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Old 06.02.2015, 04:13
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Moving and finding employment in Zurich

Hi,

I am 23 year old and I am planning to relocate to Zurich for love. As this is a big step in my life, I am looking for help and tips before the move.

I have studied in Zurich for a semester and interned there for a couple of months. So, I am pretty comfortable living around the area.

I have an overseas degree in Communication Studies, which I am not sure whether it will be widely accepted in Switzerland (my university has a higher world ranking than most of the universities in Switzerland. Does the employer pay special attention to which university I obtained my degree from?). I speak and write intermediate level of German (level B1).

Is it really difficult finding a full time job/internship for entry level in Switzerland? I have tried several websites, but none of them seem to offer entry level. Does anyone know how to get in touch with headhunters or agencies directly?

Another option that I am looking into is taking a Master in Switzerland. The concern about this is cost. Am I allowed to work as an international student in Switzerland?

Any help or thoughts on this is greatly appreciated

Have a good weekend everyone!
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Old 06.02.2015, 04:44
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Re: Moving and finding employment in Zurich

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I have an overseas degree in Communication Studies, which I am not sure whether it will be widely accepted in Switzerland (my university has a higher world ranking than most of the universities in Switzerland. Does the employer pay special attention to which university I obtained my degree from?). I speak and write intermediate level of German (level B1).
Acceptance of your degree is the least of your worries. Most employer simply check the box that you indeed have one but could not care less where you did it. And nobody in continental Europe cares about those rankings...

Your problem is a totally different one: You are non-EU. As such will it be very very hard to get a job as legally Swiss people will come first, Europeans second only then is an employer allowed to offer the job to you - he has to prove and explain why no local could be considered.
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Old 06.02.2015, 18:35
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Re: Moving and finding employment in Zurich

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Your problem is a totally different one: You are non-EU. As such will it be very very hard to get a job as legally Swiss people will come first, Europeans second only then is an employer allowed to offer the job to you - he has to prove and explain why no local could be considered.
Hi Treverus,

Thank you for your reply. I had no idea that the employment criteria is that strict! Does this apply for all cases? or is it only for certain cases.

Could I also ask, if I am legally married to a Swiss and register for a permit, am I still considered under the "foreigner quota"?

Thanks

Last edited by 3Wishes; 06.02.2015 at 19:01. Reason: fixed quoting
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Old 06.02.2015, 18:46
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Re: Moving and finding employment in Zurich

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Your problem is a totally different one: You are non-EU. As such will it be very very hard to get a job as legally Swiss people will come first, Europeans second only then is an employer allowed to offer the job to you - he has to prove and explain why no local could be considered.
Quote:
Hi Treverus,

Thank you for your reply. I had no idea that the employment criteria is that strict! Does this apply for all cases? or is it only for certain cases.

Could I also ask, if I am legally married to a Swiss and register for a permit, am I still considered under the "foreigner quota"?

Thanks
It applies in all cases and is outlined here.

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

If you're married to a Swiss national however, you lose the non-EU stigma as you would have a one year B permit which would allow you to work without having to go through the non-EU hiring process. You effectively become a Swiss/EU national when it comes to jobs.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 06.02.2015 at 19:02.
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Old 06.02.2015, 19:07
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Re: Moving and finding employment in Zurich

Where and when do you plan to marry if that is on the cards?

Be aware that as a Singapore national (I assume as that's your location) you can't enter Switzerland long term until a resident's permit has been approved for you.

"Citizens from Andorra, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, San Marino, Singapore and the Vatican City only require the residence permit to have been approved before they enter Switzerland."

That can be done under your own application or your boyfriend/fiancé can apply for a dependent's permit for you as either his fiancée or his girlfriend (the name of the permit for a girlfriend is concubine - honestly). What you can't do is come as a tourist and then apply for the permit.
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Old 06.02.2015, 19:08
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Re: Moving and finding employment in Zurich

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...If you're married to a Swiss national however, you lose the non-EU stigma as you would have a one year B permit which would allow you to work without having to go through the non-EU hiring process. You effectively become a Swiss/EU national when it comes to jobs.
Keep in mind this is provided you go through the family reunification process. Your spouse should register your marriage with the Swiss authorities (if not already done) and apply for you to join him/her. Since you're from Singapore you don't need a D-visa to enter the country long-term, but you do need approval from the authorities for your permit before you come.

You and your spouse will need to prove to the authorities that you have sufficient funds to support you both without relying on social help. Do you know - is your marriage already registered? You might be further along in the process than you thought.
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Old 06.02.2015, 19:22
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Re: Moving and finding employment in Zurich

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It applies in all cases and is outlined here.

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

If you're married to a Swiss national however, you lose the non-EU stigma as you would have a one year B permit which would allow you to work without having to go through the non-EU hiring process. You effectively become a Swiss/EU national when it comes to jobs.
Hi Medea,

Thanks for the answer. If the permit is only valid for one year, does that mean that I have to apply for a permit every year as long as I am staying there? Is there a more long term option?
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Old 06.02.2015, 19:24
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Re: Moving and finding employment in Zurich

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...If the permit is only valid for one year, does that mean that I have to apply for a permit every year as long as I am staying there? Is there a more long term option?
I'm non-EU married to a Swiss. Yes, you renew each year for the first 5 years. But you don't have to do much. Just fill out a piece of paper that verifies your marriage is still legit, where you live, where you work, etc. And of course pay for another permit. After you complete 5 of the one-year B permits you can apply for a C-permit, which is valid for 5 years.
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Old 06.02.2015, 19:29
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Re: Moving and finding employment in Zurich

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I'm non-EU married to a Swiss. Yes, you renew each year for the first 5 years. But you don't have to do much. Just fill out a piece of paper that verifies your marriage is still legit, where you live, where you work, etc. And of course pay for another permit. After you complete 5 of the one-year B permits you can apply for a C-permit, which is valid for 5 years.
Hi 3Wishes,

Thanks for all the input It sounds insanely difficult to relocate there. and we are not looking to register our marriage anytime soon as we do not have sufficient funds for that yet, which I guess makes the whole process even crazier!

If employment and marriage are not the options, are there any other options that I can consider for my relocation?
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Old 06.02.2015, 19:41
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Re: Moving and finding employment in Zurich

Hi,
I moved to Zürich in 83 for love with a Swiss wife. The rules may have got a little tighter since then but:
Your degree should be recognised
It is worth taking out Swiss nationality as soon as you can ( I assume you have no dual-nationality problems)
You will be competing on the job market with all the others, but I am fairly sure that you do not count on any quotas.

Swiss-german is essential for integration, otherwise do not worry about your german fluency level.

Good luck
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Old 06.02.2015, 20:31
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Re: Moving and finding employment in Zurich

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Hi 3Wishes,

Thanks for all the input It sounds insanely difficult to relocate there. and we are not looking to register our marriage anytime soon as we do not have sufficient funds for that yet, which I guess makes the whole process even crazier!

If employment and marriage are not the options, are there any other options that I can consider for my relocation?
Only the concubine permit option and that will need your fiancé to agree to be financially responsible for you for 5 years. Whether that permit will allow you to work at all I don't know. You'd have to ask the cantonal migration office where you plan to live in Switzerland.

And yes, it is extremely difficult for non-EU's to move here - it's meant to be. With the Free Movement Agreement allowing EU nationals the right to live and work here without hinderance the Swiss had to do something to limit complete uncontrolled immigration. So non-EU nationals have quota limits on how many permits there are available each year and they need to be highly qualified/skilled to be able to get them.

Which actually makes the marriage option the easiest of the 3 choices. Whether you go for marriage or the concubine option be prepared for detailed and very personal questions because the Swiss will want proof of a long term, committed relationship and not just something that's a sham to get you into the country by by-passing the non-EU rules.

KiwiSteve, citizenship isn't really an option as a) she's not married yet and b) it would still require at least 5 years of living here to apply.

"Foreign spouses of Swiss nationals who have lived in Switzerland for a year may apply for facilitated naturalisation after three years of marriage, provided they have lived in Switzerland for a total of five years. People who have close ties with Switzerland may apply for facilitated naturalisation even if they are resident abroad. In such cases, however, they must have been married to a Swiss spouse for at least six years."

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/en/home...uergerung.html

So that's no quick solution to the immediate problem of moving here.
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Old 06.02.2015, 20:48
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Re: Moving and finding employment in Zurich

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Hi 3Wishes,

Thanks for all the input It sounds insanely difficult to relocate there. and we are not looking to register our marriage anytime soon as we do not have sufficient funds for that yet, which I guess makes the whole process even crazier!

If employment and marriage are not the options, are there any other options that I can consider for my relocation?
It's not really that bad IF you go the marriage route. There's a fair amount of paperwork but at least for me it wasn't hard or expensive. I am not sure if as a Singaporean you need to have your documents (birth certificate, marriage papers) translated and apostilled. If so then of course that adds expense for you. As an American I didn't have that step. I think I pay about 110 Francs per year for the B permit. The renewal paperwork takes me 5 minutes.

I'd say you have 3 options if you want to move here long-term (in order from easiest to hardest to get here):
1. Get married or go the concubine route
2. Apply for a Master's program/study permit
3. Find an employer to sponsor you for a permit (this would mean going the full non-EU route)

Finance-wise, the figure that seems to be most often used by the authorities as "sufficient" is 100 CHF per person, per day to cover all expenses (rent, food, utilities, etc.)

Alternatively you can just come and visit for short periods, although you can't work while here as a visitor.
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Old 06.02.2015, 21:15
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Re: Moving and finding employment in Zurich

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It is worth taking out Swiss nationality as soon as you can ( I assume you have no dual-nationality problems)
Singaporeans are currently not allowed to have dual citizenship, assuming OP is a Singaporean.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapo...ationality_law

Singapore citizens who voluntarily and intentionally acquire citizenship of a foreign country after the age of 18 may be deprived of their Singapore citizenship by the Government.[8] Foreigners who naturalise as Singaporean citizens are required to renounce all foreign citizenships.
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Old 07.02.2015, 06:42
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Re: Moving and finding employment in Zurich

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Where and when do you plan to marry if that is on the cards?

Be aware that as a Singapore national (I assume as that's your location) you can't enter Switzerland long term until a resident's permit has been approved for you.
Honestly: If you get married to a Swiss national are you fine and the work and residence permit is just a process to go through, nothing to worry about.

The one important thing to remember is that you can as a Singaporean always travel there as a tourist but the moment you want to settle down do you need to apply at the Swiss embassy in Singapore, get the right immigration visa and enter the country with that visa. You cannot travel as a tourist and one day show up at the city hall and say "I wanna stay".

Did (future) hubby by any chance work in SG before? If he had a work permit in SG before is it also important to get your stuff in Singapore in order - there is a law that Singaporeans need to announce their plans to marry foreigners beforehand (to prevent a certain type of human trafficking) - make sure you do that or hubby is not allowed into SG for the first three years of your marriage.

I am in Singapore right now and had to deal a lot with the Swiss authorities before as a foreigner living there with an Asian wife... as well as dealing with the Singaporean side (I am a PR here). If you got any questions feel free to send me a PM...
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Old 08.02.2015, 08:04
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Re: Moving and finding employment in Zurich

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Honestly: If you get married to a Swiss national are you fine and the work and residence permit is just a process to go through, nothing to worry about.

The one important thing to remember is that you can as a Singaporean always travel there as a tourist but the moment you want to settle down do you need to apply at the Swiss embassy in Singapore, get the right immigration visa and enter the country with that visa. You cannot travel as a tourist and one day show up at the city hall and say "I wanna stay".

Did (future) hubby by any chance work in SG before? If he had a work permit in SG before is it also important to get your stuff in Singapore in order - there is a law that Singaporeans need to announce their plans to marry foreigners beforehand (to prevent a certain type of human trafficking) - make sure you do that or hubby is not allowed into SG for the first three years of your marriage.

I am in Singapore right now and had to deal a lot with the Swiss authorities before as a foreigner living there with an Asian wife... as well as dealing with the Singaporean side (I am a PR here). If you got any questions feel free to send me a PM...

Hi All,

Thank you very much for the really helpful input. Now I have a better idea on options that I could consider
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Old 08.02.2015, 10:08
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Re: Moving and finding employment in Zurich

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Honestly: If you get married to a Swiss national are you fine and the work and residence permit is just a process to go through, nothing to worry about.

The one important thing to remember is that you can as a Singaporean always travel there as a tourist but the moment you want to settle down do you need to apply at the Swiss embassy in Singapore, get the right immigration visa and enter the country with that visa. You cannot travel as a tourist and one day show up at the city hall and say "I wanna stay".
As previously stated Singapore nationals don't need any visa to enter Switzerland either short or long term. What they do need for a long term stay is a pre-approved permit. So that is what you would have to apply for at the embassy in Singapore either under her own qualifications or via family/concubine permit application by her fiancé.
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Old 08.02.2015, 15:44
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Re: Moving and finding employment in Zurich

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Acceptance of your degree is the least of your worries. Most employer simply check the box that you indeed have one but could not care less where you did it. And nobody in continental Europe cares about those rankings...
Totally wrong to say "nobody". Strategy consulting companies, finance firms and some tech companies do care about it.
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Old 08.02.2015, 16:00
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Re: Moving and finding employment in Zurich

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Totally wrong to say "nobody". Strategy consulting companies, finance firms and some tech companies do care about it.
So did your top university not teach you to not take statements out of context? The OP has a degree in communication studies... and you tell me now which employer in Switzerland in her field cares about the ranking of her school.
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