We are choosing Switzerland because it is a rich country with high salaries and we've visited and like it.
Sounds like similar reasons to most of the Erithreans in the refugee compound down the road...
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Old 10.01.2016, 02:07
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Re: Non EU Citizen Planning to obtain MBA in Switzerland

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Meloncollie means CBT (Citizen based taxation) which is how the Americans do it. The rest of the world base their tax system on RBT (Residence based taxation).
Well, no, to be fair, Eritrea taxes its citizens worldwide, too. The US keeps great company. Maybe that's why those Eritreans are just down the road.
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Old 10.01.2016, 10:36
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
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Re: Non EU Citizen Planning to obtain MBA in Switzerland

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Oops.

Good catch, Medea. CBT.

(Too many TLAs. )
Yeah, that's what I thought.
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