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Old 02.09.2015, 02:38
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Physical Therapy - Going from Switzerland to USA

Hi everyone,

I'm new here. I searched the forum to see if there was a thread that already asked my question but couldn't find one, so hopefully you guys can help me out! I'm desperate!

My boyfriend is Swiss, I'm American. He would like to go to school and get his bachelor of science in physical therapy in Switzerland and then move to the USA afterwards to work and live. We would be married by then and are hoping to have dual citizenship in both places.

I've done tons of research and can't seem to find out how hard it is for a Swiss licensed physical therapist to come and work here. We'd like to have an idea beforehand (as if would affect me as well for the next few years) if he would have to do additional school here or in Switzerland to satisfy the licensing standards but can't seem to find any answers. Our ideal scenario would be to get married, move to Switzerland, have him complete school for his degree in physical therapy, then move back to the States to settle down and have him able to work in the US after taking the test/etc. We'd like to know beforehand if he would have to do additional school to be at the same standard as US-educated PT's to work in the US.

I know in the US you have to get your bachelors degree and do a "doctorate PT" program after. But if you already worked in Switzerland and are certified there, do you have to do more school to come and get licensed in the US?

Please help! I hope I explained my question clearly...


*Cross-posted in "education"
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Old 02.09.2015, 09:31
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Re: Physical Therapy - Going from Switzerland to USA

Not researched that hard. I found this within a few seconds of googling.

http://www.fccpt.org/Jurisdictions/WhereDoIStart/

To join him while he studies here he's going to have to prove he can support both of you. The rules will be similar to those for EU/EFTA family reunification.

https://www.ch.ch/en/family-reunification-eu-efta/

Now the citizenship issue.

For him to get US citizenship via marriage the rules are here:

http://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/...es-us-citizens

For you to get Swiss citizenship will take you at least 5 years, maybe longer. Under the new naturalisation law coming into effect late 2016/early 2017 you will have to have a C permit (which you should get after 5 years being an American citizen) and you will have to speak a Swiss language to a certain level - the language depending on which is the official one of the canton you are living in. That's the Federal rules, but there are also cantonal and commune/gemeinde rules as well which you'll need to find out depending on where you're going to live while he studies. For example in Zurich canton to be granted a C permit you have to meet the language test as well, not just have lived in Switzerland for 5 years and the canton for 2 years. If you move to a different canton the cantonal residency clock will be reset to zero and you have to start again. Same on the commune/gemeinde level.

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

Integration is the key to citizenship here and not all are successful.

American professor denied Swiss citizenship

I would also point you both to the US's FATCA law and the consequences it has had for US citizens living/working abroad. Google "FATCA" and you'll find more than enough info to make your heads spin. Also search the term here in the Finance/Taxation section.

You both also need to be aware of your US tax filing obligations (you citizen, he if a Green Card holder) once you leave the States. Start that research here:

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inter...-Aliens-Abroad
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Old 02.09.2015, 10:48
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Re: Physical Therapy - Going from Switzerland to USA

Before I forget, please, please do not post the same question twice in two subforums on here. I sent a request to a moderator that one of them be deleted. Otherwise we have answers to the same question in two different places and if a moderator later tries to combine the two threads there is total chaos.
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I searched the forum to see if there was a thread that already asked my question but couldn't find one,
It is not so very surprising that you found no thread on the recognition of Swiss qualifications in the USA. Any reply on this site not based on a valid and relevant link to USA rulings could very quickly be incorrect.
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My boyfriend is Swiss, I'm American. He would like to go to school and get his bachelor of science in physical therapy in Switzerland and then move to the USA afterwards to work and live.
In addition to all tghe hurdles which MF mentioned, it isn't clear to me how far your boyfriend is with his studies. It rather sounds that he hasn't started yet. If this is the case, has he a place with the relevant 'Fachhochschule'? (University of Applied Sciences). The number of places for this course of studies is limited.A few years ago, before it became a Bachelor course, there were 200 applicants for 25 places in Triemli Hospital in Zürich!

Hope all goes well with your plans but I feel you will need a lot more than just crossed fingers on my part to reach your goals.
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Old 02.09.2015, 12:02
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Re: Physical Therapy - Going from Switzerland to USA

Why doesn't he do his bachelor in the States? Since you want to settle in the States anyway, the least complicated route would be for him to get a US fiancé visa or student visa, do his education in the States, you two get married there, then register your marriage in CH, etc, etc.

If the cost of the education is a deterrent, know that the cost of living in CH would put the two countries on par cost-wise. In addition to scholarships, some companies (hospitals, other healthcare providers) offer sponsorship in exchange for part-time work, with the end result of getting an education plus experience. Good luck!
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Old 02.09.2015, 21:10
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Re: Physical Therapy - Going from Switzerland to USA

Another point - does your Swiss boyfriend actually speak/write a Swiss language, i.e. he's not someone who has nationality from being born abroad to a Swiss parent but wasn't taught his mother tongue? Bachelor courses here will be taught in a Swiss language, not in English.
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