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Old 16.07.2015, 20:08
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US Citizen looking for IT help desk position

My wife and I are planning a move to Switzerland next year. I am retired and she is looking for a job, preferably in IT, any part of IT. She is a former German Citizen and speaks, reads, and writes German. We have lived in Switzerland in the past while I worked in Heerbrugg. Any suggestions on the path to a work permit and visa? We meet the financial requirement and we both speak German.
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Old 16.07.2015, 21:11
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Re: US Citizen looking for IT help desk position

Would suggest that you review these links at the "Swiss Authorities" portal:

Working in Switzerland as third-country nationals
https://www.ch.ch/en/working-foreign...-requirements/

Foreign nationals without gainful employment
https://www.ch.ch/en/retirement-or-study-switzerland/

American citizens are classified as Third-Country Nationals. It is unfortunate that your spouse is no longer a German/ EU citizen.
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Old 16.07.2015, 21:43
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Re: US Citizen looking for IT help desk position

Other things to consider. Are you going to be the main permit holder and she your dependent? Because if so you'll get a residence only permit, but it won't allow you to work being a retiree and I think it will be the same for your wife, i.e. residence only with no work rights.

If she's supposed to be the main permit holder then getting a job herself will be very difficult as Swiss/EU nationals have priority. The legal basis for the hire of non-EU nationals is given here:

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

I don't know how long ago you were last living here, but the US's FATCA law has had a big impact on Americans living abroad worlwide. As well as having to continue to file US tax returns you may also owe the US tax on top of your Swiss taxes. To open a basic salary/checking account here (no investment or mortgage accounts by the way) you will need to sign a W-9 form allowing your bank to send the account info on to the IRS. And if any account/s comes to more than $10,000 at any time of the year it will need to be reported on a FBAR form.

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inter...-Aliens-Abroad
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Old 17.07.2015, 07:28
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Re: US Citizen looking for IT help desk position

Two things to be aware of as you plan your move:

First - the Swiss IT industry has been severely contracting in the last 5+ years. Many of the larger companies have moved lower-to-mid-level jobs (i.e., help desk) outside Switzerland; the cost of Swiss labor is simply too expensive to justify keeping IT roles here that can be done elsewhere.

Second - since you are retired, I'll take a guess that your wife might also be older. Age discrimination is rampant here, finding a job over 50 is difficult, in IT very much more so.

So your wife has some high barriers to overcome.

All the best to you both.
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Old 18.07.2015, 19:37
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Re: US Citizen looking for IT help desk position

An article from the Tagi that might give your wife some insights into the IT market today; be sure to read the comments section as well.

http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/wirtscha...PopularComment

From Sept 2014, but the situation and the issues discussed remain the same.
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Old 19.07.2015, 01:36
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Re: US Citizen looking for IT help desk position

Thank you all for the great information. We had considered much of what you have pointed out here. I am retired but not at retirement age. I completely understand the outsource issue as I did the same while working there, I moved jobs to the USA. We would love for her to be able to regain her German citizenship, also an uphill battle. She gave it up in order to obtain a US military security clearance working in the IT field. She does have direct Austrian relatives and that is a route we are thinking will work to gain an EU citizenship status. Any other thoughts you all have is very much appreciated.
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