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Old 11.07.2015, 20:02
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Highly Skilled?

Hello,

I've seen the term"highly skilled" used throughout the web, when it comes to employment in Switzerland and preference to those skills. I've seen examples, mostly pertaining the medical research. Is there a complete list somewhere, which I can view?
I'm in the U.S. and will be obtaining my CPA license here shortly. I would like to find employment in Switzerland if possible in accounting and finance. I know that my license isn't transferable and can't qualify as a Swiss public accountant automatically. As non-Swiss and non-EU, I understand I'm last in line, but my decision won't be for a few years and I want to lay the groundwork now.
How is the market currently for accounting/finance is Switzerland?

Thank-you for any replies.......

Bill
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Old 11.07.2015, 20:29
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Re: Highly Skilled?

Good evening,

there is no "list" of jobs that I would be aware of - as it is at the authorities discretion to decide who they want to consider highly skilled. In my experience the following aspects are relevant:

- education
- experience
- position in a company
- unique skills that are difficult to find
- salary
- language skills

You will also have to take into account that the employer sponsoring your permit must have exhausted options from the EU and Switzerland.

In my experience as the amount of available permits for individuals form third countries have been halved one has to bring a lot to the table in order to qualify and the company will have to be very thorough and present good arguments when presenting the case.
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Old 11.07.2015, 21:17
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Re: Highly Skilled?

The legal basis for the hiring of non-EU nationals is laid out here.

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/en/home/themen/arbeit/nicht-eu_efta-angehoerige/grundlagen_zur_arbeitsmarktzulassung.html

Yes, you're last in the hiring queue and the Swiss recently voted to cut back on EU immigration too. How that's going to work they're still deciding, but it could have a knock on effect on the non-EU side.

Also you would probably need to speak and write a Swiss language to a high level I think. Certainly all the documents you would be dealing with as a public accountant would not be in English. You should learn either German or French, depending on which part of the country you plan to base yourself in.

And, as a prospective CPA, I hope you know about FATCA and the impact it's had on Americans living abroad. You would need to continue to file US tax returns and could owe the US tax on top of your Swiss ones. Any bank account you open here would require you to sign a W-9 form to allow said bank to pass the account info on to the IRS and also said "foreign" accounts would have to be reported on a FBAR if the aggregate amount comes to more than $10,000 at any time of the year. Start your research here:

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inter...-Aliens-Abroad

Note that if you're considering a permanent move banks here are now unwilling to give Americans business or investments accounts or mortgages.
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Old 11.07.2015, 22:24
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Re: Highly Skilled?

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Hello,

I've seen the term"highly skilled" used throughout the web, when it comes to employment in Switzerland and preference to those skills. I've seen examples, mostly pertaining the medical research. Is there a complete list somewhere, which I can view?
I'm in the U.S. and will be obtaining my CPA license here shortly. I would like to find employment in Switzerland if possible in accounting and finance. I know that my license isn't transferable and can't qualify as a Swiss public accountant automatically. As non-Swiss and non-EU, I understand I'm last in line, but my decision won't be for a few years and I want to lay the groundwork now.
How is the market currently for accounting/finance is Switzerland?

Thank-you for any replies.......

Bill
Some thoughts on an American finding a job in Switzerland or in the EU at this link:

American Wanting to Work in Switzerland

To improve your prospects in Switzerland, I would also recommend that you begin learning German or French in earnest. It can take years to master a language so don't underestimate the amount of work involved.
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Old 12.07.2015, 00:15
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Re: Highly Skilled?

Having a CPA from the US is not a problem to find a job. Just some professions need to be re-validated such as medicine.
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Old 12.07.2015, 11:05
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Re: Highly Skilled?

As to my knowledge there is no shortage of people with a CPA, youŽd need to have some additional qualifications and/or be able to speak the local language.
Try for a multinational
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Old 12.07.2015, 18:25
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Re: Highly Skilled?

Thank-you for your responses.

The whole issue involving skill sets to me, seems to be very subjective.

I was aware of the U.S. tax implications, but not with the situation concerning Swiss banks. I'm assuming after the issues with U.S. tax evaders and the American government pressure on the Swiss, the Swiss don't want to be bothered further. This is a minor issue as it stands now.

I think learning German will have to be a priority. I took it in high school for three years, so I do know what I'm in for.

I'll see if there are any courses on Swiss GAAP and taxes. Probably a multi-national would be best and should look there first.

Is there data available for what type of work the permits are being issued for, for non-EU citizens? Such as 30% went to IT jobs, etc..I looked but could not find any statistics.

I know as an non-EU member citizen, I need a work permit before I can be employed and the permit has to be issued while outside Switzerland. Thinking outside the "box" however, I can support myself in Switzerland without employment. If I'm unsuccessful with a multi-national company, can I arrive possibly on a temporary residence permit, L or B, look for work, and if successful, leave Switzerland, have the permitting completed and return?

Just an observation..... as non-EU but an American, I'm last in line for employment, the permitting is different and difficult. However, I can obtain a C-permit in 5 years as an American, where for the EU nationals it's 10 years.

Thanks!!
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Old 12.07.2015, 18:56
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Re: Highly Skilled?

Re. the C permit, I think you may be mistaken. EU citizens can get it after 5 years on a B permit.
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Old 12.07.2015, 19:56
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Re: Highly Skilled?

Sorry, but I doubt that as a non-EU citizen you will get any permit to stay here unless you have pots and pots of money.

Also, as Nixi wrote, EU citizens can apply for a C permit after 5 years, not non EU unless in some very special situations I think (marry a Swiss or so).

Again, a CPA is not highly skilled especially when you just got that. Why not try working for some time in another country, get experience and then apply? If you then have experience, language skills, further certifications you may well be considered to be "unique" for a position.

But what you did not mention, why Switzerland? What is your reason?

I personally do not think that it will be easier to get a permit in future so do not focus solely on Switzerland as it may not be possible
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Old 12.07.2015, 21:23
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Re: Highly Skilled?

In addition to some thoughts at post #22 at:

American Wanting to Work in Switzerland

if you have a claim to a non-EU citizenship, such as Canadian, Australian, Kiwi, etc., you might be able to obtain a Working Holiday permit for Switzerland. More details, including a full list of participating countries, at this link:

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

Edit:
Oops. USA is on the list too.
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Old 13.07.2015, 00:23
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Re: Highly Skilled?

roegner,

My main reasons for moving are a high standard of living, lower taxes and I think the Swiss have higher social values. Of course I've only visited, but I'll be back next year with my wife for 10 days. If I can work there, I can actually see if it's something to truly assimilate too.
Last year I paid 26,000.00 USD in Federal, State and Local taxes. I know that the cost of living is higher, but hopefully it'll be offset in lower taxes. Plus medical insurance is skyrocketing.
The U.S. is becoming the "United States of Me." Rudeness is increasing and courtesy declining. It's something I see everyday and frequently discussed among my friends and peers. Values are fracturing. We truly are becoming a welfare state. I don't think it'll get better either. I can see the NYC skyline from work, so maybe it's just the region.
In Switzerland it seems there is a high regard/standard for having to provide for yourself and not the State doling out taxpayer money, because people don't want to work. It's an epidemic here. I like that thought process. Family values are important too.
So while there are other countries too, Switzerland is first on the list, but I'll have a back up plan. Switzerland is centrally located too in Europe, so it would be nice to travel around on vacation too.

Mullhollander...thanks for the link
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Old 13.07.2015, 09:30
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Re: Highly Skilled?

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lower taxes
Not necessarily (although it does depend on which canton you live in). According to Wikipedia the tax burden as a % of GDP is 25% in the US and 28% in Switzerland.
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Old 13.07.2015, 09:37
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Re: Highly Skilled?

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I know as an non-EU member citizen, I need a work permit before I can be employed and the permit has to be issued while outside Switzerland. Thinking outside the "box" however, I can support myself in Switzerland without employment. If I'm unsuccessful with a multi-national company, can I arrive possibly on a temporary residence permit, L or B, look for work, and if successful, leave Switzerland, have the permitting completed and return?
No. You can come here as a tourist and look for work, there's no problem with that, but if you get a job offer you need to return to the US to apply for your Type D visa to enter Switzerland long term while your prospective employer tries to get permission to hire you. If a permit is approved then the visa would be issued. But you cannot get any kind of temp permit as a non-EU national. The only other way would be to come as independently wealthy with no need to work and then you couldn't switch later.

Also bear in mind on the accounting side many that Swiss companies will no longer hire Americans where signatory rights to their company's business accounts are involved as these would need to be reported on a FBAR as well.

I'd read through all the thread that Mullhollander posted because it also has some points regarding problems with neighbours which you do get over here sometimes. Switzerland has a lot of regulations, many more than you may imagine.

10 days is not enough time to really evaulate a country you're considering moving to. You need several weeks if you can manage it. I also suggest 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.

And you would need to get your qualifications recognised to be able to practice here:

You are an accountant or auditor and would like to obtain authorisation to work in Switzerland?
Contact:
Federal Audit Oversight Authority (FAOA)
Case postale 6023
CH-3001 Bern
T +41 31 560 22 22
Federal Audit Oversight Authority

http://www.sbfi.admin.ch/diploma/017...x.html?lang=en
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Old 14.07.2015, 01:32
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Re: Highly Skilled?

Thanks for the information everyone.
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Old 14.07.2015, 10:26
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Re: Highly Skilled?

What you should do is to try and get a job with one of the big 4 (PwC, KPMG, E&Y and Deloitte). Also check out BDO if they have a US base. Best to start with them in the US and try to see if you can move internally. They have a lot of programms and not always enough people willing to participate. It would be a fixed term assingment but it would provide you with insight into Switzerland and some job experience. You would also get to know Swiss clients. This might open other doors. Good luck!
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Old 14.07.2015, 11:14
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Re: Highly Skilled?

Check out oportunities on indeed.ch. Good luck with your job hunting.
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