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Old 11.12.2014, 16:53
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Specifics of renewing an L permit with unlimited contract

My employer originally applied for a B permit a year ago with an indefinite contract, but I was given an L instead (as I'm non-eu). We are now doing the renewal and are having problems. My employer gave me the renewal form as a renewal of an L permit along with copies of the original contract and letter restating that I am still under the original indefinite contract. When submitting the documents, the person at the window discussed them with 2 others and then told me that the documents either need to all indicate longer-term employment or short-term employment: either the request needs to be for a B with the existing indefinite contract or a request for an L with a new contract stipulating that the contract ends within the next year.

I'm concerned about the implications as my employer hasn't worked with many non-eu employees and seems to think we're just supposed to renew as an L. Does anyone know exactly how their forms are filled out for this situation? Do we simply indicate on the form that we are renewing a B (even though I was given and currently have an L)? Do we indicate a new application for a B? If we renew as an L will it limit the options in the future for staying longer (the conversion to B after 2 years)?

I know that the employer needs to handle a lot of this and I can discuss more with the migration office, but I want to have a better understanding of the implications and possible issues.

Last edited by ivan37; 11.12.2014 at 16:58. Reason: clarifying purpose
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Old 12.12.2014, 04:26
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Re: Specifics of renewing an L permit with unlimited contract

Hi!
I am no expert about immigration regulations in Switzerland, but I can tell you my personal experience, hoping it may be helpful to you somehow.

I've had a fixed time contract for almost a year, during which I originally received and renewed once a L permit.

I recently signed a permanent contract; I went again to the Kreisburo and they gave me a L renewal application form.
I was quite puzzled - they explained that they don't decide which Permit people will receive, they can just forward the request.

Long story short, I applied for renewal of an L permit, but received a B instead.
I'm from EU though, I don't really know if it changes anything.

Cheers!
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Old 12.12.2014, 08:05
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Re: Specifics of renewing an L permit with unlimited contract

I think you should apply for a B - if you receive a B, great, if you get another L, then you'll be in the same situation you're in now. You actually should have a B permit, as you have a permanent contract, but were given an L because the quota was exhausted.

Last edited by LiquidPaper; 12.12.2014 at 08:20. Reason: typo
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Old 12.12.2014, 08:07
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Re: Specifics of renewing an L permit with unlimited contract

the process for Non-EU is completely different than for EU.

It is 'typical' for Non-EU to get an L permit for the first two years, and after that it may roll over to the B.

However, it relies upon the employer doing the right paperwork. You must have a work contract that is permanent/ongoing, high level position, tertiary qualifications amd they must prove that they cannot find someone in Switzerland/EU/UK to do the job.

Typically, when they got permission to employ you the first time, it was pre-approved for two years. To convert for the third year, they may need to re-advertise the job and prove again that they still cannot find someone local (and they still need to be happy with you)...

Edited to point out - even though the 'L' was probably pre-approved for two years at the government level, your employer still has to renew with them every year...
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Old 12.12.2014, 08:10
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Re: Specifics of renewing an L permit with unlimited contract

Oh, and the Non-EU L/B is not about quotas, the quotas almost never run out. Instead, it is usually about country of origin, level of job, or possibly the clout of the employer. USA seem to be more likely to get L's if they are working for an MNC (Kraft, Swisscom are the examples I know. And Australians, Indians, get L's...


Have a really good read through the thread here about NON-EU permits... It's all there...
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Old 12.12.2014, 08:15
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Re: Specifics of renewing an L permit with unlimited contract

Your employer should make quite clear that they are asking for a B permit (permanent, ongoing) even if you currently have an L or he already knows you were pre-approved for the L.... This is important for the longer term process, he needs to jump through the right hoops and back up the permanency of the job - that is in your interest!

Sounds like the employer grabbed or was sent the wrong forms, although I have never seen the 'employer' forms, only the ones we filled in after everything was already done at the migration level. Those had B crossed out and L put on them by the migration authority!
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Old 12.12.2014, 10:39
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Re: Specifics of renewing an L permit with unlimited contract

After one year with L I've applied for B (non-EU) and paid price for B. Then my company received a request from authorities to fill in all the form as they did a year ago when they requested initial permit for me. They were asked to do the market research and everything. By Boss declined it with comment that he already did it a year ago. I've got another L for the second year. Gemeinde paid me back the difference between B and L permit costs.
After 2 years on L we applied again for B and this time it was smooth.
Canton ZH.
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Old 12.12.2014, 13:54
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Re: Specifics of renewing an L permit with unlimited contract

Thank you all for the info! I still don't understand if there is a "correct" way of filling the forms for the renewal, but it sounds like we should still be pursuing the B and it is nice to hear that even if something goes wrong it sounds like things can be corrected as long as the company still wants to deal with the headache of trying to keep me here.
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Old 13.12.2014, 10:29
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Re: Specifics of renewing an L permit with unlimited contract

Related question - does the salary level play a role in determining whether a L or B is given for non-EU?
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Old 30.04.2015, 16:09
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Re: Specifics of renewing an L permit with unlimited contract

An update: the B forms were submitted and we're still waiting for the response...though we've been assured it is being reviewed. Not sure if over 4 months for processing is a good sign, bad sign, or if time provides little indication as to what is going on.

Tip for anyone else in this situation: make sure you make some photocopies of your old permit and ideally take care of things that require the permit (like the driver's licence conversion, opening new bank accounts) before you hand your permit in or at least before the expiration date. Assuming that you should be getting the new one in a couple of months is not a good assumption to make and you can save yourself having to explain that the expired permit is still being renewed and that you are still in the country legally.
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Old 14.05.2015, 00:43
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Re: Specifics of renewing an L permit with unlimited contract

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Typically, when they got permission to employ you the first time, it was pre-approved for two years. To convert for the third year, they may need to re-advertise the job and prove again that they still cannot find someone local (and they still need to be happy with you)...
Hi Swisspea. If it isn't too late to ask, then I'd like to ask...
As I understood, for employer exists 2 major 'jumps':
1. To get first pre-approval (L-permit in fact). The L-permit prolongation for the second year isn't an issue.
2. To get final approval (B-permit for the 3-rd year).
But afterwards, 1 year late with B permit, the process is completely dark for me. How does prolongation looks like, when it is time to prolong B permit for next year (2-nd, 3-rd ... years with B permit)? Is it the same nightmare for employer, as in was on step#2 (see above).

And, if you don't mind, another question. What does happen with B permit if I change employer? Looks like I am free to change my employer with B permit, but does it mean that next company will be free from nightmare through which gone my current employer? Would it be for them so easy to prolong my B permit?
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Old 14.05.2015, 09:26
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Re: Specifics of renewing an L permit with unlimited contract

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Hi Swisspea. If it isn't too late to ask, then I'd like to ask...
As I understood, for employer exists 2 major 'jumps':
1. To get first pre-approval (L-permit in fact). The L-permit prolongation for the second year isn't an issue.
2. To get final approval (B-permit for the 3-rd year).
But afterwards, 1 year late with B permit, the process is completely dark for me. How does prolongation looks like, when it is time to prolong B permit for next year (2-nd, 3-rd ... years with B permit)? Is it the same nightmare for employer, as in was on step#2 (see above).

And, if you don't mind, another question. What does happen with B permit if I change employer? Looks like I am free to change my employer with B permit, but does it mean that next company will be free from nightmare through which gone my current employer? Would it be for them so easy to prolong my B permit?
Yes, your employer will still have to go through the same steps to renew a one year B permit as they do to prolong an L permit I assume.

You need to check whether your B permit allows you to change - most non-EU ones don't. If your B permit isn't tied to your current employer then changing shouldn't be a problem. If it is tied then any new employer will have to go through the same non-EU hiring process as your current employer did.
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  #13  
Old 14.05.2015, 11:42
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Re: Specifics of renewing an L permit with unlimited contract

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Yes, your employer will still have to go through the same steps to renew a one year B permit as they do to prolong an L permit I assume.

You need to check whether your B permit allows you to change - most non-EU ones don't. If your B permit isn't tied to your current employer then changing shouldn't be a problem. If it is tied then any new employer will have to go through the same non-EU hiring process as your current employer did.
This is not quite right. The Non-EU 'L' is typically a one year permit, pre-approved for two years, but then the employer has to jump through hoops to get the B. The B is required after two years according to law, but your same employer has to justify the job, which means showing again that they cannot get a local person.. So your job will be re-advertised.

Once you switch to the B it automatically renews each year. Whereas before the primary paperwork went to the employer, now it comes to you, then you take the forms to be stamped and signed to show you are still employed.

If you are the primary permit holder (main breadwinner) I would not recommend giving notice until switch to B permit is fully complete. If there is a problem with the switch over then your employer will be the one who will need to support your appplication, which they might not do if you have given notice!

Also, as an employer, I would be very reluctant to contract with someone whose permit is not yet 'in the bag'.... I would not touch someone who was on a Non-EU L permit...as they are very much tied down.

The B permit that is issued after two years on the L is linked to the employer, but you are normally allowed to change jobs... You do need to check whether this is the case...the prospective new employer should be able to make enquiries. As 'due diligence' we phone the work authority in Zurich to check the permit status of anyone we are contracting with (we can use the info on their permit card to do this over the phone).

In my case, I was on a dependent 'L' permit but managed to get my own separate work permission (dependent L do not automatically get the right to work). My husband 's permit was switched to B and as soon as we knew his employer had the permits sorted (and gave a copy of the confirmation letter) I then started negotiating properly with my new employer and we made a contract that literally changed my job the day it swapped to B. I did not need permission to change jobs, all I needed to do was to take my permit and contract to the Gemeinde. When our permit forms arrive, we take them to our employers and this shows we are 'gainfully employed'.

Automatic renewal of the PRIMARY B permit is dependent on gainful employment or registration with the RAV if you are temporarily unemployed.

Automatic renewal of the DEPENDENT B permit is tied to the primary breadwinner's status. If he was no longer unable to work, I would need a job with enough income to become the 'primary breadwinner'. My income is secondary to his.

After a couple of years... i think total 5 (two years L and 3 years B)... Our employment is no longer 'tied'...I do not know if this was due to change of law or a period of time...

So, simple answer for you is that your B permit may or may not be tied to the employer, and you do need to check this. Whether or not you are allowed to freely change jobs depends on a few different factors, but the work authority can tell you what the rules are specifically for you.

Please note, this is all about NON-EU. The rules for EU / UK are very different!
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Old 14.05.2015, 11:45
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Re: Specifics of renewing an L permit with unlimited contract

Ps. We are now 2 years L and 5 years B and are curious this year to see if they then give 'C' permits or if we have to wait a lot longer for the C. We are intending to speak to our town hall as our eldest child may be eligible next year to apply for citizenship, and our employers are both well-connected local Swiss and may support us applying for permanent residency early if they expect us to wait 10-12 years (we are all Australian).
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Old 19.05.2015, 17:12
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Re: Specifics of renewing an L permit with unlimited contract

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Once you switch to the B it automatically renews each year. Whereas before the primary paperwork went to the employer, now it comes to you, then you take the forms to be stamped and signed to show you are still employed.
I've heard the same things. As soon as person has obtained B permit, next prolongation goes much simply than first one (L-> B transfer). Person just need to prove that he or she still employed and has valid work contract. And as I understood person with valid B permit isn't anymore a part of quotas during permit's prolongation.

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The B permit that is issued after two years on the L is linked to the employer, but you are normally allowed to change jobs...
Interesting things. Looks like the only one way to check permit's status is to send Stellenwechselformular to AWA, or just call them.


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Automatic renewal of the DEPENDENT B permit is tied to the primary breadwinner's status. If he was no longer unable to work, I would need a job with enough income to become the 'primary breadwinner'. My income is secondary to his.
I think 'enough income' is applicable for dependent and independent permits.
Does anybody know the particular amount on 'enough income'? if I, as a primary breadwinner in family lost a job, which my wife's salary should be in this case to say that it is 'enough'?

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After a couple of years... i think total 5 (two years L and 3 years B)... Our employment is no longer 'tied'...I do not know if this was due to change of law or a period of time...
Hopefully it is because of change of law. Crossing my fingers.

Thanks.
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Old 19.05.2015, 18:04
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Re: Specifics of renewing an L permit with unlimited contract

I already posted my experience on this forum. Will share once again, probably with more details, this and last year's experience.

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I've heard the same things. As soon as person has obtained B permit, next prolongation goes much simply than first one (L-> B transfer). Person just need to prove that he or she still employed and has valid work contract.
This year is my second year on B, after 2 years with L. So the prolongation took 2 months, authorities requested my employer to fill in some forms. So 2 months is better that 3.5 one year before, but still I find it slow. This might be related to the fact that one year ago (after 0.5 year with B-permit) I changed the employer.

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Interesting things. Looks like the only one way to check permit's status is to send Stellenwechselformular to AWA, or just call them.
They don't answer by phone, you whether write them a normal letter or come in person. My permit status after 2 years on L and 0.5 year on B was "unrestricted" = not tied to the employer, I got it in writing in a letter. At same time last year I was in contact with another EF-fellow in a similar situation who also checked his B-permit status and he got opposite answer - his one was tied to his employer.

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I think 'enough income' is applicable for dependent and independent permits.
Does anybody know the particular amount on 'enough income'? if I, as a primary breadwinner in family lost a job, which my wife's salary should be in this case to say that it is 'enough'?
If primary non-EU B-permit holder lost his job and he's tied to his employer - he has to leave the country with his family. If not tied - he has a chance to find another job. If he's not successful until permit renewal, most likely he has to leave the country. There is a small chance that being on RAV and having working spouse can help to prolong the permit once.
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