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Old 02.06.2012, 02:09
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Work permit or visa with felony

My husband and I would like to relocate to Europe, likely Switzerland (We are US citizens). My husband has a felony conviction from 7+ years ago for an offense that would not be illegal in Switzerland. Would he be able to get a work permit or student Visa? I would likely move first if I can get employment.
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Old 02.06.2012, 02:15
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Re: Work permit or visa with felony

I think if you move first and get a job and your husband applies after on family reunion basis you will be the only one to provide no criminal record file and not you husband. At least that was the case with me.

Good luck
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Old 02.06.2012, 12:01
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Re: Work permit or visa with felony

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My husband and I would like to relocate to Europe, likely Switzerland (We are US citizens). My husband has a felony conviction from 7+ years ago for an offense that would not be illegal in Switzerland. Would he be able to get a work permit or student Visa? I would likely move first if I can get employment.
Not sure if it's different for the US, but coming from the UK (pre the EU bilateral agreements) there wasn't even a cursory criminal records check, not even a question about it. So if it were me I'd just lie, on the basis that there's no legal way they could find out about it anyway
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Old 27.12.2012, 02:57
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Re: Work permit or visa with felony

Just thought the OP might need to know about the FBI Criminal Records Check:

Spouse B permit question

FBI Criminal Record - Used for what?
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Old 27.12.2012, 10:14
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Re: Work permit or visa with felony

In your other thread you mention that you are both statisticians; be aware that if you are looking for work in the financial sector a criminal records check is pretty much standard. (My husband had to submit an FBI check - and this was an inter-company transfer years ago.) Given the public mood towards the financial sector is at present, you can guess what the likelihood of a financial firm hiring someone with a felony criminal record these days would be.

And given that you are Americans... a company must first search for a CH or EU candidate, and must prove to the authorities that there are no CH/EU folks qualified and available before a permit application will be considered. This is being strictly applied these days given the economic downturn, especially in the financial sector. Americans in particular are are at the end of the non-CH/EU line given that FATCA has made us toxic commodity here in Switzerland. So you already face significant hurdles - add in a criminal record...

FYI, immigration with a criminal record is difficult in many countries - especially the US.
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Old 27.12.2012, 10:36
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Re: Work permit or visa with felony

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In your other thread you mention that you are both statisticians; be aware that if you are looking for work in the financial sector a criminal records check is pretty much standard. (My husband had to submit an FBI check - and this was an inter-company transfer years ago.) Given the public mood towards the financial sector is at present, you can guess what the likelihood of a financial firm hiring someone with a felony criminal record these days would be.

And given that you are Americans... a company must first search for a CH or EU candidate, and must prove to the authorities that there are no CH/EU folks qualified and available before a permit application will be considered. This is being strictly applied these days given the economic downturn, especially in the financial sector. Americans in particular are are at the end of the non-CH/EU line given that FATCA has made us toxic commodity here in Switzerland. So you already face significant hurdles - add in a criminal record...

FYI, immigration with a criminal record is difficult in many countries - especially the US.
It's a bit late, but Meloncollie has pointed out the main problems. It will be almost impossible to get a job, the banks here don't want to know you, and you may end up having to pay tax to the US as well as Switzerland depending on what earnings/assets you have. And yes, you will be asked to provide a record from your local police to say you have no convictions. Whether your husband would need the same as your dependent I don't know.
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Old 27.12.2012, 15:10
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Re: Work permit or visa with felony

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I think if you move first and get a job and your husband applies after on family reunion basis you will be the only one to provide no criminal record file and not you husband. At least that was the case with me.

Good luck
Definitely no longer the case. I am a c permit holder and my wife needed to provide a criminal background check (FBI) for immigration purposes. I would think, but don't know, that anything above misdemeanor class infractions would bar entry - regardless of there legality at the destination. I would investigate expungement or some kind of ARD based on the state where the incident took place. Also, I would not relocate or take any other actions, unless you can accept separation, until you have definitive answers, and only then in writing. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I suspect the chances of a successful application are slim to none.
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Old 27.12.2012, 15:12
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Re: Work permit or visa with felony

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Definitely no longer the case. I am a c permit holder and my wife needed to provide a criminal background check (FBI) for immigration purposes. I would think, but don't know, that anything above misdemeanor class infractions would bar entry - regardless of there legality at the destination. I would investigate expungement or some kind of ARD based on the state where the incident took place. Also, I would not relocate or take any other actions, unless you can accept separation, until you have definitive answers, and only then in writing. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I suspect the chances of a successful application are slim to none.
PS: only my wife needed the background check, not myself, for the family reunification.
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Old 29.12.2012, 01:09
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Re: Work permit or visa with felony

I appreciate the honesty of all the replies. It helps us to understand what hurdles we would be up against.
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Old 27.10.2015, 19:02
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Re: Work permit or visa with felony

Would anyone know how Swiss financial institutions would view a misdemeanor shoplifting from 5+ years conviction originating from the USA?

I'm guessing they would check in all the countries I previously resided in, but I had mixed experiences in the past regarding a truly "global" check.

I am a EU citizen and do not require a visa and I already worked in Germany and in the UK at a global financial institution with no problem. In Germany they asked for a domestic police background check which was clean and I told HR beforehand at the UK based firm.
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Old 27.10.2015, 19:14
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Re: Work permit or visa with felony

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Would anyone know how Swiss financial institutions would view a misdemeanor shoplifting from 5+ years conviction originating from the USA?

I'm guessing they would check in all the countries I previously resided in, but I had mixed experiences in the past regarding a truly "global" check.

I am a EU citizen and do not require a visa and I already worked in Germany and in the UK at a global financial institution with no problem. In Germany they asked for a domestic police background check which was clean and I told HR beforehand at the UK based firm.
Why would they carry out such a check?
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Old 27.10.2015, 19:19
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Re: Work permit or visa with felony

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Why would they carry out such a check?
Standard hiring practice in the financial sector.
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Old 27.10.2015, 19:21
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Re: Work permit or visa with felony

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Standard hiring practice in the financial sector.
But they are surely unable to check whether the potential employee has a criminal record in every other country in the world though!
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Old 27.10.2015, 19:54
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Re: Work permit or visa with felony

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But they are surely unable to check whether the potential employee has a criminal record in every other country in the world though!
A fair point, but it's all about risk reduction - they can check places you have recently worked, grew up etc. They also tend to check the consistency of your CV, so the two go together.

Those places where they can't check are probably those where the law is arbitrary enough to be a poor judge anyway.
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Old 27.10.2015, 22:06
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Re: Work permit or visa with felony

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A fair point, but it's all about risk reduction - they can check places you have recently worked, grew up etc. They also tend to check the consistency of your CV, so the two go together.

Those places where they can't check are probably those where the law is arbitrary enough to be a poor judge anyway.

From experience applying for Job in DE, uK and USA in the financial services sector, I found it can vary.

In DE, they didn't carry out such extensive checks (just a domestic one, Poizeifuerungszeugnis) so my misdemeanor wasn't an issue though it I started off as a working student. I talked w/ a lawyer there and he said it was still possible to get a a white collar job, even if you raped someone which I thought was pretty shocking. However, I admire their data privacy laws there very much. To be honest, I felt like they didn't care that much about stuff like that, just if you were qualified for the job.

It was different in the UK when I made an "inter-company move" there. They checked with my employers in the last 5 years and also if I had criminal record in those place I previously lived at (the USA and DE). It was conducted by a very thorough 3rd part service provider specializing in the Vetting process. I think they just checked in those states where I worked at in the USA and not the FBI data base, thereby, missing a another misdemeanor I had in another state where I never resided in...so they can miss stuff. The HR lady was cool with it since I told her beforehand and I had already worked for the company for a couple of years without a problem in DE. I remember asking if I had anything in Europe, which wasn't the case.

In the USA, it was even more extreme. I lost out on a job offer because of my record even though I almost convinced to hire me anyways, even if FINRA said it wouldn't be issue in getting my series 7 since it wasn't theft of cash or cash equivalents, a felony or fraud of some sort.

I guess my followup question would be is Switzerland more similar to DE when it comes this sort of thing ? I know the two cultures have some similarities to an extent though there obviously different in some differences (i.e. taxes, gun laws).
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Old 27.10.2015, 22:09
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Re: Work permit or visa with felony

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shoplifting from 5+ years conviction originating from the USA
What was stolen?
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Old 27.10.2015, 22:16
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Re: Work permit or visa with felony

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What was stolen?
My friend at the time stole some cologne from a retail store at the mall. I was giving him a ride in my car and they took record of my license plate number and I got stuck with the charge.
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Old 27.10.2015, 22:21
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Re: Work permit or visa with felony

Swiss Authorities Online (ch.ch) has a page on criminal records (Strafregister):

https://www.ch.ch/en/criminal-record-certificate/

This K-Tipp article discusses criminal records and may be useful for background information:

https://www.ktipp.ch/artikel/d/10-fr...strafregister/
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